Note from the editor: The need for such a collaboration arises, perhaps, from a tangible yet abstract connection between words and images. The poet finds images from the photographers and uses them as almost a punctuation for her poems. One can also imagine the words of the poems to be the unwritten lines in the broad white borders of the frames where there photographs might have found themselves.
The first and the third set of images were taken by Souva Chattopadhyay and the second image is from Arupratan Ghosh.
A highway without end-rhymes. I agreed
To walk it in a day. But each sentence
Was a mile and I had to pay at the toll gates.
For every word misplaced, each pause mistimed, every dot’s right of way.
Decades after, not tired, but late, I wondered
If at the crossroads of every by-lane,
You had waited—with an end rhyme
I thought I did not want. Or could not see.
Must have been the wayward twenty in me.
I’ve crossed the highway. It’s closing time
And I still don’t want an end…
My heart has a river in between, just like the two cities.
Or as the famous economist had lovingly corrected,
the river had never been an intrusion,
it has been flowing long before its beds
were considered ripe for business.
Huffing and puffing, I didn’t notice
how I managed to cradle an entire disappointed heart around the river.
It’s crumbling on both sides now, but I am hoping there are a billion crossovers left.
On whatever it takes.
Life support, love, something like love.
Let’s choose our own ways. I want to walk on the beach and you hear the mountains call, and we can either walk or climb. After a while, I may ride the waves and you may walk the clouds, but let’s choose for now.
Let’s choose our own days, too. I want the whirling winds and you want the warming rays, and we can either be swept or calmed. After a while, the sun may burn my skin and you may be drenched by the fumes of the sea, but let’s choose for now.
I chose well. Because I could tell that you longed for a different mountain song. I know the spell that sunshine casts on you. I love the mountains too. I heard your song, but I sang mine, just as the beachgrass hears the pine – on the highest peak. In separate ways, on separate days we lived, but did not seek, that thing called love.