Three Sentences on Mani Kaul’s Mati Manas

The desiccation of clay happens invisibly, undisturbed by the presence of camera, sculpting the passage of time, as the rainy, suffocating, slimy mud turns into dry and coarse pieces, becoming one with the sunburnt palm of the ceramist for an ephemeral moment, then flaking away, falling to the cracked, outcropping ground which itself just slipped into its welcoming, summery, ochre dress, leaving the heavy, glutinous fur behind, at least until the ceramist decides to sluice the remaining down from his hand or an otherworldly rainfall hits the village only to reset the process.

Let water melting into air to the ever-changing rhythm of a free verse as no modification of weather nor tempo of solidification can be identical or prescribed by a systemic structure, as much as the incalculable light, which can change without giving a chance to seize the instant, clay will take its time going through constant alteration before it manifests, providing shelter for sleepy kittens and exposed to the clumsiness of inattentive children and crude dishwashing.

Mani Kaul is a sincere acolyte of the matter and in his film Mati Manas, he humbly engages in its dance with air and heat, gliding through twilight’s dim beauty and the celestial clarity of the sun’s zenith, displaying a fascinating spectrum of color, light, smoke and palpability, inspiring to step out of the cinema and learn by first-hand experience.