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সকালের মিঠে রোদে আলো মেখে ঝাউগাছ
বাতাসের সাথে করে কতো কথা, কতো কাজ,
দূর থেকে আরও দূরে ছড়িয়ে ছায়ার টান
ঢেউয়ের সাথে বুঝি অবিরাম করে স্নান।

A town of dreams

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The first distinct memory of Malgudi to me is the depiction of a sleepy homely almost familiar town as shown in our black and white tv on Sunday mornings. Then there were children like me in the town doing stuff which I used to do in my childhood. There were Swaminathan and Mani and their schoolmates. They played cricket in the town's only playground. They went together to the river side and sat on the riverbank and savoured pickles. Incidentally, the town I lived in at that time was also beside a river. I had also friends like Mani and we also played cricket. We had teachers too like Samuel and our fathers appeared more or less like Swami's. So watching the tv series at that time was like seeing incidents of our own lives. Later in the afternoons when we played in the ground adjacent to our houses in our own sleepy muffassil town, we thought we were just redoing what had been shown on tv. Then when we picked up reading habits, we started exchanging between us storybooks. T…

For John

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As you have dared to dream
And to stand straight and sing
The world still hopes to bring
Back you in every way,
For you dared to say
Strawberry fields are forever
And sang too for the drying river, And for the drummer boy young
You wrote an invincible song,
As you have dared to rhyme
Against war , calling it a crime,
The world still hopes desperately
To bring back your glowing legacy.

The Winged One

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And those birds which she kept caged in her soul for years long, they always wanted to go away flying , taking off from her shoulder perhaps. I just got the curious chance to see them as once she spoke about them. It had been a beautiful day of spring. The air was on the drier side. The trees were getting their new dresses. The roads of our town were getting fresh new coat of asphalt. She told me how one bird in her wanted to go all the way to Volos, a sea side town of Greece while another had the desire to go to Egypt. Then there had been another with a Mediterranean spirit. And another which longed to visit the Alps. And another which had an ascetic bent, finding calm only in lonely caves of the Himalayas. 'But how do you keep them in you for so many years, without setting them free? Do they not quarrel? Do they not chatter and freak you out?' I asked her that day of spring when the weather had been particularly enchanting. The scent of blossoms was lingering in the air. T…
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গ্যারেজের পাশে এক চিলতে জমি। আমাদের সরস্বতী দি যে কিনা আমার সহধর্মিনীর সর্বক্ষণের কাজের সাথী ঐ অল্প একটু জায়গায় নানা ফুলের গাছ বসায়। জবা, টগর,গোলাপ,গাঁদা,রক্ত করবী—আরোও কত কি। শিউলী গাছটিও তারই তত্ত্বাবধানে তর তর করে বেড়ে উঠেছে দু বছরে। কিন্তু গত বছর পর্যন্ত গ্যারেজের ছাদ ছাড়িয়ে বড় হয়ে ওঠা সত্ত্বেও তাতে ছিল না কোনো ফুল। গত শরতেও বাড়ির সকলের সাথে আমিও ভেবেছি কি করা যায় গাছটি নিয়ে।  আগে ঠিক ওই জায়গাটাতে ছিল এক কাগজফুলের গাছ। রথের মেলা থেকে কেনা। সেটি ডালপালা বিস্তৃত করে গ্যারেজের ছাদ প্রায় ছেয়ে ফেললেও ফুলের আবির্ভাবে সজ্জিত হতে পারে নি কোনোদিনই। সবার মতো আমিও তাই ভাবতে বাধ্য হচ্ছিলাম বোধহয় মাটিতে সারের ঘাটতি রয়েছে বা বোধহয় মৌমাছি বা প্রজাপতির আগমন নেই আমাদের ঐ এক চিলতে  জমিতে। ফলে ‘পলিনেসন্’ হচ্ছে না। সরস্বতী দির অবশ্য ঐ সব তথাকথিত চিন্তা মাথায় আসে নি কোনোদিন। শিউলী গাছটির প্রতি তার মায়া ছিল অটুট। গ্রীষ্ম হোক কি শীত, তার বিশেষ খেয়াল থাকতো সবসময় গাছটার প্রতি। যদি কখনো বন্ধুদের সাথে খেলতে গিয়ে আমার ছেলে বা তার বন্ধুরা ঐ গাছটির গায়ে বল মারতো নিতান্তই অনিচ্ছাকৃতভাবে, খেলার ছলেই, সরস্বতী দি…

আরশীতে তুই

ঠিক যেমন জিউকবক্সে পড়লে আধুলি
সেভেন্থ স্ট্রিটের প্রান্তে অফিসারদের ক্লাবে
এরিক ক্লাপটন গাইতেন গান
রোজ সন্ধ্যেবেলায় ,
ঠিক তেমনি তোর রক্তিম মুখ,
আরশী জুড়ে সলাজ চোখ,
রোদে পোড়া শরীর জুড়ে আমার
আঁকে আনাবেলের ছবি—
তুই যেন রুপালী আলোয়
ডিঙিনৌকোয় দিয়েছিস্ পাড়ি
আর আমি মেঘের ভেলায়।

Autumn forever

Of all those little things
Which to me happiness bring
The first light of the day
Shining bright on leaves as it may
Is perhaps the most beautiful
Filling my mind  with gaiety full,And I look with wonder how the sky
Becomes part of prayers to divinity
And the feeling that autumn can usher in
Unbridled joys of simply being
In poetry, music and varied pied forms
To embellish nature's beauteous charms
Is what perhaps that ring in every heart,And I plunge into autumnal mirth
Like every year I  love to do
Gathering on palms  drops of dew-
Beads  of pearls ,the  gifts of season,
Like singing love song for her reason,
And praising her with words spontaneous
Words which can turn banal me, pious.

