Princep Ghat

princep ghat

Princep Ghat, Kolkata, India. Image source: 

travel.snydle.com

 

Some days I am just a rusted yellow,

a drooping, crumpled mess

The waters lashing on my eyelashes

a heart-rending tale.

Some days I am just the flames,

the choking silence of the pains of others.

My palms cupping the indelible marks

of bygone days, scalding.

 

Some days I slip into the liquid sound

of poems and boatmen’s songs,

My holy texts trailing after,

smudged, blown away in smithereens.

Some days, the water feels smug-clean

in my sleepy troughs and creases,

Some days, I am the blood

and the shards, the shameless smoke

and the cigarette stubs,

the poison that whirls in my subterranean flow.

 

I know some evenings

your breath brushes past mine,

And we are kindred souls,

burning in each other’s fire.

I know while you dig me

deep with your nails,

the dusk of death is in your skin,

amid the living, breathing mess.

 

Some days when the birds chirp

and the holy crows caw,

In your mossy banks, you sing a song

that once was your mother’s chore.

Today, you rinse your mouth with it

as you chant the holy ‘Om’,

and return home, in your parted lips,

it hangs, a primal hum.

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Life on the Tracks: My Personal Essay Published at ‘Cafe Dissensus’

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This is a personal narrative born out of a series of dream sequences of a night journey by train. The dream probably has its origins in the past decade of my life in suburban Kolkata when I used to commute by local trains on a regular basis. The narrative structure of the piece is inspired by Dennis Silk’s essay ‘The Marionette Theater’, where an action performed in repetition is depicted with emphasis on every part of the movement. So happy and honored that this short piece is published by ‘Cafe Dissensus Everyday’, the blog of the online magazine ‘Cafe Dissensus’. Also, the piece is now a chapter of my book-length collection of essays.

Do have a look at the piece here and leave the footprints of your mind on the page:

http://cafedissensusblog.com/2014/05/28/life-on-the-tracks/

O Calcutta!

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1)   

I don’t know how these empty years have passed, in evanescence.

I want to swim the deep waters of a shady past

Of my rainy day caresses with you.

Here I spread out my arms and light the flame

Look back at quick stings, ruckus and impending doom,

Screams and murmurs alive in a hazy sleep.

Fighting away the memories and stings to free myself,

I am bound up tight in ropes– surrendered to your flames.

One last time, I want to reach out to the trembling and beauty

Of long nights and the smell of youthful, candid smiles

Lighting up the smothering traffic,

Old stairs, shady buildings in twilight haze.

Smiles that ran into the tramways, the busy subways

Of uncertain miles, bring me again, to nothingness

As I allow open wounds and scars of a castaway life

Whip me with a splash of colors.

My eyes walk across the Atlantic Ocean

As I sit at the edge of a slumber, whimpering and pining

Silly old tears of a forlorn city…..

(2) 

You knock me down each time with your quandaries.

You knock me down each time with sins and sighs

Crush my breath–as if the sky is torn off my life.

I keep coming to you barefoot, scattered in ashes and dust

Walk back to you over rocks and thorns,

Stark dead and grinning, every time you grind the pieces in me–

Together and apart, you watch me blown to death.

You cherish me, limp and crazy

The constant cold departures, the sinking away”

While you know I would come back again to your dingy streets

And undo’ ME’.

————————————————–

I am–bits, pieces and splinters of you

The frozen memories, the buried yesteryear sins.

The betrayals, the thwarted passion, the wilderness that bleed

Summer’s scarlet tears in your naked, primal chest

Bleed and ache, whisper and scream, within ME.