Thursday, October 27, 2011


I lost my life..

With your smell on it

Strewn somewhere carelessly

Kicked aside perhaps with years of misuse

It would smell of centuries of wait

Amidst the pain

Of the pain in the well hidden

Of the sudden tears..

For one knows, not what

The sudden stop on a road..thinking of someone

A shadow of you perhaps…

If you find that silly soul

Tucked away perhaps ..

In some corner..somewhere in life

Tell her will you..that

The words you said …were true

If for a moment at least

She shall die in peace

© 2011 Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury

( Image courtesy Google)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A letter on the bus

Dear no one,

Like any other day, in any other city, in any other bus..I am sitting on the last seat of A particular bus..going perhaps in a particular direction where I am supposed to go everyday and do whatever I am supposed to do every day. I look outside, there are millions of people, walking, running, staggering as if in their mad rush to reach their destinations. And yet I wonder if they know where they really are headed? I look inside the bus, so many people, I wonder what they are thinking of...there's not a single face where curiosity of the road is mixed with the happiness of living..I blink my eyes, close them for a while shielding myself from the pollution, the harshness of everyday drudgery and wonder at no one in general...'Where am I going?'.. Of course, its an idle question, not that it needs answering. I'm even aware of the fact that I particularly don't want it answered..since in not knowing it, perhaps lies the beauty. I am reminded of a scene from the film 'American Beauty'..There's a scrap of paper dancing in the if with a life of its own.

To be fair to life and everyone in general, I rewind in portions and smile a little mystically, life has perhaps been fairly good. I have seen love, warmth, happiness, comfort, all in more or less good measures. . and yet there is this huge emptiness, as I question myself again and again..where does the road lead to..There are contradictions to almost the chaos of the everyday, I want alone-ness, in the alone-ness of everyday I want comfort, to someone perhaps warm..someone who does not cling..and yet someone who leaves me to my own, and yet someone to whom I can reach out..without having to call....

There's a handle near the seat, where I am seated. It looks polished and gleaming from millions of touches perhaps and yet it is bare of the paint that once made it beautiful. It is today, like how it will be tomorrow and many many years later too...Human minds are perhaps similar in that the more things change, nothing changes at all...and yet all of us change so much in those little bits and parts of the everyday that slowly we fail to realize what is it that we are looking for, what is it that we want to look like.

People change, and yet they don't, ideas change and yet they don't..perhaps change itself changes and perhaps not. I shall get down from the bus at a destined point and do what I am supposed to do. I shall perhaps be happy in what I do too, and feel good at the end of the day at having achieved something that I set about to do. And yet that dull ache of emptiness, in the eyes and in the soul shall remain. I shall come back to this bus or perhaps another and see similar handles, that shine..the journey shall is only change that shall change perhaps?

I blink my eyes, something very green appears as if from some far away dream land. It is a green tree...some flowers, red, blue, pink suddenly pop up as if from if springing from hope....& magic..There's a small smile that I realize, it is only HOPE that never changes..everything else does.


The confused Soul

( Image courtesy Google)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dung beneath my feet

I smelt of dung beneath my feet,

Fresh and full of Bacteria..

I wondered if they would ask me to come back,

Having found me after centuries of waiting..

But then the Bulbul that sat on the fat rock,

Staring at dumb fishes..

Crooned a sudden song..

It said 'we shall be lovers..

In our stillness, in our wait...

And when you come again..we shall embrace...

Like there was no distance ...ever!'

Come back..come back...

The turtle in the fish pond nodded in brevity

© 2011 Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sleeping still

" I have slept long not knowing....what might have been"....when I heard this I wondered....why would sleeping be akin to not knowing? Why can't one assume that we know more of that which we couldn't otherwise when we are asleep....That sleep takes us to those corners both safe and unsafe that seem in real life too stupid a place to be or to uneasy a circumstance for practicality.....And yes there are times when waking up from dreams is unpleasant because there is sometimes so much of comfort in not knowing..the could have beens..the might have been s the drudgery of everyday familiarity, the drudgery of crushing your dreams into the uncomfortable world of practicality, where everything is black OR white and nothing has the muted shades of grey. I would have slept on and on... knowing that waking would take me away from the comfort of your arms. Dreams are where one is safely ensconced into the arms of love without the fear of being taken away by that which needs to be that which needs to be said, to be polite, to be stupid enough to see life changing so much that you don't know if you exist anymore ..I shall perhaps thus sleep on and never want to wake up...As for what might have been? who cares, who knows..who wants to know..when the present of dreams is so exotic..So sleep on I shall in the knowledge that the you in my dreams is a far cry from that which I could perchance in the realms of everyday..... unstable

( Image courtesy Google)

When 'Dignity' walked along

I walked the streets in quiet

‘Dignity’, walked along-

People one the road stopped me

‘Who is this alien creature, they asked’

I gave them a mirror..find her I said

For she is there..somewhere

And if you can’t find her there

Cut open the veins, search the vessels

Tucked deep inside and in hibernation

Shall you find this lovely

© 2011 Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury

( Image courtesy Google)

Friday, October 14, 2011

A tale of a Safety Pin

I was meeting a friend. We had talked several times over the phone but never seen each other. Naturally the excitement of meeting was that much more..would the person be like what I had thought him to be..etc etc crossed the mind. We were supposed to meet at 3:30 in the evening I was there before 3:15..after a few minutes I looked at my watch and nodded my head like a penguin tsk tsk still time to go, before I could officially call him late( as if my life depended on it!) I stared at the glitzy mall, upturned nose, pitying everyone in general who seemed to have suddenly discovered retail therapy. It was Durga Puja time & the place was Kolkata, South city mall to be precise. Every one seemed to be having a great lot of fun by screaming at each other and posing in front of the doll like Durga that had been created inside the mall.

