Tuesday, November 24, 2015

vignettes of winter

winter has its own vignettes,
pickle jars and pigeons on terrace,

badminton courts, racquets,
pullovers, quilts and jackets,

cartwheels, bakery, yeast,
people having a grand feast,

son et luminere, Dominique,
festival of flicks, bearded critic,

fairs, handloom and crafts,
Samuel Beckett and Jean Paul Sarte,

cakes, toffees, regatta, jazz,
a session of poetry, Octavio Paz,

conclaves, picnics, Jacobean lit,
misty mornings, sparrows on streets,

dews on glasses, on lawns, windshields,
mild nip in the air and lemon peels,

freckled skin, dry and withered leaves,
moisturizers and northern breeze.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

literary beings,

if you implore I can talk
not of that kind of love,
where we would become streets and lanes,
crossing each other like a tedious argument,
instead let me recite that love song
where tears of human race belong,
and human happiness too -
in finding Galapagos island;

and you will refer to Lazarus,
as your source of inspiration,
someone who can turn you to Epiphany,
you will talk of that occurance at Bethany,

from there you would begin perhaps
your writing of a poetic fiction, a verse,
you would say that was all you wanted to write,
you would talk of sobs that made watermarks on your pillow,
and I would say, people just come and go,
you would ask if they were like Michelangelo;

then there would be a pause,
you would try to find a cause,
and put it into a way to make
your statement of saying nothing,
your dearest possession, a stream,
that had rolled down the hills
and mountains to the plains,
your lyrical offering, to all who disdain
kindness and human oaths,
you would sing, love in your throat,
for all,making no discrimination,
you would become a boat,
and sail away guided by the flow,
you would just away go,

and I would say
people just come and go,
and you will ask
if they were Michelangelo;

I would talk of Prometheus,
and John Lennon and Beatles,
and would place flowers in bulletholes
as my tribute to friends, and to those
who had learnt to fight till the end,
risking death every moment,

you would ask if I have of late
grown a liking to any poet,

my answer would be an affirmation,

'Eliot, Donne, Browning, Tagore?'

'That could be a lethal combination'

'what's that then? who that could be?'

'no one, as such, between you and me'

from there we would turn to words,
from there we would become humanists,
you would talk of Renaissance, Yeats,
I would of paintings on the streets.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Dubliners, a leitmotif


It would have been perhaps
that part of a dusk
taken like a leaf out
from that vivid 'Dubliners',


there were no memoirs Irish
no forms of imperial gossip,
eastern guards they were not there,


only it seemed as it were
to say something
for some people to hear,
and for someone to let out
all that were kept like doubts,


a lot can happen over talks,
wars, and our pieces too
broken and missed up cues,
bread, spinach green,
cold coffee , strawberry cream,


everything just over talks,
talks peppered with mustard sauce,
and forks resting beside knives,
cutlery exotic, plastic swipes,


and then posters hanging on the wall
Stephen there about to weep for a girl,
a little flower claiming possibility
in crystal vase, stored for antiquity,


have they all become metropolitan?
smart, clicking heels, stamping boots,
crumpled scrolls of unspoken truth,

Stephen remembered the poem recited
by his uncle in a drunken state,
to his aunt about something patriotic,
love for the land, in a tone charismatic,


the wheels moved at slumbering pace
passing posts making misty trace
on window firmly shuttered down,
it was a faraway town,


the sound of florins on the floor
making jingling noise broke the stupor,
'Dubliners' there on the table kept,
turned into a motif leit.

('Dubliners' is a collection of short stories by James Joyce, )


Sunday, November 1, 2015

the family photograph

'say cheese!' the man behind the lens
asked the assembly to flash grins,
and all of them did so in the sense
they tried their respective best,

the grandpa in the middle had no teeth
so he flashed his gums vacant and still,
granny beside him took a breath
and so her face looked a bit grave,

and the eldest son having arthritis
shook his right knee by his hand to ease
the standing posture,his wife beside him
was thinking about the chilli paste left
in the sink, her face had that hurried look,

their son back from college had a book
in his hand which he was not willing to keep
anywhere lest his younger sis would take a leap
for it and would take it away with her to Jersey,

the second eldest son, still a bachelor,a musician
was probably thinking the middle portion
of a song which he downloaded courtesy
the electronic device that he possessed recently,
so his face looked composed and calm,

just beside him his niece returning from Greece,
held an artefact resembling a bow with strings,
she insisted to pose with that for it would bring
a touch of verisimilitude to the snapshot,
personification of a tourist with a spot,

her brother, the youngest in the scene,
was sandwiched between his mother and aunt,
looking pacified after crying over a bottle of jam,
he held a toy of a gun in his palm,

his uncle, the husband of aunt had a band
in his arm expressing solidarity with those
killed and wounded somewhere in a Pacific coast,

the aunt from Hazaribagh on a visit
squeezed her not so slim figure into the frame,
she,  having the taste definitive a bit
held a paperback with a flashy name,

her only daughter with a habit of dozing off
anywhere anytime if kept idle,
almost to a quick nap momentarily dropped
leaning her head on her mother's lap,

grandpa's butler cum masseur cum errand man
was the lone figure sitting on the ground and ,
he held the pipe of the hookah perfunctorily-
not to smoke but to indicate his glee
in keeping everything grandpa owned
as part of his little acclaimed luxury,

at the far right sat the family's pride
the big furry alsatian, after a Persian
monarch named, who tried to hide
the bone he stole from kitchen,
not so long since then,

all these to put flippantly
made the portrait of the family.

