Life – and death – hits you without warning. I spent the day walking through the interconnecting streets and alleys of the city, eventually making my way up to Bara Bazaar. Also known as the Iewduh (first day of the Khasi week) market, this bazaar is one of the northeast’s oldest and largest traditional markets and trading centers. People navigate their way through the narrowest of paths, squeezing past one another to carry out their errands. I decide it would be interesting, in a fruitful way, to get lost and find my way back out and home. I am unabashedly an expert at this, and soon find myself in the meat district of the market (a recurring trend), talking to a butcher as he shows me how to decapitate a pig. I enjoy my time here inquiring vendors about their goods, which makes up for the blood and stench I carry with me as I get lost once or twice more on my way home.
The notion of “getting lost,” of losing my geographical bearings in the city, in the day time, is of little concern. The future is foreseeable. The eventual way out is always clear, and ultimately available. The disorientation is temporary. I wonder why I can’t view losing, or failing, in the same light. Is my vision of losing in any aspect of my life that short-sighted? Or is my forecast of the future that cynical and skewed?
Music: nitin sawhney – scratch