Allegiance & Acceptance

Allegiance is a loaded word. 

It carries with it the connotation of loyalty, and should that loyalty be frail, then the responsibility to affirm it back to its place. 

Could there be an allegiance to a place? 

Two landscapes of Chhotanagpur have stirred my heart. First is of Hazaribagh and its surroundings, which is both home and workplace, and the second is of the western paats (places like Netarhat, Rajadera, Mahuadanr), which inspires awe and is magnetic. 

You would notice, as I do while writing this, that my adjectives for Hazaribagh seem to have paled against those for the latter. It is not so. 

Please understand how language plays with us. 

What has happened is that I have been accepted into Hazaribagh's skin ― there is plenty of newness here, but its appreciation no longer requires labour that needs to be articulated. For a poet, this labour is called poetry. For a lover who has matured, this poetry retreats inwards into a place of peace. It doesn't require petrarchan sonneteering to gain acceptance anymore. 

To a perception that views poetry as an end in itself, this acceptance is fatal to writing. On the other hand and with the paats, it is the process of acceptance that creates poetry, not knowing yet if we have allowed each other into our plateaus. 

"Love is death," goes the declaration. It is not the death of love or the lover, but the noise that lays violence upon them both. Poetry often is that noise ― beautiful, but noise nonetheless. 

I went to a river in Hazaribagh today and I was chill. My partner and I went straight up behind the rocks where the water was placid, walked downstream to the rocks where it was rushed, and later back to the road we had started from. It was like visiting someone you love after a long time and saying, "Look, I've come, and you knew that, didn't you? I know we need some loving," before cuddling into sleep.

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