Bored of criticizing everything that came between me and my elegance..I sauntered off. I had decided not to be overtly traditional & wear a weird( only I knew that) something that could fit into both Eastern OR Western OR neither..after all I was meeting a photographer! Ohh yes my friend in question was a photographer and a rather good one at that. And of course I HAD to put on all my airs & behave the fashionista ( you know how it is with the woman who dives at her last chance..kind of). I had white cotton trousers on and smiled at myself ( from what I thought) rather elegantly. I had decided to walk and taking a bend I reached a saree shop and saw some giggling girls. I decided to put on my mature best & introspected the saree hanging on the showcase for any flaws.

All of a sudden I realized something was wrong. I looked down at myself..what could it be? To my horror and elegantly raised eyebrow-ish disgust I realized that my cotton trousers were loose and threatened to come down. Which moron had said cotton trousers were fashionable?

I delicately placed a leg in front and one at back to test it out..the trouser slipped a bit..I looked right and then left. Had anyone noticed my faux pas..God! I decided I needed the mother of all inventions the 'Safety pin'. A long time ago I had heard my mother say that she wished to give a Nobel prize to the one who had discovered the Safety pin..for it's sheer versatility. I had secretly laughed at my mom that day. ..Today I knew what she meant. Incidentally, I always carry an over sized bag so that I can find anything I want when I'm out. The problem is that the bag which resembles a well, never comes up with anything on time...To be fair to it's history, the bag did not deliver today too. I pressed the panic button, what could I do. I couldn't hold my trouser's while I met my friend..had coffee..shook my hand with him..etc etc..insane questions rose in my mind..could I pass it off as the latest pose? Hand in the waist etc?

I decided to buy a safety pin, after all it was a shopping mall. Just that no one had taught me that a shopping mall sells everything but stuff that you need..stylishly placing well manicured hands on my trousers, in a manner that no one would notice, I managed to walk an entire floor. But there was no trace of any Safety pin! What were these people, idiots? Didn't they know the importance of a Safety pin in a human being's life? Cursing at a beaming doorman and howling babies..I made my way in and out of shops...It was 3:40, never had I been so glad that anyone was late! I decided to give him a warm bear hug for being late.. delirium was not too far off..I could understand.

Suddenly I had a brain wave. Most Bengali women have a habit of tagging a safety pin to their bangles ( the red and white ones) I curiously looked at every bangle that every woman had the bad fortune to wear that day. Alas! Not a single one had any safety pin attached to it..what was wrong with Bengali women..they had forgotten their culture..their traditions..I was furious..worthless creatures all. By now I was desperate and ready to howl..all my attempts at fashion flew out of the door..I felt like screaming..doesn't anyone have a small safety pin in this huge mall! I had another brain wave..The loo!

For the uninitiated, a woman's loo is not only a fact it is just 'also a loo'...women frequent a loo more to sweep their locks from one side to another..dab more lipstick..touch up their make up..etc. I was delighted with my brainwave. Some functional woman ( unlike myself) was sure to have a safety pin after all. I entered the loo with an eye-full of expectation...My woman's brain scanned and slotted every woman into categories like most women's do...young girls were less likely to carry safety pins..I was searching for someone..middle aged..( of course I was never middle aged!..goodness gracious me NO)

To my horror no one fitted the description. Sick and desperate, I announced in the most charming way possible to everyone in general.." does anyone have a safety pin?" There was pin drop silence..a girl brushing her hair giggled ( I saw her funny bone of course & stared back in appreciation) No one seemed to have answers..they slowly nodded in the negative or mumbled a "No". Suddenly a guard entered, as I watched her, she was the only one who had come in to pee, I found. The girl who had giggled put down her hair brush and said, "ask her, she might have it".

No sooner did the guard open the loo door I blurted, " Do you have a safety pin?"..on a second thought I added 'didi'..after all everyone was a didi in W. Bengal. I also added immediately, I'll pay you for it. To my astonishment, the GREAT woman slowly nodded her head and said " yes I think I have one in my bag, but you have to come with me to the staff room" She also added, " Madame I may be poor but I can surely give you a safety pin, you need not pay me for it" Extremely embarrassed I assured her that I was in dire straits and had only meant to be polite. In that moment of insanity I thought of poetry and compared my situation to the bright sun peeping out of dark clouds..maybe I could write a poem on a safety pin too! Wow..Lunacy wasn't far off..

As the guard marched me to her quarters, she soon scanned her bag and unlike mine found a bunch of safety pins smartly. She gave me two, saying in case you need one again, smiled and went out.

The phone rang, my friend was here, I looked at my watch..He was late..I raised an eyebrow..tsk tsk.

( Image courtesy Google)