Ujjaini Roy‘s letter.

Dear Editor

As an avid reader of poetry, I have taken myself through all the poems featured in the June issue of Double Speak. And yes, I enjoyed reading them all. However, just the way some people stay and grow on us, some poems do too. There is one specific poem (I take the liberty to mention) that has felt so therapeutic in its essence. It is- Linda M Carte’s poem: done growing in concrete.

I had to read this poem thrice before I got its tone and mood right. And yes, what a joy it is to recite a lyrical poem that sounds like a casual conversation interspersed with tiny lulls and noticeable upswings! The short poem made me contemplate the idea of what we settle for, as against what we might aspire to do, truly differently. I quote from the poem, marvelling at the simple cadence of the words: ” …flowers can grow in concrete,/but if they have a chance to grow somewhere/ more healthy then they truly should.”
The brevity of the poem came as a surprise to me. It said a lot and in such few words. The dramatic beginning got me roll into it straight away. Honestly, it felt a little gimmicky first. Then came a miraculous turn around, with every single loud reading, with all its glamour and spontaneity and remarkable sophistication packed together in a simple message- choose what you deserve, not what is given. 

As to why I call the poem therapeutic now…We settle in quite easily even when we sulk. We sulk and we stay, we stay and we sulk until The Big Sulk sets in to consume us and make us believe that this is perhaps the only path to walk. Linda’s poem makes the rebel in me sit up and look for a chance that is much awaited. They do say that peace is worth way more than pride, but what if the two can converge? Why can’t planets and meteors conspire to give us the chance to yank our roots out from some one place and look for wings instead. They would be the wings to make us flee the space not meant for us and reach a destination that’s not destined, but genuinely carved out for us. We all need to be done growing in concrete, indeed!

Thanks and regards

Ujjaini Roy is an impulsive drifter and deep (over)thinker who knows just one thing somewhat well, and that’s teaching school children. Since they say experience matters a lot when it comes to this profession/vocation, it is relevant thus to mention that more than two and a half decade of teaching has made her a better learner, explorer and researcher, than a seasoned teacher. She is still trying to master the art of evolving as a facilitator and reads keenly, re-reads enthusiastically and is extremely proud of her TBR list. She loves Mehdi Hassan as much as she adores Papon and listens to Joni Mitchell, with as much awe as she tunes in to give Coldplay a ear and more. Born and brought up in Calcutta, she carries the south-of-the-city culture vibe in her veins and arteries and is quite a true-blue Bengali wherever she goes.

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