round the corner © 2018 . All rights reserved.

And how are you?

Sometimes I want to know how you are. When I go to sleep, when I wake up, when I drive at ninety miles an hour, when the weight of time suddenly drops after a few quick vodkas and brandies.

Dawn breaks, night falls; dawn again, night again. The same way, day after day. Sometimes it feels as though something will happen. Nothing does. Day after day.

Believe it or not, I look at myself in the mirror at times. When I shave? No, I think of other things then. But sometimes, alone in the room, after a bath, or before going to bed eventually, I stand face-to-face with myself, eyeball-to-eyeball. Just me, without adornment; a lump of flesh, flab and filth. Completely bald, blunt nose, bags under the eyes, a broad hairy chest, the spitting image of a powerful, aged baboon after removing the glittering false teeth. I enjoy taking off my dentures and making faces, balling up my fists—like two wild beasts poised for battle—when I open my mouth wide the darkness seems to be the road to hell.

How are you? But I don’t even know where you are.

And How Are You?
by Buddhadeva Bose
translated by Arunava Sinha

Photos taken in Bawali, a village in Bengal, in January 2018.