Ghosts in my sleep (2023 - Ongoing)
Sometime in the eighties when I was making one of my annual holiday visits to my grandmother in Chinsurah – the place where I’d been born, a silhouette of a tall figure would enter the room almost every other night when the whole village was asleep. I’d wake up to this feeling of movement around the bed and from slivers of vision leaking through my pressed eyelids I’d see a shape standing by my bedside; almost leaning into me as if to have a closer look. Scared, I’d want to immediately reach beside me and wake my mother up but then I’d continue to pretend to be asleep with my eyes shut until the air around me was empty again. I must have been seven or eight years old and I had never really met my grandfather. He had passed when I was six months old. My mother had told me stories of him right through my childhood; how he had disappeared when he was ten and the rumours of the life that he had lived abroad, him re-connecting with his family when he was in his twenties, him and crazy garden that was visited by everyone in the village and so on and so forth. The story of my life always seemed to begin with him. Now that I look back at the events of that year after so many decades, I’m not completely sure if those were dreams or actual occurrences.
Ghosts in my sleep looks back to the past. If I imagine that one can look at life being like a bucket - a definite roundish shape with depth, a vessel meant to hold within, a container what lends its shape to the liquid it holds - then with this work I’m interested in the leakages of fuzzy memory that might trickle out of the little cracks, the fictitious exaggerations that might spill when that bucket is disturbed and the trail of stains of those leakages and spills left behind on the floor as you carry this leaky bucket. Imagine this work as a cluster of fragments; of unexplained events from the past, of dreams, of unresolved memories, of regrets, of secrets, of loss, of choices made, of opportunities lost, of heartbreaks, of expectations and all those other registers that don’t always count in the immediate make-up of life. The more I look back into my past the more elastic my readings of those events seem to become. I’m curious to see where this amalgamation of the uncertainty of events and the elasticity of time leads to and if it can help me hold on to a part of my life that I’m afraid I’m losing touch it, for just a little bit longer.