Pramit Sinha‘s poem: You

13 years ago, the moon and I mused

From atop the spare cylinder, upon my balcony

I wondered in verse

Of what it might be to be in love.

The traffic below flowed in starts and fits.

Worries of the impending Math exam

seemed stuck in the dredged muck

by the side-walk.

I think I saw you 

in the pond by the next lane,

waddling with a family of ducks;

Raised possibly for slaughter

Or eggs for consumption 

at a premium no less.

It was hard to say which was richer:

The irony in their seeming freedom

Or my belief that I could wish my fears away

through you – then, a distraction.

The ripple of rain on the surface of the pond

From all those years ago,

Came back to me the other night:

The LIIT brimmed a wink on my glass

mimicking almost, 

the glory of the multi-coloured fountain below,

Dancing to the rhythm of changing lights –

An unseen, crude programming

randomising the change like the Chinese water torture.

Sukanta’s jholshano roti shaped moon

seemed to rest in Bonolata’s birds’ nest eyes

melting away from the kohl lined tears

that spilt out of my eyes

against the cold November night of Noida.

You’d flit in and and out of the gaze

Trained away from you

Reminiscing all beautiful beginnings 

That have dissolved into bitter acrimony,

When the promised love perished

in ramblings video-recorded cautionary notes

To self.

I do not know if I can love anymore.

For love is now the delicious beguni and piyanji 

that sizzled along with the aloo chop and bread-cutlets

free – floating on hot oil,

Fresh to order.

Yet with a promise of stomach cramps through the night that followed.

The wafting scent of the savouries

From that tiny pavement shack- painted blue

Remind me now

of how you could lift and break your plaything- my heart

At the altar of progress and a better life

With another – just like that Bijoli Grill

Expensive and hygienic 

Stole me away from that much loved, much feared

Blue shack.

A decade and a year of revolution around the sun

Might not seem like much,

Then again, at 21, little else does,

Save perhaps the self – assured sense of purpose

and righteousness that is the fare of youth.

And as far as wicked smiles go,

Yours seem like the magic Freida Kahlo urged for in a lover,

Potent and graceful in equal measure

from your ignorance of their power.

Between the two of us:

Is there an Upagupta? A Basavadatta?

Robi Thakur had this gift – among many others…

To choose and bring forth to life

forgotten classics – jewels more valuable for their crux

than their poetic ornamentation.

If I were wise, I’d heed the words of caution – 

Black pestilence masquerading as benign adventures

corrode more than just souls – they feast on hopes

Till there are none.

And yet,

My heart sings with the danseuse from Salim’s court

rolling the dice -gambling

my world for that silly, toothy smile that capture

the brilliance you are,

Or, perhaps, earn and shed some tears

Knowing I can still love… You!

Pramit is an English Teacher in an International School in NCR. He loves literature, music, cinema and the idea of critical analysis of academic and literary works.

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