Soghra Khurasani – The Red Room

<p><em>The Red room</em> approaches and revels to be&nbsp;rich, laborious construct of layer upon layer of knotted red&nbsp;fabric strips, featuring white words shyly embroidered by several hands in different languages.</p> <p></p> <p>Prayers, wishes or desires filled with these&nbsp;words as, 'Joy', 'world peace', 'an apartment&nbsp;in Delhi”, 'good&nbsp;sex', 'please stop my&nbsp;neighbour from buying expensive things',&nbsp;'my father’s smile', 'may I get married to&nbsp;Pooja', 'no&nbsp;terrorism' – what these phrases&nbsp;have in common? What we have walked&nbsp;into a jumbled up cumulative prayers,&nbsp;casual&nbsp;wishes and quotidian desires.&nbsp;Overwhelming encounter with several&nbsp;hundreds of people at once: not&nbsp;personalities&nbsp;with faces and names, but a&nbsp;much more intimate introduction to the&nbsp;endless engagement with aspirations of&nbsp;every&nbsp;variety: terse, insipid, sensitive,&nbsp;thoughtful, expensive, personal, humorous,&nbsp;clichéd, unpredictable and poignant.&nbsp;</p> <p></p> <p>One walks through the luminous red doors room into a cumulative hopes prayers and&nbsp;desires made by collecting and&nbsp;individually&nbsp;knotting thousands of hand stitched&nbsp;requests and prayers from neighbouring&nbsp;citizens on the strips of red&nbsp;prayers cloth&nbsp;commonly found outside temples and&nbsp;mosques. One locates one’s voice and&nbsp;loses it again in starkly&nbsp;individual phrases or&nbsp;cultural rhythms generated by repetitions in&nbsp;sentiments’ expressed by the many&nbsp;different&nbsp;hands. These prayers can be read&nbsp;as an expose of excess consumerism,&nbsp;simple needs and luxurious fantasies that&nbsp;form the surface of our everyday lives and&nbsp;struggles. Unlike certain religious&nbsp;institutions, these doors seem&nbsp;accessible to&nbsp;all, playing with the politics of entry.</p>