Ripped

Rimli

Get well soon, the apple of my eyes! Love–Mamma.

I bite my lips and the salty waters drain down
a labyrinth of pain.
Even if it did hurt from the moment
You were formed,
I embraced its melodies in a wellspring of love,
Wanting the pain glowing
In my body and spirit,
And then it hid away in
Unsung nooks and crevices
In absorbed moments, when
your little hands and feet
Imprinted themselves on me.
I didn’t know when your incessant splash of words and your hushed sleep became my lullaby.
The river crawled back,
Twitching haphazard my indolent face.
Each night, I wrap you up
Your tender mouth and face,
Give you the softest, warmest blanketed sleep,
Each new day, you slip from the tinkle bell of my womb’s sheltered dark.
The day unwraps you in splinters, tainted brown flesh.
I know the river will now pull you downstream.
There waits your world in light, wind, mayhem and danger.
Note: I wrote this little poem today for my younger daughter Sharanya (Rimli) in a bewildered mental state after she met with her first accident in her school and had a big cut in her lower chin. The doctor stitched the area today and she is at home now, taking some rest in her bed.

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Analyzing the Feminine Identity in Jane Austen’s Society

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Image Source: Barnesandnoble.com

My first academic essay on the genteel society of Jane Austen’s times and how that has been reflected in Austen’s life as a woman and an author of fiction, published at ‘Cafe Dissensus Everyday’. The central question asked in the beginning of the essay, ‘What made it possible for Jane Austen to write’, is answered by looking into the feminine identity prevalent in Austen’s life and times.

Thank you Mosarrap Hossain Khan, editor of Cafe Dissensus for publishing this piece; it will remain an honor and privilege for me.

 

To read the full essay, do visit this page:

http://cafedissensusblog.com/2015/01/28/analyzing-the-feminine-identity-in-jane-austens-society/

When Memories Rain

 

I don’t know when the rains started to bleed.

A taste of salty pining, a dash of

Peppered moments and memories, dancing together

Their bodies, clasped, loosening, melting, blurring.

I don’t know when my clay hands composed you,

Mold after mold, structure, shape, dimension

Nestled in the embrace of these coiled fingers,

Your cinnamon breath, blowing its fragments,

Mingling with my own, tearing me open,

The gash of my wounds, alive, and trembling still.

I don’t know when the smell of long lost love

Stark dead, ghost-white, wafts along

The interstate where the night reveals

And sea winds soar and sing, the smell

Of burnt lips entwined, slicing through

The raging night, earnest, shadowy, whispering.

I don’t know when the downpour stopped,

The blood, the tears, the salt tickling me,

Pulling me within, deeper still,

My crust and core, rising, floating

In the debris of the days, lost.

Rebirth: A Dream

Between this life and beyond
Where the flesh tickles unsatiated hunger
Where the soul hovers in unknown splendor,
I do not know where the trail leads to,
Circling over uncertain bends.

In a life beating its chest,
Primal, naked, passion and wants ablaze,
Beauty watches itself trickling, bit by bit,
Like pelting raindrops, upon the hour-glass of time.
The flesh surrenders, the blood freezes,
The epitaph of its grave imprinted
In faith and remembrance.
The endless blue beckons, a different home for perpetuity.

I know that in every birth, human or not,
I will resuscitate in the womb,
Murmuring in angelic sounds,
Eager to germinate through splattered splashes
Of blood and the leftover wounds
Of a life that lay behind,
Compromised, forgotten, cold, fading.

Sleep

Let my muse hide in his blanketed darkness.

There are slumbers to attend to,
Nourishment to tend to,
Tastes to be brewed in sleep
Far more enticing than my rickety poetry.

In the deep dungeons of words and stanzas
Where I walk around, nude, barefoot,
Itching to burst over, in the helter skelter
Of unruly winds, the muse has been trampled over,
Bleeding, drowned in soot,
Hungry, like a child wailing, for acceptance.
Words of praise hovering around like fireflies of light,
Evaporate into thin air at the next bend of the road.

For now, I want my words, buried dead
Under the avalanche of nondescript public clutter,
Of the sordid paths paved for our recycled days.
I know my muse will speak to me again,
The dingy language of rhythms and blank verse,
Etched out through the lovelorn streets
Where I will wait for him, dreaming, forlorn.

Darkness, My Old Friend, Glad To Be One With Thee

BKP

Has skin color/tone/complexion ever been an impediment/obstruction in your journey to seek love and acceptance? As for me, I have always believed that beauty is skin-deep and appearance is only the gateway through which you enter a person’s mind and spirit. My personal essay/story in Morsels & Juices is a peek into three generations defined by darkness and unadulterated love, where I also speak of the typical Indian/Bengali ‘Shoshurbari’ (in-law’s place) and its discrimination based on skin color. This is a story which has been on my mind ever since I got married, and after almost a decade, I happily give voice to it.

Dedicated again, to the loving memory of my mother who had taught me to love myself unconditionally.

