100 poems/52 weeks challenge’ 2018


By Elizaveta Porodina

I imagine us carrying
a rock on our back
up above the blue-bell mountain.

For me,
my bones are cracked
and only the scent of the horizon
soothe my nerves
to carry on.

I remember
I did not always knew
there was a rock on my back
and so only after a storm,
when rain fell upon,
I knew there had been scabs
thirsty to heal.

My hands shook
and there began to germinate
love on my collarbone,
I moved on,
I was okay.

Then I found people on the way
with their slippers
from a childhood puddle;
I was not sure if they were playing
or dying.

I had no pity
but I had anger,
that how could they let their pebbles
be circus balls
of no destiny but death.
Then I had no anger
but I had guilt,
that their pebbles felt heavier than my rock
and then there were those,
who carried mountains.

I came in the world
full of help
but that was when I could not see
my back
But what now?

There was a gentle poet on the phone
she told me
my love, all your life,
what of your hurt–
no stretched out hands for your drowning.

But I carry on,
I tell her
people don’t try
but I receive
the love they could not give to me
and because I can save myself,
I shall save them too.


The dragon’s tail

When Freya was little, her mother was always upset because she knew she would not get to be a part of her future. Not because of any physical ailment, but simply because she knew she would try and she would not be allowed to do so. Like swimming an up-tide.

Of her marriage, her mother could not even picture her own drawing room. It was her aunt’s. An opening hallway. Some guests passing around turmeric-colored rice. Rhythmic plate music. An audience of irregular desert dunes sitting at every piece of flat surface they could find. And whenever she saw herself in this place of future, her sadness was rather pictorial—her mouth turned in an upside-down U, at the sheer in-credulousness of strangeness of her daughter. Of people suddenly deciding to wear their clothes the other way around one day; as if Freya came out of some communal womb, up from the discolored sky. Do babies just fall after all?

She thinks about the word ‘daughter’ that the world created for her mouth to take up. She had not even remotely contributed to its invention. A daughter, because the world says so. But if the world gave it to her, the world can take it back too.

Freya married a painter anyway, in a place with mules circling around the leaking smell of the City trying to push in. Freya’s mother was upset. But then, she was already upset before.

It was as if the mother lived in a non-linear sad-time. Of knowing. Then, living. Of introspecting whether her knowing caused the living. And at last, if it was worth an ounce to give a shit about Freya at all.

She could have gone to business school.


In November, it snowed with a smell of woolen hats, florescent lights and falling men.

Trekkahum was a village of smiling eyes. Every second week of November, they stood at the other side of bridge (or whatever was left of it after the yearly slaps of winter-storms), cheering in their brown-velvet clothes and caps. It was a work of art—the whole view around the village—making me wish I was a painter rather than a writer. But here I am your writer in any case, and at the other side of the bridge stood a row of old men with some very rigid shoulder lines. Their silhouettes were dark against the white of snowy winds that blushed white at the normal symmetry of landscapes. It was as if someone had chafed the bridge with the lick of their wet thumb like rainy skies do to the autumn moon. 

Those who stood at the left, their dark contours roughly overlapped upon the distant village-night, in a much more humane bloom. A faint remote planet, it was as I f night was a phenomenon created by spaces between the people. A domestic darkness where snow is ceremoniously cleaned off. But that was the village. Where it was not, an ominous silent stood at the other side of the bridge. It was inconsiderate of human divisions of both night and day, hour or seconds. If you could be here–where I stand, you would have believed  me. The wind was louder than a village full of people.

They fought in the war. Old men of the ‘November Ceremony’ (termed thus for you and me because translations are often appalling) But none of them really understood what it meant. But then, did they knew what war itself meant? Ah, I cannot possibly answer that.  As far as they care, it is the general’s command. A school rhyme.

‘Old men cross the bridge/ Old men cross the bridge when the winter is nigh.’

The bridge was not rickety, as most people are force-fed to imagine. It was a long rock solid boulder. Cement. Originally a pathway for a pipeline. The snow reigned it now. Little hills of snow dunes conspiring to push away the bag of flours that men had lain to let this ceremony pass without any death. Under it, a raging height. Most people think of the heights as empty. Stagnant. But the air at heights have veins, they pop like an athlete’s leg. Each man who stepped on the bridge, stepped on the wind too. It had its cheeks full of ice. Fingers crick. Eyes bat.