In thy love

Whence wilt thou arrive
In  colors of dusk
I will just look at thou
And songs in thy praise
Will come out sure
From my lips,For in you will I be merged,
For in thy love will I find me.

Autumn morning

Autumn morningWhat more can be of beauty
Than to wake up and see
How the morning arrives
With utmost glee?Autumn with its enchanting hues
How leaves upon us its dews
And how the stillness wrought
Nothing but only poetry,What more can be of beauty
Than to wake up and see
How the morning arrives
With only poetry?

Morning exercise

We had that regular morning jogs soon after our annual school exams were over. Early in the morning, before even sun rise, we would get ready wearing our running shoes and tracksuits and jerseys. Then we would go out. Usually the one who would wake up earlier than others would call others. In those days there had been no cell phones .  Telephones were there but in our locality they were only to be sern in banks and offices and clubs. Few who had telephones at home were considered to be aristocratic and wealthy. I remember at one of my friend's house there had been a telephone which hung from the wall of their living room. It looked beautiful specially when that friend of mine would call someone or receive a call through it, standing very artistically, one foot pressed against another, his waist bent sideways a bit, making him look like a practised dancer.
So the one who would wake up up would have to physically go to atleast one friend's house and awake him by any means. But i…

In memory of Gauri Lankesh *

Ha! Death be not so proud
To wash away a soul
Who never knew what religion is!
Death be not so proud
To take away a soul
Who has the dare to show
The world that
Death is the most irreligious incident.(* Gauri Lankesh, a renowned journalist, who  has been murdered in Bengaluru, India,  recently )

The Goddess and the slave

The Goddess who sits on high throne
Gilded , covered by silver and gold,
Having all the beauty of the world
Bestowed upon her by Jupiter,
For her I find no need to write
Words filled with praise,
For she has got all of them too,
Her house is filled with adoration
Her cupboards are filled with ornaments,But that woman who stands on the roadside
Every friday night or saturday evening,
Falsely trying to present her beauty
On a platter to be served with spices
And with lot of colors, rich,
That woman needs my words I think,
For her I would try to write poems,
Making her a fiery one, resplendent,
A comet perhaps or a volcanic thing,
I would make her quit that hole dark
And put her before the blazing sun
On a sweet summer day,
I would take her out to the park
And make her sing a song of supreme love,
Praising life and its beauty,
I would put my hands upon hers
And by the back of my palms
Cleanse her face, ( if she cries seeing the day so lovely and temperate)
For her will I compose …

Autumn Revisited

The sight of the pandel being erected on the play ground a few paces away  from our home would arouse a great deal of excitement in our childhood. It would usually take one month to complete the pandel that would house the idol of Devi Durga and this one month , the pandel, its bamboo structure, would be the centre of all attraction for us. While going to school, with satchels on our shoulders, we would stop for a while near the pandel. Someone among us would say that the pandel had shrunk a bit in size and dimensions , compared to  that of the previous year. Another would argue on that point and assert with certain amount of confidence that it was not so. But we had carved a bit of time sure to swing our bodies from the bamboo poles using our hands.
Then we would run to school. After school hours we would again take that road which would take us to the pandel. The labourers who were busy working there would allow us to play there.
Only when they put the canvas over the dome of the …

Lucknow

LucknowBy the side of Gomti
There you are Lakhamanavati
With your Ganga- Jamuni
Tehzeeb and delicious kebabs too-
Kakori, galawati, shami, boti- endless variety!But once I get into your poetry
Marsiya is what carries me away
And I by words of pathos get swayed,
Songs of Mir Babar Ali Anis or Mirza Dabeer,
Cause in my soul an unforgettable stir,
And I sing and weep profusely,
Lucknow , your mighty heart then I see,
How you have borne all pains and sufferings,
Betrayal, backstabbing , coups, carnage,
How have you been time and again
To the ground razed,
And how you rose again from dust,
Lucknow you the queen of glorious past,By Gomti there you are quite
Having scars of battles and fights,
Still holding your head high and above
All mundane things, by your power of love.

Love

Looking at your face
Oft turns me a poet,
In your eyes I find words
On your lips all alphabets
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Being borne by the magic of an evening

How will it be if being borne
By an evening handsome and lone
Would I take the tune of a song
And glide over hills, plains and sea,
Making an enchanting melody?

70 years of Indian Independence

70 years of Indian IndependencePartition
The freedom brought many homes
It threw away many too
Out of homes;Sushwant was only eight
When trying to escape arson
And violence , she came across most horrendous things-
A mother asking her son to drown her in a river,
A small pond having corpses floating,
A woman cutting the cord that held her new born with a stick of sugarcane;Seventy years after Sushwant's eyes still hurt
And salty taste comes to her lips from eyes.The Gallery of hope: a locomotive trainIn one huge single frame the locomotive train stands,
Ready to go as if,
Smoke coming out of its nose,
Soon perhaps the rumble will be heard over the tracks,
Its roof has people- thousands sitting with tired
Yet  expectant looks,
Its windows have faces- innumerable.HEC 2M*
She had come from the kingdom
Dressed like a fairy,
Having a drum in her belly
To store memory
2 KB .
(*HEC2M : India's first computer imported from U.K.)