Saturday, October 31, 2015


'The last time we came to the place
they with curd and pickles us served
at the end ,when we're about to close
our little talks with a lot of faith,'
Sweta while chewing a cardamom seed, said,

'The last time an afternoon it was
the road outside had fewer cars
and sitting beside the glass wall
we had had our moments just,'
Ornob recalled,somewhat lugubrious,

Tomorrow would be the end
of the vacation and they would be
to their own respective worlds sent,
Sweta would be busy with her works
And Ornob too would forget the talks,

'what would remain between us?'
Sweta suddenly asked
breaking the beauty of the pause
that kept the two in succulent thoughts,

'all these perhaps, like postcards,
or sildes neatly preserved,'
Ornob replied, fully convinced
of how memory works, what it stores,
what it connotes, what it means,

'ah! that's like we are then
two persons in a memory lane...'
Sweta heaved a half sigh
the other half not expressed,
Ornob just smiled, keeping things unsaid,

'you got nothing to say?
now that we would go each other's way
you would take the route to south
and I would to some western port go
where would I sit by that beautiful Seine
and throw the keys of our very own lane
into the water that bore all the pains
and happiness of people like us
who had spent nights by counting stars
and days who measured in dimes and farce?'
Sweta asked Ornob or was it really
for him to answer such a query?

Perhaps not, for Sweta looked at him
and asked if they could go a few yards, walking,

'The last walk together?' Ornob joked,

'no, for I am not that much haughty
like that mistress in that monologue'

'yes, and we are always in some sort
of a conversation, I mean, dialogue'

the two laughed as they started the walk,
it was invariably the full moon night,
late evening, the last week of a spring;

'how many years have passed
Sweta asked, 'since we've met?'

'since Seth wrote that Golden Gate?'
Ornob chuckled, smile on his lips
'you're such such....' Sweta fumbled for words,
'moron' 'that's the word for me to keep'
He added to make her more equipped,

She laughed heartily, 'as you yourself talked of Golden Gate,
I think you're very much like man in there, bred,
who swore by the Beatles and Pink Floyd
and noted how trees become in autumn void,'

'you make excellent observations
only that those are beyond my station,
now that we are walking the last of its kind
why not we say something more refined?'

'what tell me, are the refined things?
literary escapes or drinking binge?
what is that ,that can be called the best
who are the plebeians and who are the blessed?'

'tell me something about Seine
how it flows, in your veins?
what people do there on holidays?
do fishermen sail their boats like here on Ganges?'

'people sit on the benches there
and talk about Cognac and Baudelaire
and those who are too much of a believer
they throw silver keys right into the river,
and there is also a flea market near
people throng to buy cheap saucepans there
sometimes they buy hairpins too
with which they tie their lost billetdoux...'

'and what there do you care to do?'

'I just go there and sit with ease
and try to catch the ballads in the breeze
sung by urchins who collect coins in hats-
their tones running sharp and falling flat,
I listen to the stories as they sing
of maidens poor marrying kings
and of men dressed up like harlequins
creating comedy in postwar ruins...'

'what a way you pass your day
by the Seine as you please you may...'
Ornob said as they came to the point
from where they were to part their ways,

'see you' Sweta said before boarding a bus,
they were at the big terminus,
Ornob nodded and waved at her
and smiled thinking how soon
they would be away from each other,

'what would remain?' thought he
while the bus took Sweta away
just like another slide of a perfect memory.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

somewhere tucked away

About a decade and half
                         must have passed through in between
when one day the man
                          arrived at his town one wintry evening,
the bus stop where
                          he got down with his sack was not the same,
for he found there
                          no more that homegrown feel of a small town
the rows of deodars
                           were not there too and the road seemed full
of people not known
                           'where had that house gone to?' he thought
from the porch of which
                             there hung coils of ivy in poesy wrought,
thinking all these
                             the man walked the road till he stopped
in front of a little
                               cosy looking bustling coffeeshop,
at the counter
                            there was a man he thought did he know
for he had that cut
                           on his forehead just over his left brow,
'You have grown old'
                           was the first thing that he said to the man
who looked up
                           with curious eyes and disbelief in his mind,
'you? our own Ayush?'
                             the man lunged forward to him greet,
his hands he held
                            and their eyes glistened quiet as they did meet,
'after so many years,
                            how come here mate?' the man in tears
                            uttered with joy asked him straight,
'well, I had received
                            a letter from someone here unexpected,'
saying this he
                          out from his coat's pocket did bring
a piece of a paper
                          almost blank barring a few words written
in a known too known hand,
                        'I know you have gone away to a faraway land
but please for the sake
                           of all the follies and the mistakes,
come at least once,
                           now that the war had ended and peace
had been declared
                            all through the country now that there are
no more sounds of sirens
                             and alarms of wildly ringing bells,
now that all the fire
                           had been doused and buried for at least
quite a few months,
                            come to my humble house if there is any chance;'

'Oh! you silly man! how you've come
            covering thousand acres green
and a few deserts of sands,'
           said the man with a trembling voice,
'Mate,you've come right, but you've lost that choice
that girl who cared to write such a thing
                         which she never dared
                    to say to you in person
had been to the another
                          land by the dictates sent,
the land where you could
never possibly go
                           for there lives she with her friends and a hoe,
there she has settled
                           with her garden to bloom and grow,'

Ayush heard it all
keeping quiet and low

and he thought he missed nothing
     other than those deodars and rows
                        of trees that lined the way
            and that girl who had somewhere
                       kept a story tucked away.


Sunday, October 18, 2015


কাশ শিউলির গন্ধ মেখে
শহর থেকে অনেক দূরে,

শারদ সকাল কুয়াশা গায়ে
কোনও এক স্বপনপুরে,

দেখেছিলাম হঠাৎ তারে
সদ্য জাগা গানের সুরে...

(ফটোগ্রাফি : মৈনাকদও)