Featured Writer Paresh Tiwari


Nostalgia by Rajasekharan Parameswaran

The first time you fold a kami crane, you are naked waist up. You lean over the wall on the east end, a pale sun spilling in through the rusting iron bars of the only window in the room. Inch-thick bars of sunlight rising and falling over the contoured landscape of your body. But what I remember most, is the way your thin fingers trace over the creases of stark-white paper. Three times each fold.

‘I want to fold a thousand cranes for you,’ you say, ‘One for every moment we get with each other.’

I don’t . . . can’t say anything. Just for a heartbeat. And then the moment is gone. From the thousand we were meant to have; I have lost one. Burnt to a cinder. A fleck of ash in an empty cup. Skimming the long-cold dregs of tea.

a receding wave
takes my footprints
early sunset

You have this way of quantifying the unknown. Six hundred and twenty-nine cranes later, you announce, ‘When I die, you would move on in three days. Four at the max.’

There is no scope for an ambiguity and I don’t . . . can’t say anything. Just for a heartbeat.


About the author:
Paresh Tiwari is a writer, poet, and a cartoonist in the body of a Naval Officer. He has been widely published, especially in the sub-genre of Japanese poetry. The first collection of his haiku and haibun, An Inch of Sky, was published in 2014. Currently the resident cartoonist for Cattails, a journal by United Haiku and Tanka Society, USA, he was also commissioned for thirty-five illustrations for the December 16 edition of Frameless Sky. Tiwari has been invited to read his works at various literature festivals, including the Goa Art and Lit Fest – 2016, and has conducted haiku and haibun workshops at Hyderabad International Literature Festival – 2014, SIES College Mumbai and British Council Library, Mumbai. His second book of haibun, titled Raindrops Chasing Raindrops is in the bookstores now. Paresh Tiwari is the O:JA&L featured writer for March 2020.

Image: Nostalgia by Rajasekharan Parameswaran (1963- ). Oil on canvas. 15 x 21 inches. By 2011 (No completion date specified). By free license.