Madhavi spends her days well

Mornings Madhavi  spends well
Working at her (half) home
Making tea for her husband
And mother in law, cooking breakfast
And lunch for three,Afternoons she spends well
Working at the school -
Teaching children how to spell words
And draw alphabets on blackboards,Evenings she spends well too-
Returning home ,cooking food  for her husband and mother in law ,
No children she has got,Only after dinner,
When she goes to bed,
She stays awake till her husband pounces upon her
Eats her mouth and exchanges her saliva
With his,
Then she is pounded wild,
Pounded and at last thrown
With a curse,  let out  in a hushed tone-
'saali ' Madhavi spends her days well;Only she wears a curse
Under her blouse,
Somewhere near her left nipple,
A deep cut mark-
As if a mark has been made upon a barren land, forever.

Delhi the grand old woman

Delhi, the grand old woman .Delhi comes to me
With the scent of my granny
Old and bearer of all that
Our ancestral house at Daryaganj stood for-
Books everywhere,
Piles of them on desks and floor,Then a little moving away from there
Will put me invariably at entry points
Of galis and kuchas- several of them;
Modernity has installed cables all over the city
They hang like loose strings of memory linking the old with the new,But given the chance to go astray,
I would choose the old galis sure
And dip my nose and fingers and soul
At Batashe wali or Anwar Ali,
The wooden brackets with ornate designs upon them at the havelis would filter rays of twilight sun
Upon the dusty floor
And I would perhaps sit with Mirza Ghalib saab in his last haveli
At Ballimaran;Given the chance
I would stop for a while at Behram Khan Tiraha and admire the peepul tree there
Majestically guarding the three lanes running to three different directions,
Given a chance,
I would take the hand of my granny
And si…
এখন যখন তুই আছিস্ পরবাসে
আর আমি হট্টমেলার দেশে
তোকে না দেখেই কাটাতে পারি অক্লেশে
মুখ গুজে উপন্যাসে
গোটা এক প্রেমের মরসুম, (তারপরেও এপিলোগ যাবে রয়ে)
তোর জানালায় ভরা দিন সয়ে সয়ে,
এক শ্রাবণ কি দুই আশ্বিন,
আরও বছর তিন,তারও পর তুই হবি মিউস
আর আমি ?
আরেক প্রমিথিউস, (মাটি থেকে গড়ব মানুষ
একে একে গরম লোহা
আর হাপরের টানে,) আসবে ঠিক জিউস
সাথে পান্ডোরা
আরও কিছু বছর যাবে কেটে
আরও কিছু শহর হবে ঘোরা, (তারপর একদিন দেখবি ঠিক)
কেমন যাবে মিলে সব
তোর পরবাস
আমার শৈশব,হারানো যা কিছু
দেখিস কেমন নেবে পিছু
জানলা ভরা দিন
(তোর সিল্হূট
আমার পাতায়
তোর আঁচোড়ের টান,)
এক শ্রাবণ কি দুই আশ্বিন।

Almost everyday I fall in love!

Almost everyday I fall in love!Almost everyday do I fall
In love quiet consuming my all,
The morning when breaks
And helps me to wake
I fall in love then just by peering out
Of the window watching blooms sprout,
They oft do swing in mild breeze
By their fragrance they do me tease,
Then the day rolls out like a film can
Vibrant colorful filled with characters,
They come and go, talk to me,
They laugh, they sob, they also be happy,
The afternoon always leaves her music,
It to my ears and heart and mind sticks,I watch how simply my love spreads
In the eyes of my girl, on her lips red,
I see how the afternoon wanes to dusk
How it paints me with love unasked,
I think I see the sky then draped in color
Of my love surely by then merged with her,
I look at her completely bowled over,
I worship then my divine lover,The twilight whence turns into night
I see how she wears stars twinkling bright
Upon her body, her lovely enchanting figure
How then my prayers turn little and meagre
Compared to …
সন্ধ্যারাগ হলে শেষ,
তোর মুখে আলোর রেশ,
আমি ভাবি কোথায় রাখি
এমন আদুরে আবেশ।
First time whence I got near you
Got the smell of lemon leaves,
Sweet and juicy ,
It was the season of summer
The paddy fields looked ripe and golden
And bees hummed in bushes and trees
Singing songs of fruitification,
Next came monsoon and you turned green valley of flowers
Filled with morning mist and evening drizzles,
In the afternoon I heard the fresh murmur of leaves,
They whispered how my name, to  you as I drifted, quite unknowingly,
In autumn the marigolds decked you,
And lotus too,
they kept on flowering
In you till winter came with roses and dahlias,
And fog drew a curtain over your body,
I had to grope in white blindness to reach your hands,
Till the spring came and cleared it all
Till I plunged more into love,
And became part of your changing myriad forms,  enchanting and boundless.
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বিকেলের আলো আঁকে ছায়াপথ
ঘুম ঘুম শহরের শরীরে
নিঝুম আধোচেনা জনপদ
আমিও তুলে রাখি কুড়িয়ে,
(তোর সাথে দেখা নেই একযুগ
তবু তোর মুখ খুজি রোজ রোজ
সূর্য তাই দেখে বুঝি দেয় ডুব
মেঘেদের কাছে চলে তোর খোঁজ,)
বিকেলের আলো বড় মায়াবী
শহরও জানে তা আলবাৎ
তাই সে মেখে নেয় যত পারে
আমিও ভরে নিই দুই হাত,
(তোর সাথে কথা নেই আট মাস
তবু তোর কথা শুনি বাতাসে
বিকেলের আলো বড় মায়াময়
ছায়াছবি এঁকে চলে আকাশে)।
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Hiroshima 1945, mother and child

