India !

Johannes Manjrekar


I was about eight when I decided that my favourite word was 'triumph’. Not for its meaning – I merely loved the sound of it, pronounced the German way. Tree-oomph. It seemed to rev up in your throat before being propelled out with a little extra push at the end. And there was a car too named Triumph - Triumph Spitfire - wasn’t there? I possessed a card game, a different car on each card, that I played with my uncle. We would draw a card each and see who had the higher horsepower, top speed and so forth. One time we fell out over the rules for rating cars, and after that we never played the card game again. I guess he too wasn’t completely grown up then, my uncle. He wasn’t even forty.

I’m older than that now, and thought I’d outgrown this childish fancy for the sound of a word. But suddenly I find that I love the word 'magisterial’, entirely without loving magistrates or magisterial demeanour, or any of the baggage that words have come to carry at this age. Perhaps it’s because of the bare tree full of crows that I saw against a grey sky.

monsoon clouds
crow silhouettes complete
the leafless tree


Copyright Johannes Manjrekar, 2009