Jorasanko

Note: Dedicated to the illustrious Jorasanko Thakurbari, the home of Bengal’s bard Rabindranath Tagore. Published in the very prestigious print anthology ‘Cologne of Heritage’ (Viswabharati Research Center, June 2017), celebrating the unique cultural heritage of Kolkata, the proverbial city of joy in India

Jorasanko 1.

(1)
The red brick building, jagged edges of lives lived,
Lives lost, stubborn with hope and shimmering poetry.
Songs tear me, lyrics scrape me, one by one,
Petal by petal, the coatings of aristocratic gentry
Fragmented letters scald, deep, fragile, the cloudburst,
Rain songs, Bhanusingha, the gossamer wings
Of death, the poison, the inevitable salvation.
Locked doors open wide, us prying
In the wet womb of Thakur bari,
Seeking songs, prayers, cadence, the blue sighs of loss.

(2)
Curious feet hopscotch through the sepia tiles.
The once home, a museum of memories
Handpicked, baked fresh for visitors sticking fingers
In the refurbished contours of the walls,
Portraits and memorabilia.
Multicoloured vintage adorning the black
And white of handwritten lyrics
And the mystery, bewilderment of the lines traced,
The images, illustrated. Kadambari, Mrinalini
Sing still, gazing from the white, lingering void.

Mother Earth: A Plea

Note: My entry for the Earth Day anthology published by Poetry Paradigm, titled ‘Poetry4OurPlanet – an anthology of 108 heart-warming, and poignant poems on the blue planet, our own Mother Earth. I have written the poem in the loving memory of a street girl in Kolkata, India. The anthology is now out in Scribd.com and available in 43 countries.

You have seen my absurd chuckles
My coos and gurgles as I revolved
In your orbit, sunk in my mother’s emaciated breasts.
Did you revolve with me, Mother Earth,
While the starlight gazed at flowery, full-endowed children?
While the full moon welcomed them with the whiffs of her spices?

Did your night sky melt when, at three,
My nimble fingers devoured by my parched mouth
Craved to count your bountiful stars,
My hungry body, resting in the littered city streets?
When I dreamt about floating in your placid shrine,
My eyes opened up to dry patches of dirt?

At seven or eight, I have peeked through the plastered walls
Of schools where the blue globe, staring at me like the harvest moon
Summoned me, the kohl-lined eyes of the teacher tracing its curves,
I never knew the Equator; the Mediterranean never ebbed and flowed
In my scarred, burnt out days. But even I knew how
The last drops of monsoon smelt,
its juices ricocheting off my pockmarked face.

I am the earthen salt of the grimy, molten streets they trample every day.
At sixteen, even my frothy foam shimmers, dances in zigzag sunlight.
At the call of twilight, when mud and filth pops out of your blades of grass,
I paint you, Mother Earth; craft you with the folds of my stained palms.

The cosmos around, a commotion of rebuffing times.
Are you rattling, Mother earth, staring at me, tossed aside
As I clutch at your slithered pieces? Do you, for once,
Look at my papery wrists, think you could have nourished me better?
See how my torrents still sing your songs,
See how our jagged edges shine as I drown within your crevices,
Threadbare, spiraling in my earthen wants.

All Rights Reserved. Lopa Banerjee. April 29, 2016

Do download the entire anthology from this link:

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

Image

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/