And so the men cross.

Cheered by a crowd of people that sounded like a blown-away candle against the magnanimity of mountains that towered above their village.

And so the men cross.

A Ritual.  

After gulping down sips of some rice-wine, they joke. They joke about each other’s death. Cracked skull. Funny shaped limbs. Blood on ice. Winter crackling upon their bald heads. And when some of them do die, they drink some more and wait for the next November to come.

A Gamble.


May. Trekkahum. Freya and her painter. It had to be May; Painters color well in a writer’s writing in the summer season.

They sit under the dark cavern. It’s ugly as if full of blisters and bird-shit. Yet ‘they’ wouldn’t be the right term to use. They are divided at the moment. She sings at the opening of the cave like an ancient bird. He sits right in front of her, cross-legged, with his papers and paints hungry for the slanting rays of the giant sun that almost burns his hand. Naturally, he is employing more reds today.

She loves the smell of the damp. She thinks it gives her the tangy-ness of an acoustic song, much more than the bubble-like stomach of the cave that cannot taste her music as she does. It is so very dark, she muses…it could be anything. A wolf’s eye. Endless dark fur of a giant black bear. A star in its deathbed. The viper’s widening jaw. Time.

She senses some movement. She stares and stares. The painter looks up and is irritated by all the staring. He goes back to his work, his hands should not cease.

A man in a grey suit and a woolen fedora hat comes out of the dark of the cave as if it is the most normal thing in the world.

He has a crooked smile. He pays no attention to the painter and sits near the girl. The painter hates his presence but he keeps sitting nonetheless, like a little child who does not know what to do when his mother stops near the billing counter to converse with her neighborhood friend. He puts on his disinterested demeanor and continues to toy with his paints.

The fedora hat man claims to be a magician.Freya is charmed like a little red-cheeked girl. He praises her music and gives her a coin. It is not a roadside-tip. The coin is magnificently worked upon. The painter looks up. It is silver. Moon. It also looks like a dragon that is trying to eat his own tail. The painter had never seen something like this ever before. And he was certain, what he saw, only he could see.

For days, the painter tries to copy this design; he is so obsessed with it. His hands are rummaged with all the stress. His fingers don’t bend well anymore. And one final day it starts, the dragon starts appearing all over the village. Every hut. Under a tree’s rolling chin. In the moon. In the sky. It is beautiful but it is not what the Fedora hat man showed her. The villagers do not like it. But he keeps painting it. He has abandoned all the mountains. The bridge. The falling men. Her eyes. Everything but the fedora hat man’s design.

Somewhere in the mind of some reader appears the caricature of poor Sisyphus. Is it me? Is it you?

And they say, every day he sits in the black-blistered cave and paint one dragon on each blister of this dark space. If you happen to pass by Trekkahum, you will find him closer to the original than I did. He is turning blind but it is no harm because colors come like instinct to him now. His hands move on their own accord. But even still, he cannot perfect the original. And I suspect he already knows that.

A dragon eating his own tail.




Yoshitoshi Kanemaki’s Sculptures

Asphyxiation. The town is clean as a chalk. It is the men, the rodents of the empire that roam around on their regal horses in an anachronism, something that just makes my breath itch. Tyrants, however jewelled up, are tyrants. They retard everything in the vicinity. We have some sleeping hut houses here. All their colours faded into a metallic uniformity. But truth be told, we were always dreaming here—that’s how they got us. This was one of those parts of the world where people go to escape their identities. Fucking wishful thinking and a load of crap, that’s what I say.

The blue men on the horses are out on patrol. It feels like they are walking on my neck. My steps pick up their pace even though my age no longer allows it. The curving street seems to shield me. From here the slope rises up. I am near the stairway now—it is a hill covered in stairs. I hold onto the roaring gales when my back breaks. They howl above the town where the silence is no more ringing. But I don’t bother about it. I feel like I can finally breathe. Down in the colony, they had roped up the sun too it seems. It balms my face here at the twirling angle of the stairhill. Probably a bad idea to stick out like a sore thumb. If I can see them, they can see me too. But I think I see some of our own now. No, there is nothing to think, I can see the very lines on their faces. I know for a fact they are our own as if their horses were trotting in a different rhythm. Our kitchen song.

