Nurtured

There is a distance that waits between you and me,
our bed; a rift valley between two sleeping landmasses,
between being close and getting estranged,
between screaming scars and numb silence.
Someday... far away in time,
we, two weary incomplete poems;
the grey of dusk smeared on our faces sit on a park bench,
among browning leaves.

The slipped away moments keep tugging us,
we gather and string them in a pattern that speaks of nurturing;
creating wholeness out of fragments
in a city of short lived happiness.


when you return

It might be a summer day
when you return.
The red of the April sun spreading,
cotton dreams drying on the clothesline,
a book of forbidden love; resting upturned on the bosom
- a thirst to take sip of the fleeting bubbling youth,
as life passes by the narrow lane on a lonely languid noon

A wait lulls -
the open beak of the crow,
the wafting smell of ripening mangoes.
There’s a wait too in the parched skin of the green,
there’s a wait, as the sky slowly darkens.

The night hears the rhythm of the falling rain,
a fragile corner of the heart quivers,
a fairy tale longs to reach an end.



Defiance

A tapestry of woven words covers her,
the moss-laden bricks of her old house,
roots of aswath (peepal) forcing their way through,
she too, has outgrown her years.

The toothless gum smiles,
she has seen death, betrayal, vice,
her blood drained away prematurely
during the Naxalbari days,
the empty rooms echo the footsteps of time,
her eyes fail to see through the cobweb of memories.

Yet, she wears red,
yet she is defiant,
her every breath is a reminder,
she is another Hajar churashir maa.
(Mother of 1084)


Inspired by ‘Hajar Churashir Maa’, a story by Mahasweta Devi, on the Naxal movement (a mother whose son’s corpse number was 1084 in the morgue) which won her the Jnanpith Award