After the giant mushroom looking thing
Came down on the ground settling,
And grass and trees were not anymore there
To live and burn , sustaining the fire,
The child opened his tiny dreamy eyes
Only to find how his mother told him lies,The night like day had swept off everything
His little toys, his cot and that lovely swing,
And his mother only told him it was a new magic
To find broken houses, jutting pillars and sooty bricks,All around them a curious spectacle,
Blankness and blackish void how fell
And made them all the more alone,
Only living things , amidst ruins,
Only moving things in a necropolis.
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A rather imaginary tale of a king and his state

Once there lived a king who governed a quasi democratic state with his train of courtiers and men. The state being quasi democratic , it had a system in place which gave the citizens of that state the right to select the king and his men.
The king , a great man with great ideas thought of giving people of the state special privileges hitherto unheard of.
For example after attaining kingship he declared  to his people ' There will be soon great days knocking at the door of you , my loyal and trusted friends'.
Everyone was seemingly pleased to hear such words from the king.
Afterall when the king had declared something it was bound to happen.
People clapped . Some shouted applause. Some turned themselves hoarse by praising the king.
After few days indeed everyone heard knocking at the doors, often at wee hours.
King's men came. They gave away sealed boxes.
Upon opening those boxes they found pieces of paper which had king's words written on them.
'Great days knoc…
অনেক সুখস্মৃতির ভিড়ে
হারিয়ে যাওয়া ছবির মাঝে
হঠাৎ  তোর সিল্হূ্ট পেলাম
এক পুরোনো বইয়ের ভাঁজে,
তোর চুলের গন্ধ পেলাম
কাঠগোলাপের ভোর
এক মুখ আকাশ পেলাম
রেশমী সুতোর ডোর,
অনেক ছবির মাঝে
হঠাৎ তোর সিল্হূট পেলাম
এক পুরোনো বইয়ের ভাঁজে।
When the dust settles down in the western front
And the evening slowly descends
I think I love to bask
In the city's antiquity,
Ahmedabad,
You have for ages lured people
Of all age and caste
To come to you,
And to be enthralled by your colored things,
Little trinkets and cholis,
And the sandstone red
Architectural marvels
Dating back to eleventh century
All telling your richness , your beauty ,Now when I walk down your streets
How I am taken back to your aweinspiring wonders,Right through your bosom
How runs the river
And how your eastern side with Pols and bazaars appears
As the flagbearer of your hoary tradition,
While on your west
Glitz and glamour shine
And highways run to meet the horizon.
চল্ হেঁটে যাই বিকেলের পথ
আদুরে আলোয় মাখা
দিনশেষে আরও একবার
তোর সাথে একা
গাছেদের কথা ফিস্ ফিস্
ঘাসের জলজ ঘ্রাণ
চল্ হেঁটে যাই আরও একবার
আদুরে আলোয় করি স্নান।
জোনাক আলোয় হোক খাক্
তোমার আমার রাত
তবু এসো রাত্রি বেশে
শুধু আমায় ভালোবেসে
ভেবেছিলাম একটা প্রেমের কবিতা লিখব।  বেশ আটপৌরে । লম্বা এক ঝুলবারান্দা আর তার ঠিক গা ঘেঁষে একটা ছিপছিপে তেঁতুল গাছ।  বারান্দায় উড়তে দেখা যাবে এক লাল টুকটুকে সোনালি  পাড়ের শাড়ি।  কোনো এক বসন্তের সকালে সেই বাড়ীর পরম আদরের মেয়ে বারান্দায় আসবে আনমনে গানের কলি গাইতে গাইতে। ওই বাড়ীরই একতলায় সেই অষ্টাদশী মেয়ের কাকার ঘর থেকে ভেসে আসবে আকাশবাণী কলকাতার প্রাত্যহিকী। মেয়েটি হঠাৎ ই দেখবে ঢোলা  পাজামা পান্জাবী পরিহিত এক যুবক চলেছে দ্রুত সাইকেল চালিয়ে রাস্তা দিয়ে। সকাল আট্টা আটের ট্রেন তার মানে এখনো যায়নি,ভাববে মেয়েটি।  আর নিজের মনেই বলবে ‘কবে যে একটু কায়দার পোষাক পরতে শিখবে বকুরাম’। বলেই সে মুখ ঘুরিয়ে বারান্দায় ঝোলানো দেওয়াল ঘড়ির দিকে তাকাবে আর বলবে ‘দুগ্গা দুগ্গা’।
ছেলেটিও একটিবারের জন্যে ওপরের দিকে তাকিয়ে চাপ বাড়াবে সাইকেলের প্যাডেলে।
‘আজ বিকেলে ফেরার সময় চৌরুঙ্গীর এম বিশ্বাস এ্যান্ড সিম্ফোনী থেকে এলপিটা কিনতে হবে। সেই এলপিটা যাতে আছে বড়ে গোলাম আলীর গান। ’ ছেলেটা ভাবতে ভাবতে পৌঁছোবে স্টেশনে।
‘ইস্ সেদিন রুম্পাদের বাড়ীতে কি সুন্দর গেয়েছিল বকুরাম। ’মেয়েটা ছেলেটির চলে যাওয়া অবয়ব দেখতে দেখতে ভাববে।…
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জলে ভেজা জানালার কাঁচ
দেখছিল শ্রাবণের সাঁজ
ল্যাম্প পোস্টের হালকা আলোয়
বিন্দু জলের অল্প ছোঁয়াচ।
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বৃষ্টি ভেজা দিনদুপুরে কার লাগে ভালো বলভাঙা ছাতা আর নিঝুম বাসস্টান্ড হাঁটুর কাছে জল,
বৃষ্টি ভেজা দিনদুপুরেকার লাগে ভালো বলরেলিং ঘেঁষে গোলাপ ভেজেচোখের কোণে জল,
বৃষ্টি ভেজা দিনদুপুরে কার লাগে ভালো বল ।
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চেস্টার ও হে
সেই ত গাইলে
ফাইনাল মাসকারে(ড)...
এর পর ত ‘বর্ষামঙ্গল’লিখে ফেল্বি”—বলেছিল সে। মুখ টিপে হেসে। সবে মাত্র  তাকে শুনিয়েছি এক শহুরে বর্ষামুখর গান। “তা নয় হল,কিন্তু তাতে কি বরষা আমার প্রেয়সী  হবে? তার কতো প্রেমিক তুই জানিস্? কত যুগ ধরে কত কবি গেয়ে গেল তার গান। কত আঁকিয়ে তুলির টানে তাকে সাজালো। আমি আর কি এমন। ” খানিক অভিমান নিয়ে বলেছিলাম। সে কি বুঝেছিল কে জানে।
“ওই দ্যাখ্!” বলে সে আমায় দেখিয়েছিল এক শ্রাবণ বিকেলের পশ্চিমাকাশ। এক পশ্লা বৃষ্টির পর অস্তগামী সূর্যের গোলাপী হলুদ গেরুয়া আভা যেন আঁকছিল এক রুপকথা। আর সেই রুপকথার খানিক ছোঁয়াচ  এসে পড়ছিল তার কপালে গালে চিবুকে। আমি আরেকবার ঝিরঝিরে রুপালী জলবিন্দু হতে চাইছিলাম ভীষণ। শুধু তার হয়ে থাকবো বলে। আমার বরষার।