But I do not understand it. If they had to confront the blue men after all, why are they dressed like them? Well if they fucking wanted to intimidate them with all the horses, they still look like they’ve pissed their pants. Two of them stand facing the curving street. They are hiding their faces, but from where I stand, I can see them. One man takes courage and trots to the centre. Him against five blue men who stand in the shade—their horses rocking gently, shifting their weight from one leg to another.

‘Do you have the medicine?’

‘Sir, we would request you to step down from your horse.’

Without losing a moment, the leader of this gang swirls his horse around and run to his waiting men. One of them is a teenage boy. He is crying, but cursing. They all run as blues prepare a chase. Just as they do, the copper haired man on the pastel brown, whistles his officers back. He knows it is a stage. The ship is a set. The waves are made up of third market mist fans. Turbulence. Rebellion. Drama. He wipes his brow and move out of his shade into the impotent sun.

He waits. He whistles.

Footsteps. The teenager from before. He must’ve run all the way back from wherever his friends were hiding. He is no longer wearing the regal blue. An oversized pastel brown T-shirt. Tousled mud like hair. Wind-eaten. The face same as before—crying-cursing. The copper haired man steps down from his horse and goes up-close to study his face. He has to slightly tilt his head to reach the boy’s height. There is a mocking in his manner. He is testing the meat before putting it up on the pan. The teen stretches his left arm out, his jaws locked in submission to the incoming pain.

‘Willy, bring me my kit’, the blue chief has his nostrils all flared up.

Will trots off to the left. Despite the elevation, I can’t see him no more. He is back in minutes though.

‘Thank you Will’, the blue chief exhales like he could finally breathe.

I despise hospitals. But yet I’m familiar with how the doctors go about their routine. Will they be doctors if they are stripped away from their coats and hand-sanitizer odour? I mean it would freak me out to be cut open in a random tailor’s shop. It was indeed a scareshop. The crossroads they all stood must have folded like a cup and all I could see was that man trying to find the right vein to push his injections into the boy. The boy’s lip quivered and before you are pausing for breath, this fucking devil is putting in another one.

‘What colour do you like boy? I have chocolate.’

The third one now. Three injections dripping into the boy’s arm, taped with a black ribbon tape—the ones that athletes used to wear to rebel some wrong.

Seconds trickle like blood. I become the boy. I am as frozen as him. But my jaws are still locked. He is sobbing. It should be over now. But the man has a last trick up his sleeve.

Some kind of screw driver is the only way to describe it. A drilling machine for human flesh. But the boy has stopped sobbing. Perhaps, he is relieved that there will be nothing harsher than this. Certainty is good. Or is it?

Revolution is no fun.


She squats on her legs and plays with her hairclip. She is smiling. He had placed a small box on her head and left. The box had this hairclip. 24 carat gold.

The sky is dead as usual and an eagle circles it. Behind her is the open-gapped fence they put outside garbage pits. She plays around with her hair for a moment, daydreaming. Makes two pigtails out of them and roll both of them in a bun, tying them around with the golden hairclip. Gold hairclip.

But there is no time to fix your hair, wash your face or even sleep, these long-long days. They don’t need calendars in this part of the world. Everyday, people like her remember everyday. No time for amnesia or numbness. Short term quickness. On your toes. Cat like—wild-cat like. Sometimes you hunt, sometimes you get hunted.

Or just sleep and die—it’s not that bad, some days she would think. That’s what people used to do here. Sleep and die.

Not today though. Thursday. You have to keep things in motion. 11:45. She was never late. 19th Block. The building that looked like muck. She learnt some maps. Blonde haired man. As if all the rain fell on only one spot in the town. 11th floor. Why did she choose the stairs? Black Jacket.

Black Jacket. That’s what they called him. She was going to meet him for the first time. For some reason she put her clip back in her pocket and let her pigtails fall.

‘Black Jacket?’

