Thursday, November 28, 2013

Memories of November

My land now far removed
where innocence died,
and you flourished.

Yet the smells remain,
clinging and never forgotten.
Like snakes twirling in toilets,
bent on proving their sterileness
cohabiting a space so dense-

In the Bulbul's twitch,
of Luit and its silence
of dogs and stray cats,
wandering in, like love.
Leaving you and coming back-
strays, forever straying.

Of headiness of April rains,
of the naked austerity of Patkai,
the unknown languages of streams,
of the red earth-

I lie scattered.

-© 2014 Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury

( Photograph courtesy Bhagyajit Bhuyan)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Where poetry ended and you began..who knows

Reading up on books that talk of your soil and smell of your own language can be heady..but then one must know how to smell, in between the pages, between the lines, even between the words, to find oneself there..and I have been waiting to feel you so long, where poetry ended and you began, who knows.

'Suddenly I saw Pakhi standing by my desk. The moment I saw her I realized, this is what I had been waiting for. Yes no point trying to hide it. I felt I had made her appear with the force of my longing- She had no choice, she could not have done otherwise. So I was not surprised, I said nothing, I only looked at her in silence.

Pakhi was the first one to speak. I remember her words clearly.

"I'm a lady. You should stand up when you see me"
I stood up obediently.
"Reading so  late in the night?"
"I glanced at the fat, open book in response."
"Are you up only to read?"

My head lowered itself in guilt. There was a silent pause. I could hear the ticking of the clock in the next room. There was one more sound, probably a sound in my heart, a strange one.'

As I read, in the distance of the neighbourhood plays 'Chompa Chameli..' and somehow I am home, where you are..where I reside

( Conversation lines from, 'My kind of girl' By Buddhadeva Basu- Translated By Arunava Sinha)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

From one book to another

And a part of you came today
the most beautiful part perhaps?
dipped in the ink of your caress,
you, for whom I shall wait
by some shadows and some light
some day,
where your talk and mine will be meaningless
in fragrance somehow more sweet-
we shall sit in some corner,
tucked away from time
gathering dust unto ourselves
in an age old love of sorts-
your shelf or mine?

or so the refrain goes..

© 2013 Maitreyee B Chowdhury 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Lines under a street lamp

The shadows are long in unknown streets
the insects hovering over sick neon lights
like strangers from faraway lands,
they look beautiful under shadows
and die in the sun, each day.

A small boy sits in its jaundiced light,
sick and yellow with hunger?
Somewhere from a remote gali
Pakeeza comes alive-

I climb a rock and read a poem,
I scream I shout and enact,
at my nonexistent audience.
They clap in their busy songs,
in callousness strewn over each other.
A black moth approves-

People fill the roads like rats,
milling over-
careless, faceless,
hurry in every crease.
Lovers pause for life,
behind a lamp, a shrub?
Life lives for a while.

A phone rings,
my shadows come home-
On the road back,
in pieces I become my role
and play it.

 © 2013 Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury

( Image from,r:71,s:300,i:217&iact=rc&page=19&tbnh=175&tbnw=145&ndsp=19&tx=78&ty=78 ) 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

People watching @ Cafe Coffee day


I spent a good part of this afternoon at a Cafe Coffee Day outlet, where I had a work related discussion. As I waited for the gentleman I was to meet and sipped on my Darjeeling, I suddenly heard a high pitched female voice say, "I don't care who comes for the wedding or doesn't, who eats what or doesn't, who does what..all I care about is my dress, my make up and how I look". I nearly choked on my tea and looked up.

For someone like me who loves observing people, a Cafe Coffee day can be a dream. To my delight, I looked up to see a couple completely colour-cordinated. Hers was a red top and white skirt, his was a red Tee and white pants. They sat with a woman who looked like a gypsy returned from Goa. Over the conversation I realised that the woman was a wedding planner. She periodically showered 'muaah muaah s' on the couple added with a 'you guys are the coolest'.
My smile got bigger and bigger, with the rather loud conversation. The wedding planner says, " And look at you guys, such togetherness in the colours". The girl shakes her head and points out, "But of course! CCD you know". 
The man takes out his phone in a bit, shows his school photograph to the planner, she squeals in delight. The girl says, " Its like a 40 year old tradition, you know..something like royalty"..shrieks again. 
The gentleman I'm waiting for arrives. There are more muaah s happening as the planner now plans to leave. The icing on the cake? The couple left to themselves kiss for long..some conversations end beautifully after all.