A journey into the misty woods

When the day was so filled with calm
And when rain had finally  to the hills come,
Asked her to make a journey with me
Into the woods unknown moist and misty,She haply agreed and nodded her head
To go with me through the road that bred
Half visible wonderous serene sights
Covered by translucent curtain white,We heard the chirpings of cicadas true,
held on palms nascent drops of dew,
And as we our journey thus made
Through woods by mist so laid-We thought we found us as if new
Given perhaps another birth long due
We thought we had a tryst with trees
Which held many myths and mysteries,The songs of hills , the murmur of streams,
Finding God in pantheistic dreams,
All came and descended upon us
Through the woods of mist as we passed.

Standing before her

So many days have gone by
As months came and away did fly
Still every time if somehow I get a chance
To stand before her and have a glance
At her flowering state, her beauteous sight-
How am I filled with simple poetic light
And think of so many little things
That can easily happy memories bring
Like a day spent in listening to songs
Of autumn and spring and summer long
Like a night watching the canopy of sky
Starry , magical where dreams doth lie,So many days have gone by
As months came and away did fly,
Still every time if by chance I stand
Before her and the green lushy land
How am I taken to a different plane
Of love and longing and poetic vein,
How am I reminded of simple little things
That only slideshow of memories bring-
A smile of beloved, a naughty look,
A drop of rain on a page of a book,
A whispering tone , soft cuddling up,
One winter to celebrate, a warm coffee cup,So many days have gone by
As months came and away did fly.
It was pretty late in the evening
When the train chugged into the station,
Abhinav was then having his coffee
And watching how the rain and mist created a translucent curtain outside,
He thought he heard the gong of a grand clock announcing time,Just then he noticed two figures
Drenched to skin, each other tightly
embracing,
It had been wonderous to witness
Such a poetically eloquent scene
Unfolding before his eyes,
Water dripping down the glass of the window made outside blurry,
But that slight indistinctiveness had its own expression -
An expression which could oft be found in slides of photos
Or in cinematic frames,
Abhinav was reminded of different allusions
Like passages he had read in novellas,
Like songs he had heard in his youth with earnest heart and keen ears,
Like paintings he had dreamt of conceiving,He was reminded of a woman too,A woman who had once made him to
Kneel right on a platform one rainy evening,
Right before her.
বৃষ্টির সাথে ভাব  না করে  উপায়  আছে ?একটু কথা  কাটাকাটি  হল কি হল না,অমনি সে জুড়বে কান্না , আর সে যদি একবার উল্টিয়ে ঠোঁট  ধরে মেঘমল্লার তাহলে আর দেখতে হবে না। বাড়ির উঠোন  ছাপিয়ে  তার কান্না পৌঁছোবে এক্কেবারে বাগানে। সেখানে  জল থই  থই ।  তারপর আম ,জাম,কাঁঠাল  গাছেদের কাছে নালিশ  শেষে সোজা রাজপথ ।  তারপর রাস্তা ধরে এপাড়া ওপাড়া ঘুরে শেষ মেষ নদীর সাথে দেখা করে সব রাগ  অভিমানের উপযুক্ত  বহিঃপ্রকাশ। বৃষ্টি আর  নদী ।  দুই মহাঅভিমানি মেয়ে। এদের যারা কাছ থেকে দেখেছে, হাজার ভয় সত্ত্বে ত্ত এদের ভালোবেসেছে। এক দুর্নিবার আকর্ষণে ছুটে গেছে ওদের কাছে। জলে ভিজে একাকার ।  জলের স্পর্শে কেঁপেছে। তবু জলকেই ভালোবেসেছে আর গেয়েছে প্রাণ ভরে বরষার গান। জলমগ্ন শহরে নৌকার  দাঁড় হাতে সেজেছে মাঝি। জলের ওপর আলোর ছবিআঁকা দৃশ্য তখন হয়েছে তার স্বপনের চাবিকাঠি যা দিয়ে সে দিয়েছে পাড়ি তার ভালোলাগার জগতে।বৃষ্টির সাথে ভাব না করে উপায় আছে?
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Now that you are gone
I try to make a search
Of you in your works,
Your writings, diaries, scrapbooks,
Your memorabilia,
And how I find you more
As a product of that time turbulent,
When people had lesser earthly hankerings
And more of camaraderie,
When the air had all the fervour of revolution,
When eyes of you and your peers
Had all the dreams of liberation,
And hope ,
For those half fed, naked, starving humanity,Ah, those were the times,
When you wrote on walls ,
Slogans and songs,Till hurried steps of black boots
Came like hoofs of nightmare
Through sounds of gunshots
And mist,Time that got changed too,
And when peace came
It had wreaths
Upon its breast,
Of doomed youth,Now that I see those pictures,
Sepia , grey,
How I get carried away
To those times,How can I get the smell
Of smoke, tar, tea,
How in blurry eyes
Your youthful vigour
Do I see.