It really felt absurd when she said it. The girl with the pigtails talking in secret code names. But he just opened the door and stared at her. His apartment looked handsome from what she could see. But she couldn’t see it for long. There was some sort of hunger in his eyes. His teeth were sharp, she knew and he didn’t even smile. But she knew. And she had a job. She had to go through this.

‘Not now.’

He closed the door.

There was ruckus outside the lobby window. The sounds from the road came up as if travelling through tunnel. It felt like listening through a wall, she thought. It was a woman. She was wailing. They had killed her son. Overdose. There had been more than 40 cases of this and they call themselves civilized—the blues? “Vessels for medicines”. How cruelty breaks in some men’s bones, she had no idea.

Black Jacket must be tackling this. When this happens, they personally come to meet the relatives. Often the relatives get violent. The result is predictable.

This is what was going to happen now. The boy had two siblings. Teens. But in times like these, you become a soldier pretty early on. Things were in motion. But unplanned. Unplanned was never good. That is why they had people like Black Jacket, people to govern the outbreaks. Though whatever he was doing wasn’t going to prevent the immediate massacre that could happen. She had to be quick. Cat-like.

She used elevator this time.

The power went out.


‘Threy Oceane?’

‘Black Jacket. Yes?’

‘There was bloodshed. That lady. She lived in your building. Thursday? Did you see a girl? Dark hair. Brown coat. Golden clip?’

‘Oh YES. I had fever that day. But of course we can’t have the luxury of that. I did negotiate and saved what I could. But I told her to reschedule. This was before Marcel Red come trotting by.’

‘I see. Sorry for taking your time. I mean I’ve heard a lot about your work…man. You have saved so many lives. I better leave now.’

Black Jacket walks back to his house.

‘Oh and use the elevator.’

He smiles. He does have sharp teeth.



There walked the light into the mist. Intruding. A deep mustard shade—they put hatching babies under those. They glint every night in the nurse’s eyes. Behind her, a dark window. The windows are most silent and the nights always darker in a hospital. It is a night like this. It must be getting weaker, the streetlight under which I walked. The mist nestles around it. It looks like a phantom beehive. An old man’s beard. I walk into the violet color of the night that has dropped to the road. I am under it. I am above it. And if I turn my head back, there it will be again, the light being smothered. Am I a moth?

I am most certainly not. I am a curious girl and there are very busy men in front of me. These are the photographers. Sure they wear Paparazzi hats and raincoats, but they are not your regular ones. These are disciplined. They respect the night; they are the simple stars with twinkling flashlights. An elaborate machine, a pyramid. Each man with a camera covering his face. Anonymous. Inhuman. They face a cardboard door. One they put up at school annual days. I always wanted to go to an annual-day. Can I?

‘No. No women allowed.’

It is not an annual day. They have men inside the hall being not-men. Did you know that French used to have a grand carnival where they let out criminals and madmen and prostitutes. What does a carnival for men without their male society will look like? Nothing they would let me see.

I circle around. Waiting.

It begins. The photographers collapse. There is chaos. There are other people like me, circling around. I see my friend and she has to shout to make herself audible. How does it feel to be not behind your eyes? She makes me feel that way. Her hand is heavy on my neck. And the carnival inside is getting louder. There are all emotions present inside. Hysterical laughter, wailing, wrathful voices. But she must not let me see. There is blood inside. A pool of ketchup maybe, diluted with water. They are throwing it beyond the walls. It is flying in the air. She is saving me. Pushing me away. I want to fall it on me though. To wipe off the afternoon from me. It’s crashing. How can it crash? The spillage is heavy on our heads, as if from the sky. What are they doing? I scream.

‘They are enacting the womb’, someone says.

I stand in the night, no longer silent.

It is done.

There is only mirth inside the hall now. For the first time I can even see the barrier. They’ve dropped their curtains. They look like doctors after delivering a baby of a giant. There comes a man with blood dripping off like sweat, tailing under his hair. He is exceptionally charming. Awash. My friend knows him. They smile at each other in congratulations and stare at me. There are papers in his hand. He’s asking me for the toll. What toll I say?

‘For watching’

I am proud of understanding most things in my life. This was certainly not one. My friend accuses me of something I can no longer hear.

How do they win?

Through confusion.


