Since my earliest childhood visits with Kong Mai (my Khasi nanny), my favourite land of pine, mist, mystery, enchantment has always been Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya. The enchanting magical memories of buying my first DC comics: (1stIssues of Firestorm and Steel) at Shillong. Running away from school with fellow inmates to Shillong, (100 kms from my hometown Guwahati). Those singular days of escapade consisted of early morning escape, a day of wanderlust: buying enchanting comics, cassettes, eating exotic food, and a hastened return to our hometown. Managing breathlessly somehow to reach before dusk... all in school uniform! My recent adult visits to Shillong have similarly always been for a day, in huge groups for a breathless spree of eating out, rock shows, and shopping. The one-day-frenzy in Shillong being over we returned zapped to our hometown. Somewhere the enchanted magic of 'Shillong' was missing from the Shillong visits.
Since Sonal's house is in Shillong, (Mriganka and his wife Sonal together form Desire Machine, (a collaborative for films/ art work/ installations etc), (desiremachine.net), they invited me to Shillong, I was indeed quite pleased. For this represented an opportunity to find the missing Shillong inside Shillong.
SHILLONG, Deconstruction: What I've found in subsequent visits to Shillong is there is no fixed Shillong in Shillong. As much as there is no Adim in me. The contextual shift is so enormous. The Deconstructive shift: two visits of the same place, two readings of the same book show an identity that can only be defined as difference. From the moment the book repeats iteslf, its self identity recieves an imperceptible difference. The book/place is not repeatable in it's "identity". Each reading of the book, each revisit of the place produces a simulacrum of the original. Hence Adim-2126C was visiting Shillong 3240ab.
As the Shillong I visited was the simulacrum of the original, similarly the Adim that visited Shillong was a simuacrum of the original Adim.
SHILLONG, Deconstructed: So, am I simply saying that a revisit to a charming place subtracts the charm out of it? Like the song "Never as good as the first time- Sade"? No, what I am trying to say is.. it keeps changing.. like you yourself are changing..! Its never the same.. repetition has underlying difference (like difference has an underlying sameness beneath). To see my Denconstructed images of Shillong, click here: www.reretromodern.blogspot.com