Father

Writing something about you is like
Trying to make a swim through a sea,
Through wave after waves of memories,
The first distinct smell of you
Had the that peculiar mix of tobacco and shaving cream,
The first distinct touch of you had been to feel your palms a bit roughened,
And to feel how those lines on them had withered the ups and downs of time-
Partition, independence, state of political instability, carnage , emergency, flood of seventy eight , hartals, strikes, lockouts, bandhs,Then your smile , never too loud,
Just a sweet candid one, 
And your angst - silence spreading over clouds of even more silence, Your writing hand curved and sparkling
Your fountain pen dipped in ink - your poems and stories, your sessions of debates and discussions , Marx , Lenin, Engels, Tagore, Vivekananda, Aurobindu- all turning like lively figures standing before us as if saying their words, Your recitation of poems ,
your acting at amateur theatre- glittering dresses, swords of tin, And the…

The leafless chinar

In the shade of chinar tree
Like two birds who had flown over a sea
The boy and the girl gathered quiet
Drenched softly by the fading twilight,
The girl coy and a bit terrified
By shrill buzz of gunshots bright
Whispered her fear and longing too
To her man, her hope, her beau,'Don't you anymore join those men
Who are fighting for years and dying in vain'
The girl with tears in her hazel eyes
Pleaded to the boy with whom she has ties
Of love and hope and all those little things
Which amidst despair only joy to her bring,'I know how much you are worried about me
But as long as there  is this chinar tree
We will come here every evening , dear,
Why those gunshots you falsely fear?'
The boy told the girl putting his palms on her cheek
As the evening slowly turned dark and bleak,Suddenly they found some shadowy figures
Circled around them with fingers upon triggers
' Who are you? What are you here doing?
Don't you know there's a curfew this evening?'
A m…

That tree

Things had changed greatly
I say , since we have left our summer days
And went to farthest shores, away
From our home town,
Still once in a blue moon
When anyone of us happen to pass
By that park surely
Even in the dark he or she
Would  find that tree
Which we made our companion
Upon whose branches we had swung
And sitting upon them how we always looked at the distance
Finding the lazy motorboats gliding on the river
Or a bunch of workers going home in the noon day heat
Walking briskly,
And those chimneys which stood like grand towers
Belching smoke which went up to compete with clouds,So many other trivial things how we did notice
Amidst our games of hide and seek
Or mere gossip,The day would wane and before we would return home
We would take a leaf or a bloom
As pretty little souvenir,We picked them
As we picked tales too,
As we sought our summer refuge
In the big tree.

Smell of lavender

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Coming back from work, Sreemoyi was sipping her evening tea, sitting at her favourite spot- the window of her bedroom from where she could see as far as golf course which appeared like a lonely but distinct patch of greenery amidst the buildings of the city.
Come evening, when the city would deck up in shimmering lights and far away when the bridge over the river would dress up in tiny dots luminous like a beauteous damsel in a flowing gown, Sreemoyi would just look at cityscape as visible from her window. The window to the world outside.
If it rains she would try to sit there for awhile till Riddhi would come home.
Despite being married for eight years, her marriage to Riddhi had not brought any child to her lap. She and Riddhi could have explored other possibilities but with the passage of time , the eagerness to bring a child home had died down considerably. Riddhi being always busy with his office tours thought it to be quite suitable not to extend the family further barring they…

Oft I long for

Oft I long for that sweet late evening
Of a delicate aromatic spring
When you took me to your home
And gave me that ambrosaic potion
To drink and savour all night,
To feel how the buds wake up after being kissed
By first rains of the season, freshened,
To get that first hint of heaven
Reaching which one can only get the calm
Spreading all over one's mind and soul,Oft I long for that memory enlivening
Which took me to find the hills and valleys and bushes
All gradually becoming a part of me,
As if I have been given a strange fulfilment
A view of the world so savoury
That can never ever leave me,Oft I long for you
And when I do not that do
I perhaps dream of mountain streams
And leaves green drenched by sparkling drops of dew.