I had to go. I had to go.


[Based on an actual dream]



My father sleeps at the edge of the bed adjacent to a chair. Upon that chair, there sits a man with a dark horse-shoe jawline. His collars have little lilies, scattered across the cloth in some harmony. Whenever I visit the room to take out one cold water-bottle from the fridge—cool water is the lady of the night—I see this man with his inhuman straight back, staring right at me. I freeze for a second and then look at his unblinking eyes in the shimmering yellow light of the fridge. You may ask, what is new here? If you were to sleep next to an old shoddy window; sure you’ll see the nearby tree growing out a hand in the beating wind, too.

The difference between you and me, however, is that you get under the covers and say oh, but it is the mere wind, oh, it is the mere rain. I on the other hand, invite the monsters in. I move the refrigerator door just enough to let that tall man’s eye glint in the dark as he sit like he’s been sitting there from the beginning of time. There is an art in conjuring monsters from the nothing. After all the man in my father’s chair is nothing but my dead grandmother’s handbag—not there for sentimental purposes but mostly because things move around in my house with certain amnesia. And in the society we live in, I have become interested in things.

Either people eat them up or some nook drag them down where house-objects retire and dream till their owners are left to do the same in the graves until after all, someone new develops a fancy to these ghosts. Or worst, being munched into paper mache is one way to go. If your things are you, then you better hope you’re not getting picked up for that.

I do that sometimes. I imagine the life of objects fast forward to hundred years. What if there are more survivors than just cockroaches. All these inanimate things that have a sacred river in which they all flow, sometimes caressing each other or other times, singing campfire songs with joined hands. A blue handkerchief wiping off the sweat off a red wallet. Their masters despised each other when they were alive, but here we are.

Rivers into a sea.

A plethora of dead people’s objects. Enough to keep me awake in the dark.

The fear of emancipation

We are born in a bundle. Tied to piles of ideas the moment we understand what is self. That is, we do not even know if beyond the parent’s parenting or friend’s influences, an original self without a taint of influence, exist or not.

Of course, the name of Dorian Grey would pop into certain heads. For me it is the dilemma of the very existence that has become a phenomenon in the times and in the literature of Modernism. The lone self is a very deranged concept to study, whether it is the divided streams of consciousness or The Scream of Edvard Munch. For poetically and yet in philosophical ideologies that ring true–the self is not what it was yesterday. Holding onto it alone is like trying to catch hold of water. In isolation, the self realizes this and yearns for the society from where its  history begun. Now, what are the common advises for the patients of depression as recommended by psychologists?

Go back to your friends and family. Reach out to them.

A very sound advice, I must say. But why does the self cannot survive alone? Now, because of the so many existing cases of exceptions where people do in fact live alone–let me rephrase my question–Why is it harder to live alone than with the society?

Let me present you with an example.

As a part of a psychology experiment conducted on a scientific level by an educational channel, the individuals were locked inside an empty room with a simple clock. They had no smartphones, people or any other source of instrument.The experiment worked on a reward based system. That means, the amount of money which the volunteer was going to receive was equivalent to the number of hours they were ready to spend (without sleeping). All the volunteers were invited to stay for the whole day. But the best a volunteer could do was 5 hours.

I saw this experiment on my cable and for the rest of my life, I became intrigued with it. Alan Watts, addresses the same problem. Why are we not able to stay alone with ourselves?

The answer might be related to the tendency of self reflection. When a child is born and is in his toddler years, he is unaware of this torturing phenomenon of self reflection. Speaking in Freudian examples, he may snatch away the ice cream if he wants to and would not think twice about what it had led to. In other words, his parents are in charge of his superego while he gets time to utilize his Id. However, a mature adult do not have parents to look after their superegos, ironically born in a psychological system, where Id was in charge first. By this hypothesis, we all indeed are the horrible animals which Joseph Conrad imagines us to be in The Heart of Darkness. I like to put forward then, we are hardwired to rely upon society no matter how corrupt and hypocritical it can be in imparting its fundamental ideologies.

