Monday, September 6, 2021

Poems - Bazik Thlana


An Eye-Identity

the human eyes are the windows to his soul
a window for looking in, looking out and illumination
the windows to my soul are framed by small and narrow panes;
polite passers-by in Delhi have sometimes asked me if I could see clearly through them
i stare at the mirror and fake a smile:
my eyes tell a different tale.
i wonder if anyone would notice,
i’m hoping someone would
i hope they’d take a peek and see what’s inside

i make my way outside
i’m called a Chink- a reference to my eyes i suppose
i take it in stride
i’m still faking that smile but i’m tearing up again
damn these eyes!
did anyone see?
they never do.
nobody peers through the window when they judge it by the panes

 they gaze,
they stare,
they pre-suppose
yet again my entity has been summed up by my eye-dentity

a Chink- a flaw in the armour of unified India?
a chink in the chain of uniformity?
i’m taking it back
a Chink- it’s narrow and slanted: it’ll do to let the light in
if only they’d look in.

Presence in Absence

Presence in absence
Absence in Presence
Remnants of old and new
Some lost, some given away
Some abandoned and some outgrown
An attempt to capture and preserve them
In jars and photographs and marks
With brushes and ink
Memories hanging by a thread
The void is not always empty
The missing are not always missed
The missed are not always missing.


Bazik Thlana is a Mizo artist who describes himself as "a socially conscious eccentric - owning a conscious refusal of a centrally-defined axis as well as an unconventionality to his practice." He is currently doing his Ph.D. in visual arts at JNU in New Delhi. For further insight into his art and writings, check out his blog here. An Eye-Identity was co-written with a Mizo friend of his, Sallie Chianghnuna, who also lives and works in Delhi. Deep gratitude to Thlana for allowing me to post these here, particularly An Eye-Identity which all North-Easterners can completely relate to.