Love at dusk

Love at duskAfter many days took the road
Winding as it flowed
Away from the crowd as we thought
We could be somewhere where poetry wrought
Little things into a different rhyme
We arrived where the sky kissed the line
Of horizon gently almost making no noise
There we stopped with songs poised,
She held my hand and whispered soft
"Is it not beautiful that we have stopped
Here where no one is there to intrude us
Is it not a wonderful way to pass
Our little hard earned leisure?" I looked into her dark lake like eyes
And felt got all the pleasure
Which I yearned to get  her face with colors of dusk set
Looked so soothing, calming and filled
With love that only a night rose could seal
In her petals fragrant and blue
How was I killed by that murderous view!She let my lips touch hers candid
And to feel the moisture in the air
She wrapped me in an encumbered sleep
And to lay my heart for her bare.

Just a love poem

Losing myself into you
Has oft brought me to a sense
Of fulfilment perfectly due,
As perhaps a bud feels dense
Breaking open just at the cue
Of the morning's mildest light-
Pinkish and orange hues
Whence touch the sky bright,
And I think I turn a flower true
Blessed by love of you,
Your smiling face I then reflect,
My petals drenched by dew
With sweetness of pollens set
Greet my blossoming new,Losing myself into you
Has oft brought me to the brink
Of an overwhelming view
Of life and love in which I sink
Haply as ever as someone lured
By something inexpressibly wonderous
Something that is deep and pure
Quenching all human thirst,Yet people driven by vanity
And pride of being modern
Discard love and poetry
Without knowing how they turn
To decadence and pity
Which only their souls burn.

Father of Syria

'Stay here quiet for awhile'
The father had told his girl with a smile,
The day had been usual, a Syrian kind,
Some people were starving, some looked desolate, almost dying,
But the father till then that didn't mind,And then just a sudden jolt, a cry,
What did came swooping, a drone ? A fly?
'Gas!' someone yelled, 'bomb!'cried another,
Down the street ran the father,
He had left his little one, only daughter,
Beside the shop, beneath a tree,
The smoke couldn't make him see,
What was happening and why?
But he heard surely her cry!Minutes passed like moments of shock
The buildings had turned into rubbles of rock
And mortar and debris of bricks,
The father from the dust his daughter picked,
She was gasping, was not she?
The father in the smoke couldn't see,People he saw running like ghosts,
Sooty, grey, figures unrecognizable most,
And he picked his daughter up,
Was she breathing? Or had she stopped?The way to the hospital looked miles away,
The fathe…

The Mystic Mariner

The Mystic Mariner*You have taken charge of the ship
And dared to venture out
To the ocean blue and deep,
Braving all storms and gales,
Like a sailor who knew it all
How to make a voyage without fail,
Wonder I seeing your spirit so bright
Had you been a disciple of Ulysses
Always searching for new shores of light?You oft served me as a towering flame
From far guiding me through hurricanes,
By your words, deeds and rhymes,
You have remained oft like an implement
A beacon, a weather cock , a wind chime,
All fused into one, a superb force
A fatherly figure who opens the doors
And windows too of my heart and mind
So that more of wind and light can I find.

(* as a tribute to Madan Gandhi ji , written as a part of a TSL venture on NaPoWriMo)

Saaqi

Saaqi
#saaqiO Saaqi, when I come to your tavern
Don't you keep me thirsty for long
As I have come to be intoxicated
By your brew, the one for which I'm so fated,
Pour me a cup of your sweetest wine
And let there your music shine
For without your heavenly liquor
How can I in dreams fly far
Away from all the noise and din
Come Saaqi, fill me to the brim
So much so that words do come pouring
From my mouth like music ringing
Sweet, succulent and devoid of pains,
Come Saaqi, give birth in me that lyrical sense,
With which can I sing a song for you,
A song laden with a poetic view
Of all that appear oft so prosaic,
Saaqi for you must I take
A plunge into the beauty true,
Saaqi I know I can do it only for you.

Where I come from

Where I come fromWhere I come from
Is a place of magic
As oft seen by children
A land of fairies and goblins
Surrounded by trees smelling like incense
And flowers which bloom there
Spread colors fanciful and wild,
How there have I lived for years
Always like a curious child lost in dreams;Where I come from
Is place by the river
Where the morning breaks with chirpings
Of birds waking up in woods nearby,
As I see them flying high in the sky
My soul gets winged shape too,
I fly with them by my mind
To distant places to find
Serene blessedness spread
Like mist of early winter,
In spring the place becomes even more beautiful
Songs of earth there float
In autumn when the leaves the trees shed
I watch them being carried by the breeze,
Till they come to my porch
And lay there quiet drenched by light,
In summer the pilgrims there arrive
From places unknown, walking days and nights,
They sing their way making the air
In musical chanting wrapped,Where I come from
Is a place filled with
Awe…

A poem written by a poet, religious intolerance , necrophilia and allied things

Poet you have done it right
As a very very modern poet should write
Fusing elements that you have found
Floating in the thin air ; quite unbound!You dared to put into your lyrical grace
Things that we the people oft do brace
In our daily lives, filled with false pride
Our acts of violence, vendetta and verbal jibes,Some one talked of doing unholy things
Ghastly and diseased thoughts which bring
Shame in my blood, angst in my veins, And I ask myself, am I getting poisoned too?
Am I losing my mind, slowly becoming death?
Am I making a compromise with intolerance?But then , poet, you are a learned man,
You have written many things, seen through plans
Of political flagbearers changing attires
- One coat glittering for a ball,
Another subdued one perfect for a Fall,
Nehruvian hats, non nehru caps,
Saffron shirts guarded by black cats,
And so on and so forth happening oft,
Poet, don't say you're naive and ignorant of
How political affairs are handled here
Even that do I not serious…