The society is everything which the individual self is not. While the self is impermanent and always changeable, a society is formed with a constitution whose core  values are not amendable in nature, not because ‘that’s how it is supposed to be-good for all’ but for the sake of human sanity which must hold onto fundamentals for the sake of existence. For example, if you refuse to believe that murder is wrong (anarchically speaking), your immediate relationship with other human beings will also change. But let us also suppose that it is not one but all the human beings who start to believe that murder is no crime, what would happen is, the Id will be activated and superego will fade away. Such a society cannot exist. Because such a society (to use the word, in absence of a better term) is like an individual in isolation, whose morals change by the date. It also helps us conclude that each society (cannibal or savage) must live with its principles for its existence, as discussed in several ethics lessons.

Now the question remains, we are more isolated than we were in past decades? How are we still surviving?

The definition of society is equivalent to a database, now. In an evolution of lifestyles, with the era of virtual medias, we have maintained a safe distance with the society whose judgement is hardly dictatorial. (I am not talking about the majority of population of the world. For many still don’t have internet or phones). This society is not a very congregated society as much as the non-social media users would like to think. In turn, it has in itself, a vast network of small societies divided through the choice and preferable genres of multiple individuals across the world. Not only does it expand the diversity of society but is also invested in granting participation to those who were traditionally marginalized and taboos.

This is revolutionary in a sense that it generates an immense scope in human discourse. The language is played with and weird art is produced. The society whose center is the platform itself provides utmost care to the individuals and naturally rebels against real time unjust authority whose ‘genre’ is perhaps shared by multiple societies of the platform.

However, this does not mean that real life is evaporating. We still have important decisions to make in our lives without the childhood shelters of parents. The individual who is hardwired for self-reflections through the superego, targets society instead of himself. He recognizes the patterns obstructing him to do a certain thing, not realizing that emancipation is never 50%. In independence, it is like learning to walk again. This is when virtual media comes in. It is an easy medium to generate society on a small scale without having to do a French Revolution of your own.

We always find a way to survive. Though the imprints of fight for survival, the fear, remains.








Crimson Peak: A walk into the world of Gothic

What I most admire about the Gothic genre is its reiteration of the concept of polarities.

Guillermo Del Toro of the Pan’s labrynith’s fame, in an interview, talks about his inspiration of the color red. He associate it with M.R. James’s Vignette (1936) where the latter talks about an autobiographical encounter of a ghost which was ‘hot and pink’. A similar exploration of the color red and its association with the afterlife can be seen in Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense (1999) where the color red appears as a sneaky signature of the fact that Crowe (the psychologist administering to the ghost-sensitive child) is dead. Ironically, in the movie Crimson Peak, the imagery of hot and flowing blood can also be identified with life or at least unrest if put in contrast with the pale whites and the charcoal blacks. While Sharpe’s and his sister’s colors might be the aura of their carefully crafted personalities, as Cushing’s insists–a metaphor does run through these ghosts–the others are not as difficult. Edith Cushing’s mother is a charcoal black. The wives of Sir Thomas Sharpe are clay red. Against them, Thomas Sharpe himself is a pale white with a face marked by a closing scar.

In one of her first close encounters with the ghosts, she rush to ask her husband if any ‘violent deaths’ were witnessed in the mansion. Violent deaths generally succeed with vengeance or unrest. However it is interesting to note that these ghosts do not harm the murderer but are daring enough to scare the gods out of their killer’s next victim with their gaunt smoky figures that remind me of the female ghost of Mama (2013). Perhaps because Javier Botet is acting and supervising the mannerisms of ghosts in both the movies. Apart from Botet, Mama and Crimson Peak also share Jessica Chastain (Annabel and Lady Lucille respectively) who has performed characters of contrasting natures. To put it simply, one is haunted, the other is the haunter (of a serial-killer nature). Lady Lucille does not remind me of moths (as symbolized in the movie) but a meticulous ant. I admit I get this from the scene where she emphasize upon insects eating butterflies, but in the long run, it works well on her character. In that sense, she is rampant with life, standing with porcelain teapots in her antlers to remove whatever must be removed to make way for food and home. To echo the gory sense of the movie, she is eating/collecting the brides to make way for the harsh seasons that have become a familiar situation in the Crimson peak house. However, it does make me wonder if this metaphorical cannibalistic instinct and the occurrence of moths in the movie is yet another tribute–amongst many other tributes to the horror classics–to Silence of the Lambs (1991)? Nonetheless, the Sharpe hunt does not have vigor, at least not outside the house. For Thomas Sharpe, it is a means of sustenance and nothing else. For lady Lucille, ‘it is not sad’ it is the way of seasons and nature. However, within the first few scenes, like ghosts hostile of the new property owners, her reluctance of bringing a new member in the house is all over her face.

