"I remembered Mr. Blake and thought of his determined steps on this same Hercules Road. I slowly felt a tide of beauty, a magic in this raw rendition. Each blue or green or yellow tile alone was nothing, but together they were like a single being, humanity, an Albion rising."
Vishesh is seeing a representation of William Blake's painting, Albion Rose, rendered in small tiles. What is he seeing in this mosaic? What is the subject of Blake's painting? Who is Albion?
"'Optimism is believing. You have to believe that there has to be a good reason for all this.' He waved his arm, taking in everything – the houses, the street, the distant train always rattling out of sight, the city, the world. 'Cheers, mate.' he added with a quick salute. 'Salutations to the people.' When he said 'mate,' I really felt he meant it."
What role does the sqautter play in Vishesh's journey? Beyond the need for optimism, what does he give Vishesh that he can use in the events that follow?
"I stayed near Caxton Hall very late that night. It was warm. I sat on the stone of the front step of the closed hall.... I remembered the late evenings in India. I imagined the cows moving down Caxton Street, their feet raising a fine dust, their homeward journey. I could see them rounding the corner, some with large discordant bells, others swaying, timeless in their step."
Is Caxton Hall a temple to Vishesh like the Tate Gallery, like the golden spruce forest? Or is more like a museum or time capsule? Can place contain more than its own history?
In imagining the Indian cows on Caxton Street, what is Vishesh feeling?