Spectrum

When he was born I remember how had I dreamt
Of him becoming big, oneday like other kids,
Ryan had been the eyecandy
Fair with pinkish hues on his cheeks,
And how we tried to build our little things around him,Our world was around his needs,
And he would rarely talk back,
Even when he was three years
He would only shout and scream,
I asked my spouse
Oneday after gathering enough courage
To face any truth
'Is he okay?'We went to the doc,
And again I asked the same thing
'Is he okay?'The doc nodded his head
Somewhat dubiously,
'He is, I'm afraid, in the spectrum''Spectrum?'
'What spectrum?'
My spouse asked him,
She was having beads of sweat
On her forehead
And on the tip of her nose,'Gosh...we are so lost'
I thought I heard my wife almost cry,
Was she wailing?
Prehaps,Then on
We are living on the spectrum
Of light
Punctuated by dots of inexpressible silence,Silence was the key word of Ryan,
He remained silent,
Ages grew,
The trees i…

To Derek*

To Derek* "He saw the poetry in forlorn stations
under clouds vast as Asia, through districts
that could gulp Oklahoma like a grape,
not these tree-shaded prairie halts but space
so desolate it mocked destinations." In the world where poets and so called intellectuals
Throng like unashamed swarm of bees
Seeking honey,
You stood like a monumental passage of grief,
You talked about home and exile,
Black women with shiny foreheads
Resplendent and oily,The people in New York called you
The Mighty One,
A poet who had been profound and complicated ,
To me, you are as long as your poems
Which made me travel to torqouise seas and white sands,
Palm trees I heard roaring in the air,
In your words the world seemed restless yet strong,
Passionate yet morbid,You have made me find beauty in distant lands,
In wings of pelicans
And candy floss shaped clouds. (*this writeup is dedicated to Derek Walcott, the poet extraordinary)

Tiasha , me and poetry

Can an evening be
A thing of beauty?'
Tiasha asked me,The lake before us
Caught all the hues that passed
On its  water, a picture of dusk,I looked at the scene
Calm, still and serene,
And wondered what it did bring, 'Surely it can', ventured I
As a possible reply,
Looking at the colorful sky,Tiasha looked at me
Her eyes speaking quietly
Her love , her unsung poetry, 'What did the evening
To us really bring?'
She asked, almost singing, 'Love', I thought I should've said
'That really the evening made,
That really sky before us laid, '
But then I those words left
Unuttered, not expressed,
I just in my heart them kept,Tiasha being what she always had been
Perhaps gathered traces of them from the scene
And my hands to her face she doth bringAnd then she kissed on them gently and soft
Like an angel perhaps, straight from heaven dropped,
Making me unburdened, as if held aloft,I felt I had become a bird then
A creature winged, devoid of pains,
Ready t…

Love, let's be selfish

Image
Love,
There can be a lot of wars around
Cries and sobs and tears
Somewhere in Syria there might be heavy deafening shots
Of bullets, bombs , shells,
In another part of the globe
There might be riots
People might take swords in hands
And get engaged into carnage unholy, Still
Leaving all of them aside
Like two selfish beings
We can always cycle down to that field
Where the sun shines soft
Caressing the grass and the trees,
There, love, we can always hug each other
Forgetting everything,
Like two very selfish beings,
There you can always hold me tight,
In my ears you can always drop words sweet,
And I can always hold your lips
Onto mine,
Savouring the moments,
There , love we can be selfish
Till the world will learn to be selfless,
Till our love teaches the world
The essence of tranquility.
Image
The dusk was slowly settling on the street
Facing which two friends sat
The aroma of coffee filled the shop
And they had so many things to share betwixt them,
Small but significant things,
Like their joys and peals of laughter,
Undiluted, pure, uninhabited,The dusk looked perfect
Devoid of any ornamentation,
The dusk looked human,
All too human.

We remember

Ah! Even after so many years
Still how one can hear
Cries and sobs and screams
Of millions teeming
Half fed, beaten black and blue
Before gassed without any cue,Ah! Even after so many years
Still how can one hear
Wails and pantings and dirge
Of people in blood and mud
So horribly painted and greased
Before their throbbings of hearts ceased,Forever,Ah! How still how after so many years
One can their weepings silently hear.

The warm wintry sun and we

Image
The warm wintry sun was going to sleep
When thinking of you I walked a few miles
And reached that place where we did keep
Our little secrets like  simple things
A smile, a laugh, a kiss and a pat
And some very very personal belongings
Your diamond nosepin, my tattered pocketbook,
A key chain and a peacock shaped ring;The warm wintry sun was going to sleep
When following your trails I somehow reached
That particular place where we did keep
Our simple little unforgettable things-
A scene of our heads resting upon other's,
A saffron red sky painted like a flame,
A musical flight of a dove's white feather,
And many insignificant inconsequential names.

A night to remember

When the moon came down upon me
One night as it shone the most
I thought you were there just beside
As I got that whiff of scented rose,Love which we both bore in hearts,
Then we perhaps both felt strong,
And the moon yellow, large and low
All that quietly witnessed for long,The night had thus beautifully turned
Into a delightful hour of communion
You and your thoughts when laid bare
All my  pent up  passions young.