The idea of decay, prominent to Yankee Gothic such as Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The House of Seven Gables (1851) is completely embodied by Lucille. In that sense, she was already a ghost, ghastlier than the actual ones. A foreground that is ensuring the decay which spurts out in every shape and furrow of the hundred year old mansion. Her brother, which is deemed as a ‘parasite’ from the very first utterance of his name sucks at the imagery of decayed living, again. Like Hepzibah and Clifford, the siblings are institutionalized into decay as they are trying to recreate a home which is best only when deranged. This adds a modernist, psychoanalytic touch to the other wise old era. The characters are psychologically deranged because of the prevalent violence that they had grown up with. Therefore, Lucille is both Red or Black as highlighted from the choice of her costume. Nevertheless, it would be wrong to put Thomas Sharpe in the same box.

Many critics mention that Thomas Sharpe is a man who fills in the role of a weak Gothic hero (over brooding ones such as  Bronte’s Rochester) amidst the ongoing female drama. However, Del Toro came out an explained his character as a paradox, a mixture of polarities. On one hand he is not able to look away from the decay of his house and on the other, he is interested in the future and the industrial age. Similarly, Edith, however brave she might seem (as Mary Shelly and not Jane Austen), she is inclined towards ghost stories. Not only this, the very art in the posters (as in the picture above) is invested with Edith’s fire like hair and the cold silhouette of the Crimson Peak mansion. Polarities are very important and integral to the genre of Gothic for they bring out the ambiguity, without which the genre is in complete.

One of the other elements of Gothic that this movie thrives one is that Sublime.The art of this movie is based upon attending to the aesthetic need of the audience towards reaching the feeling awe and terror. However, this is where the movie badly fails. As Romantics have said, this feeling is generated through mind. Mind needs intellectual expansion into mystics or spirituality in order to reach that Ghost dimension which otherwise fall flats. In my opinion, James Wan’s Insidious (2010) came very close to this sense. It first fills you with distant theories and then dramatize them in an unexpected manner in addition to the usual tricks and jump scares. Crimson Peak is rather weak in this build up. It might have tried to prepare for a distant journey to Cumberland, but it never offers us any expectations.

The Children (of Hard Times)

I believe in books that seamlessly melt into the human discourse and after a period of about 100 years, you ought to find them surrounding you, just above your eyelashes–in a very nostalgic way.

For such an excellent film made my Takuya Okada, I find myself gripped by the industrial and capital reality of Dickens’s Hard Times much less towards my own; do we then question the walls surrounding us, enough? And that too, away from the rhetorical fancy manners of our tragically comical life (coming from a poet)?

Takuya Okada’s artistry tells a dark story (in a very literal sense) where an arbitrary game of childishness is played by the society who elicits pride through perfect numbers and shapes which do not have any scope of Odd. Philosophically speaking, when you collect too many Even numbers for yourself, a momentum is set in motion which, like a stream headed upon the face of earth is bound to the ocean–even if its water is destined to turn a puddle of muck under your bathroom sink. This is what you see when the child stamped number 4466 (what a symmetrical number!) had the signs of jumping-out-of-high-storey building liberation set in the motion the moment he saw a hope for himself. Why the dog was black or where did he disappeared after the train went abuzz is as mysterious as the idea of how revolutions takes place and what are the minute things that set in the motion. But for me, the dog and the disappearance of him is the defiance to the very system the revolution was set against.

The end of this short clip might be gory for those who are at rest with a glorious idea of rebellion–with blue skies and lily beds. Yet what the both parties  share (to separate those with the lilies from the common sunken mass), is the sigh of relief that one gets when you realize you’ve always enjoyed running. In other words, to think that life will be Utopian after a revolution is illusory but I bet, the joy of the first time is incredible.