“I was born only a couple of days back and resting in her arms. My dusky mother planted a soft kiss on my forehead the day she first met my baby skin, brown, drooling, eager to be one with her. Her offspring breathed close to her, a far cry away from the plastic perfection of fairness that was everywhere around her. She looked at me, a pre-term baby in skin and bones, at my chiseled nose and pouted lips. “You are beautiful, my baby girl, and you are just what I had imagined you to be”, she whispered to me, while my tall, fair and handsome father roamed around us, held me sometimes, fragile and wailing.”

This is a little excerpt of the story where I have addressed the issue of being dark, beautiful and free in a color-obsessed patriarchal society where I have grown up. Do read the full story here and leave your valued comments, friends!

http://morselsandjuices.com/i-am-dark/darkness-my-old-friend-glad-to-be-one-with-thee/

 

O Calcutta: Published at Readomania

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A rainy Kolkata noon. Image source: Lopa Banerjee

Very happy to share my second publication at Readomania.com, the online publishing platform for short stories, memoir and poetry. An old poem of mine, ‘O Calcutta’ (written around 2007-2008), from which I had developed my nonfiction piece ‘Thwarted Escape’ has just found its home in the literary portal. Do have a look friends, and leave your valued comments.

 

http://www.readomania.com/story/o-calcutta

 

‘Invoked’: An Elegy for Moni Mama

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My beloved Moni mama, Anupam Bhattacharya. Many moons back, a tall, lanky guy, in Digha, 1976

Time had sung its inevitable song, a body

That had once planted a tree of love,

Had burnt to its last finishing embers.

The face, hung in silence, floating around

Unspoken words, etched in the timeless annals of memory.

 

The face of life, a sudden, elemental burst

A gleam of hope along the rusty corridors of nothingness,

Hungered for the pitter patter raindrops of a moment in time,

In the plastic quiet of the hospital room, death waited,

A silent companion at the next station, while life

Chewed on his final wishes of a succulent meal.

 

The finishing touches of words, beneath the breathing tube,

The pinching ache of the intravenous, the seeking out

Of lovingly knit faces, the hands gripping unfulfilled promises

A flash of seconds, then hanging loose.

Life had been beckoned in an unknown itinerary.

 

Twenty-one years since the sun had last gone down,

Memories unfailingly water, nourish the roots, the leaves,

The fruits the tree had borne, while the face

Hangs in the wall, a dusty portrait, in a home full of the living.

Copyright: Lopa Banerjee. January 11, 2014

Footnotes: An elegy dedicated to the loving memory of my maternal uncle, Moni Mama (Anupam Bhattacharya) who left us on this fateful day twenty-one years back, only in his early forties, succumbing to cancer. A youthful and intelligent person full of life and a quirky sense of humor, his memories are invoked till today and he will always be the face of life for me, yearning for love and the closeness of family even in the excruciating pain of his last surviving days. This is for my cousin brother, Arijit Bhattacharya who never had the chance of knowing his father. Bhai, this is for reminding you of the treasured gift of love that your father had for all of us during his short life span. Hope you remember and cherish him, always!

My First Short Story at B’khush.com: Let Me Not to The Marriage of True Minds

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Image source: Rebellesociety.com

How do you define love in your lives? Has it been a temporary sickness, an epidemic that has followed you ever since you have known your senses, your being? Is there a love interest, an unrequited one that has haunted you in your later life? Do you believe in the language of pristine love that binds you all your life, no matter what the circumstances of your life do to you?

It is a pleasure to share my first full-length short story published at www.bkhush.com, “Let Me Not To the Marriage of True Minds”, where my protagonists ask themselves questions regarding the true nature and essence of love. A triangular love story based in Kolkata, India, a wayward journey of memories, nostalgia, pain and attachment that binds Sukanya, Aniruddha and Ayan together. Hope the readers will enjoy exploring the journey.

http://www.bkhush.com/dev/content/scattered-pearls-let-me-not-marriage-true-minds

Rhapsody: A Tribute to the Girl Child

Sharing a poem about a girl child, about the glory of being a mother to my girls, inspired by a picture shared at the ‘Woman Inc Poetry Project’:

Beauty at its best, when you let your wings flutter
A joyous dance in the rain, or in the quiet confines
Of your own sacred nook. Every beat of your feet
A holy chant, every move of your waist,
A delightful symphony. Absorb the tiniest morsels
Of the life, the moments fleeting away
As you trudge the buttery ground
Beneath your feet.
Your footsteps fade and resound
Eager, firm, fresh, you are the beings
Of a fairer world.

Unlace yourself as you teach us
How to be a petal bloom in darkness
How to make flesh, bones, joints
Speak together in a harmonious chime.
The music of your body
A sliver of light in the pale blue sky,
An orchard in the valley of the Gods.
Your dance, an untainted gift,
Wrapped in earth’s bosom.

Copyright: Lopa Banerjee.

Originally written in September 25, 2014