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What happens when Water…
That’s me, standing in B/W full figure, stooping a little, perhaps waiting for the cloud to finish its lonely watercolors for no one to watch them this part of the universe, but my friend the No-Mad and I, keeper of pictures that the landscape lost to un-pilgrim-ed cameras. I keep my faith hinged to the steps of my pilgrim friend, harbinger of trans-galactic movements, call them Pilgrimage. And also there where you can’t see nobody till the farthest point of the forking road where sight meets blindness, a wind screams like a forest on fire, coaches appear in the distance as if from some passed fallow of childhood rail rides, not knowing to best receive. Here as the camera stops rolling, rests quietly on its limp tripod gazing like the insect and us under the same wonder beneath these strange skies of a timeless ballad, changing into pilgrims, our tired feet pull over on the orbit of imagination … do us see us go away, or fading in like an inevitable season on earth, the season of the Pilgrims, into a perennial forever writing and drawing of scripts, alphabets, Images, eventually! Everything now forms before me on a screen; forms, becomes, lets be … looking at the world again in the mirror of a river. Enchanted to remember the power of abstraction that reality itself only can write.
Image: That which makes me Imagine
Something made possible. A Being, Before Everything was born.

But only now as I stop, look, remember.
An Ocean subsides, a Universe Emerges from another.
For an instant I feel like the King of Gods. Soon an ant, throwing up its snouts and synapses in blue air trying to move on its way in an intermittent stream of universes flowing over the ant of a me. The word Hyacinth flashes up and looking at my friend I see her looking at hyacinths and scriptures doodling the river of poets, Indrayani.. as if a name would suffice..
Baudellaire’s dream forms Afterwards, in the Nomad’s land. I realize looking through another’s eyes that one doesn’t come to cinema for those many frames per sec alone. It is impossible we find to look from far, this restless river of crossing ways, without being lost in this carnival of letting go, there’s no point in all this… the rain prattles on the asphalt and the umbrella over our cameras. Walking with the wind and water I feel like a crane that must learn to fly at times, only to return to its flock.

With which lens, from where do I begin to think up a position from where anything could be seen. Do I go up the ridge of that hill, or down that slope onto the tracks that wait for round and round in endless loops for trains that whisper through the valleys where time lost its way, again as I look at my friend trying to walk on air. I begin to miss everything, all over again... and I know I must set out on Pilgrimage. My friend could be building a bridge or a trans-mundial Timehole 
somewhere on some reclusive geometer; I lend her my blue overalls, that the blind tailor of Bombay cut to my size with much imagination and no verses unturned. She might like that smell of unhurried distances. Trembling drenched with the goats somewhere off a Deccan highway.

The Highways talk only to the site map of great emerging metropolises, despite frantic cinematic prophecies of the zombie aftermath. Smart cities and phones calling up each other in the dead of the night raising Cryptosaurs that no meteorite shower can put back to sleep, you can only code and decode yourself from here on till the wayward God returns to ITs Computer. Not in this cradle of graves, plundered and churning up the heroes and their vanquished, walked over by a million feet, only some of them human… here the wind doesn’t sleep, the mountains don’t move in their dreams, there are no dreams perhaps…except like the really few, like the one I am going to see now.. I don’t know WHICH DREAMT IT.
 Arghya Basu
About Arghya

born 23rd february 1971, Arghya graduated from st. Xavier’s college, Kolkata and studied at the Film & Television Institute of India (FTII), with specialization in editing. He has taught films in various academic organizations for several years and designed courses for mass communication and film studies. He worked as head of the department of Mass communication and Videography at st. Xavier’s college, Kolkata and thereafter on the faculty of editing, Film & Television Institute of India, Pune. Conducting, resourcing interdisciplinary workshops with several academic institutions including SRFTII, NID, Vishvabharati university, KRIVAetc. Working in Asian aesthetics, Buddhism / comparative religion and socio-linguistics; writing, practicing, integrating text and life. Filmography produced short documentary features, educational programmes for tv, worked on social awareness campaigns, scripted for a number of tv and film documentaries. Research and documentation work for various audiovisual projects. Produced several short fiction and non fiction videos. Worked as freelance editor on postproduction for documentaries, both in celluloid and video screened at national and international film festivals. Edited a host of fiction and non-fiction programmes for regional and national television networks. First feature length film was Listener's Tale, premiered at the international film festival rotterdam and was honored with the Pierre & Yolande Perrault grant award by the centre georges pompidou, paris in 2008.Next feature length film Death Life Etc. Is part of a series of films exploring the ethnography and influences of the tibetan buddhist faith and practices among the people of contemporary sikkim. Mt. Witness based on the life and works of lepcha musician, historian and playwright sonam tsering lepcha. The film explores sonam’s inspirations, singular vision and struggle to situate lepcha culture, language and music on the ethnographic map of eastern Himalayas.

The trilogy has been screened in film festivals, galleries, museums, art centers and continues to find its dedicated audience the world over.

Early works

Reverberations. Video / 30 mins./ col / 1993

Little things. DV/ 100 mins./ col / 2000

Kavya katha. DV/ 80 mins./ col / 2000

Chain reactions. DV/ 20 mins./ col / 2001

The day nothing happened.dv / 15 mins. / col / 2001

Sand. Wind. Other stereotypes. DV /17 mins. / col / 2001


Image-essays listener’s tale : image essay for marg publications city. Space. Changing. Documentary photography series on urban landscapes, 2002 of a labyrinth. Photocollage series on new media ideologies, 2003 dhulichitra. Electronic paintings, 2003 dernier cri / technicolor shift at the random image factory. DV film, photocollage, animations, music, text etc. 

contact: website:

TASTE OF CHERRY     a film by Abbas Kiarostami

agha badii 1.jpg
agha badii 2.jpg

Pub. in NEGAH newsletter of IRANIAN FILM CLUB, Iran Culture House, New Delhi, 2005

Editor: Anupama Srinivasan

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