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The Big Bang (alternately titled 'Inconclusive Poem') by Vartika Rastogi

Art by Kawase Hasui

We will explode. It may not be today, not a few days hence. But certainly sometime in the future, We will explode. Because our composure in life is lent to us, temporarily: look how complacent we are being nothing, doing nothing. This satisfaction we find in idling away sounds like the slow trickle of ambition going out of our lives and falling flat into nothingness.

We will explode.

Because in that nothingness, all lost ambition takes form again – of disappointment. It trickles down and pools up right where we can see it, like a dark portrait of ourselves, like a time bomb, ticking away (Only, time bombs change themselves elementally before they give way; and we are fireworks propelled by the mounting pressure of feeling around for reassurance. We will combust with out changing a thing – nobody else will light us on fire, the fire will stem from within).

The world was ended by a flood once. We are already 70% water, carrying the flood inside of us, like a souvenir from the past. We are dams ready to let loose even as the rivers we carry are pools of stagnancy (Staring back at us, living paradoxically) – Everything is a metaphor for life.

We were born to this world and it has ever since been One step ahead of us: The earth is 71% water Most of which is the tears it sheds for our future: One we look forward to, but don’t bother to look at. But Atlas has too much time on his hands – time more perhaps than the weight on his shoulders from holding up a sky pregnant with clouds as heavy as our despair in merely rotating on the same axis, day after day. When Atlas decides to shift The sky to his knees, we will see how one escapes any punishment by mere volition, and let the flood gates open because we don’t believe that free will exists. When we decide we can’t help it and continue to punish ourselves we will explode. And explore the world as fire and dust Water and rust covering the debris of our caged past, now shattered and liberated (For atoms disjointed from one another Will find something to bind themselves with) We will find a way make something of ourselves When there’s nothing left of our selves

But pieces halved and halved again.

Vartika is a journalist, writer, and compulsive book reviewer based in New Delhi. Her work tends to oscillate between poetry and politics, and was most recently published in Speaking Tiger’s Battling for India: A Citizen’s Reader (2019).  Read her blog here and follow her book reviews on Goodreads.


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