Sunday 25 November 2018

What Absence Shapes

Rickshaw van in Taki

We are on a three wheeler, my cousin and I - three bicycle wheels with a flat wooden platform for seating, the front wheel connected to a saddle for the ‘rickshaw-van’ puller.  A common mode of transport in most of rural West Bengal, in India. The road, after a feeble attempt at being macadamised, peters out to a rich brown, wet mud track. It is mid-monsoons, the season of rains. The growth all around is so lush that the diffuse light of a cloudy day is filtered green through it. The road runs parallel to the river, the glimmer of water breaks through the dense foliage from time to time, sometimes the branches clear up to reveal the waterscape. There are small, pointy boats out, each one with the Indian tricolour flying. We are at Taki at the border - the far bank of the river is Bangladesh. Debhata, Satkhira, Khulna. The names are just as familiar as the Bengali ones this side of the river – Bashirhat, Taki, 24 Pargana.

Sunday 18 November 2018

What does this need a title for?

Everyday's a pasted famous quote -
Al Prufrock or Tagore's Paper Boat
on it's timeline, just in case you think
it's a dead end, dead pen pushing ink,
not a solace, just a flimsy dream
the escape hatch of a digital scream
before it burrows back into the day
and ponders if anything gold will stay
and are there any rare metals at all
in the million, billion plastic dolls,
in the slow pulse of chronology,
in the cell walls of soliloquy.
A sudden buzz on the telephone -
just alive, but also a dead zone.

Sunday 11 November 2018

Um...lend me your ears...maybe...??

I've been reading my poetry lately - first for the Colours of Life Festival last month, and then for a Diwali poetry fest this past week. So I thought I'd try doing it here as well. Let me know what you think...if you'd rather read...or if this is moderately tolerable? 

Incidentally, in Bengal, a tiny rag dipped in a runny rice paste is used to draw patterns on the floor on major festival days - mostly auspicious symbols such as (goddess) footprints going in, overflowing pitchers etc. The folk artform is called 'Alpona,' done by women with great artistry. You need dark earthen or plain cement floors to show them off.  Also need knowledge of the traditional designs. And of course, massive rag control. 

Sunday 4 November 2018

Diwali 2018 - Seeds of Light

The sky flows like a river into these eyes,
there’s a golden mean and meaning somewhere -
but not right now, not in the city square,
not in the swoosh-words hoardings advertise.

But there’s no place where the river doesn’t flow,
and gold is hard to get and hard to keep;
unless you count the sodium streetlights’ sweep
and signage blinking in LED glow,

and this darkness that’s some percentage light -
partly wakeful crickets, partly starshine
the horizon a faint fluorescent skyline
the towers vanishing into their own height.

Nothing extra anything else can impart –
the seeds of light sprout deep within the heart.

It's Diwali week - the festival of light, which is on 6th and 7th - I'm celebrating with some more poetry readings at a local Diwali fair. Apart from the traditional oil lamps of course.  Happy Diwali to you if you are celebrating. Have a brilliant week and November.