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Image Credit: The Paris Review

Lying down this noon, still, on my sofa, the cushions are all strewn around the place, each falling like a surreal piece from Dali’s art.

In the background the Chaipau theme from ‘Salaam Bombay!’, keeps playing on a loop. It is like a deep longing of a past forgotten in the debris, just like the tattered sepia sheets from my old notebook that stores my secrets.

I lie listless and still like the air around me, always quiet at this hour of the day. Even the birds have stopped chirping and the sun is going to set soon, I think.

I feel Gala’s presence around me, seeping into my heart, prodding me, telling me with her tears, how brave and different she was.

She met Dali on a holiday with her husband, never to return to him again.

She told Dali that the body we have is the body that is ours to keep. Who chooses to reside in that is also our prerogative. Don’t let anyone confuse you with what is right and what is wrong.

Don’t get confused between love and lust. The unwise think love should follow lust, but in most cases lust follows love. The ones who rise above it all, riding the choppy seas of insecurity, acceptance and validation remain in love forever.

She tells Dali,that most couples have three or more people at any given time in their hearts. An unreconciled past, the tepid present and they themselves in it, watching the self with judgement. Like a theatre of three or more characters always on stage. The mind likes to take refuge in the past, creating its space comfortably in a dark corner.

This love letter has Gala’s fingers on my pen as she writes to Dali with utmost honesty and a bond that went beyond her body.


“I know you can’t live without me, as I give you anchor in your turbulent seas of self doubt and self loathing and your inability to comprehend the conscious from the subconscious.

In those moments of turmoil, I know you seek me out and need me like I need you. Like a baby that finds its refuge in the mother’s bosom.

I am like that cobweb the spider weaves in the darkest corner of your staircase to self enlightenment, it feels secure in that darkness. Have you seen dear Dali, a spider in the sunlight. Look closely, it looks out of place. It seems rested in the darkest weave that it spins soundlessly, effortlessly and basks in that glory.

Have you noticed, a cobweb has its own beauty. The intricate lies and falsehood that you leave behind as you enter this cocoon which belongs to you and me. No one understands our space together like we do.

Just that tonight I have young Oliver to meet and discuss music and life. He is intimidated by you, dear Dali. He believes he loves me, but I know he is still to travel into his dark and light to understand love. But he makes me feel young and the awe in his eyes makes me feel like a goddess.

We’re meeting tomorrow, aren’t we? Do call before you come. I want to meet you with the best of me. Just like the soul and meaning you breathe into your surrealist art you make, let me breathe my life into that my love.

So if you call before you come to meet, I would be ready with the candle, the wine and our favourite music playing in the background.

If you come unannounced I may be awkward and dressed in a cloak of lies, that most people like to hear of love and lust. Our great love doesn’t deserve that. It deserves to shine in the eternal truth.

Lies are for the common man who goes to churches but doesn’t see Jesus’ eyes but only the nails in the altar of the cross bleeding. They see Mary in Pietà, they notice the masterful sculpting, and no one notices the eyes. We both do. That’s our secret bond.

Let’s always delve into the subconscious because the conscious is not for us. The realm of the dream world is for you and me. Let’s go deeper and deeper there & melt like the unearthly clocks you paint from there.

Only you and I.

See you soon,
Gala”


The first work of literary surrealism was ‘Les Champs magnétiques’, published in June 1919. It was part of a greater movement that birthed Surrealist art and Dadaism, whose influence is felt even today in theatre, comedy, movies and TV shows.

Dali’s first surrealist painting was ‘The Lugubrious Game’, and when Paul Éluard, one of the founders of the Surrealist movement, came to Dali’s home with his wife Gala and saw this unique style of painting, the Surrealist movement gained a new member.. and Éluard lost a wife.

The Lugubrious Game, Salvador Dali, 1929

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