Thursday, September 22, 2011


Thank you Thursday Poet's rally for the Perfect poet award
I nominate Cello Strings for the next

There have been times and moments when,

The urge to put every thing aside comes aloft my mind.

To be as free as the bird that sings,

It’s, swan- song from the skies above.

To move with total abandon, not to think,

No more secrets not even from one self.

To be as light as the wind,
To be like the soaring imaginations--------

Just to smile as I walk by
And count God’s blessings that,
I am free and free and alive.
To dance a jig on the crowded streets
That I am one of this huge congregation of humanity.

Big dreams do people dream,
But I have the urge,
For some such mundane pleasures,
That would fill my life, with joy unbound.

© 2011 Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury

Image courtesy:

'Shewli'..The fragrance of Durga Puja

The year was 1988, we had shifted to a rather huge house in a small district of Assam called Tinsukia. The Britishers of course made sure that wherever you stayed if you are working with has to be massive.. As a little girl, settling into that house was rather cumbersome. Everything seemed to be so huge for the tiny me. Walking down lawn tennis courts and garden full of Hollyhocks I found myself keeping a distance from them. In those days, your house was yours only as long as your dad's next transfer..and under the circumstances, I always founded a nook in the garden that I could make mine. Strangely even three months after the shifting I had not found my nook.

But one fine day, something happened that changed everything. I woke up in the morning, it was early October, a lovely chill in the air surrounded by early morning mist. I shivered a bit in the chill, and went up to the window. Suddenly I saw a vision in white. In the driveway of our home, a rather ordinary green leafed small tree had been standing for long. It had neither the beauty nor the flowers to attract one. But suddenly that day I saw it anew. On the ground near the tree was a carpet of white! Every bough in the tree was covered with tiny little white flowers with a trimming of orange as if defying their colorless existence and laughing in mirth at the foolishness of man for not having noticed it for so long. As I stared at this wonder in stupefied silence..I suddenly ran down to see the tree, to touch it in loving reassurance that this was reality.

As I stood beneath the white tree, I was in for more surprise. from the tree came the sweetest of smells that wafted into me a dance. I closed my eyes and in reverence of the white bed took of my shoes and sat on the bed of flowers soft.

Ma told me later that day that these little flowers called 'Shewli' in Bangla were the first heralder s of the Durga puja..perhaps the quintessential welcome of nature to the Godess with ten hands. Over time plenty of things have changed for me..the house, the childhood, the dreams..what didn't was the memory of the Shewli tree that had welcomed me to the Pujos and the essence of their beauty..till today every Durga puja has me searching for Shewlis..the little white flowers that welcome the Goddess.

© 2011 Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury

( Image courtesy Google)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The father I lost..

All wrapped up, he lay…

My Papa in sheaths of unbleached cotton

And plugs in the ear

Not wanting to hear

The harshness of crying any more

Where would he go I wondered-?

All packed and done…

In grains of rice and burning wicks

In coconut halves and burning twigs

This was no pitter patter of a journey..

Only an endless calm it seemed

How would he make it I thought

With a face so pale & eyes so shut-

Perhaps that’s how this journey is done,

The child within me thought

“You are a fool”- A voice within me said,

Soon they shall burn him

And the stench of the HE shall be,

Mixed then forever into eternity,

Of twigs from mango trees in the backyard

And coconut shells lying amiss

He shall perhaps smell

And then perhaps he shall waft

Into the North –Eastern breeze

And to his land blend….

© 2011 Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury

( Image courtesy Google)

Friday, September 2, 2011

The pursuit of knowledge..

The pursuit of knowledge, of desire seems to be bizarre in its very wanting, in its madness, considering the thirst that it brings about. And yet in some strange way it makes you let go of everything that you have learnt, accumulated over the years and hoarded thinking they were milestones, that were the guiding lights of your life. And yet often this very urge makes islands out of you from those very people to whom you have been clinging all you whom you have seen relations, love and normalcy. Then what is it you would say, about this thirst that makes you do the wildest things that you didn't think yourself capable of..that you had no idea existed within you. This total surrender to something so powerful that it is like a macabre..a slow dance of death awaiting the light of dawn when one is to be killed having had one’s fill of knowledge, power and sustenance thus. I remember an instance when I watched the sea from very close quarters at night, something about its eeriness struck me as fascinating.. while I did like the sea during the day, at night it was all pervasive, strong and overwhelming. I decided to walk towards it, to feel its waves engulf me and talk to me, to hear what its depths had to say. And yet I knew that if I entered I might not be able to swim back, indeed I could not. I did not enter the sea that night, neither did I walk towards it, I sat there looking at it. It brought to me shells, sick things from different shores. I guess I sat all night dissecting them, wondering if it would bring about that elusive something that I so desperately sought, that I knew was in store for me. And then I felt a foamy caress..of the mighty sea was dawn, the night had passed..the sea seemed to say..'in me lies all that you need to find and more..but don’t drown in me, I hate corpses..I shall give it back..even throw it back on land and then you shall lie there and be eaten by the crabs running hither and thither and be sniffed at by dogs and men at night for experiments that I know not of. Look for in me the wise-ness of the centuries and feel in me the impermanence of the is but thus.' I went home wet, tired and somehow satisfied..I had become an island unto myself and yet not.

© 2011 Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury

( Image courtesy Google)