The last thing I could remember was fuzzy and didn't make much sense anyway. I was new to this place, to these people, to their way of wandering slowly at twilight with hands clasped behind backs. I could remember certain things but was unable to differentiate between memories of events that had happened and dreams of events that hadn't – do dreams happen? As I grew older, I had been increasingly unable to tell certain vivid dreams from vivid memories. Did you do that or did I dream it? I found myself asking from time to time. Because that would be a great thing to do.

Now I was swimming, back-flipping over and over, clouds above cycling into amber waters below, candies and death and old skeletal shape-shifting formulations, over and over. Now I was lying prone – a bed, a big bed in a small room, with dark forms huddled around me in a circle, between us a ring of candles flickering and snapping, an old woman throwing powder into the flames, a young girl with black eyes like mirrors, reflecting back the image of a dying man.

Ah-huh, ah-huh, a fatherly figure bent low over my face, looming worriedly, holding a small piece of crinkled paper. Ah-huh, ah-huh, he made an eating motion, pushing the disc towards my mouth. Something was engraved on it, I could just make out in the dim light: Wel-come. I ate it and I have been right ever since.

This is part of a series of Himal's commentary on artwork by Ahmed Suveyba self-taught artist based in Male. Acrylic on canvas, 30×40 in.

Loading content, please wait...
Himal Southasian