Sumallya Mukhopadhyay is a former student of Department of English, Presidency University, Kolkata. At present, he is stuck in his life brooding what he could do next. Other than reading and writing, Sumallya is also a sports journalist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
A Birth Date in January
To wake up to the drizzling breeze
Handcuffing me in the closed chains of the bed,
And then the calendar said – in delight, in sore
That you stand an old man, with an engine
Rusting at twenty four.
Whispering the years of the past stood,
And one stood out of the rest
When a boy in t-shirt, khaki pant his best
Walked hand in hand with mother
To the voice in the temple, which said parables
While caring for his sacred thread.
And in a cycle we shared the ride
When father called out to the winged trees
For a photo by their side, which in a frame,
Remained a friend – resident of the sleeping town,
Receiving letters that no one read.
To escape the vigilant voice by the window
We climbed the wall at night,
Sung to by the driving clouds on full moon’s highway.
And hidden amid knee-deep grasses lived
Some centuries and centuries of fireflies-
Which stood up and waved, clearing avenues as one walked.
Alarmed at an alien land of forbidden fruits
We ate and slept, and not spoke a word.
Fearing that words are not allowed in this kingdom
The sky stepped down soon, and we had
Glowing stars in our hands and feet, time travelling
From one grass to another.
The morning invaded the mystic park, though
We had ample evidence of eternity that we saw.
To be away, to be very far away
Fading, receding yet meeting,
Once in a while, like the aching siren
Of a midnight goods train, travelling the disparate roads,
Echoing at the crossroad. Meeting,
Yet far away, stood the glare of the eyes,
Which mumbled, in tattered cloth, and decade dusted hand
Mumbling of a promised meeting, in the same corner,
Every day and night, and, at times, in the afternoon.
I looked no different from him when I was his age.
I gathered coins, but not like him.
I mumbled, I travelled, I met. Never like him.
Never was I so hungry. Never did I chew my fingers.
So create a symphony of coins and belly.
I knew he existed. Forever will.
Like the midnight train and its siren.
For My Parents
Flanked by middle class apartments
And their daily chores of drying clothes
They walked, in steps, of an aging rhythm.
And with every step, they narrated a moment,
Each moment piling up to form their story-
A story that stretches for thirty years,
And continues still.
She looked backed, waving after every three step she took.
He looked back only twice. Waved,
Only when the lane decided to take turn,
Hiding rest of the story from me.
And, in a moment, I realized the burden and the ecstasy
Of their recorded memories, of stories that they share
And stories of their own individuality,
Which they fail to communicate,
And that these stories are embedded in some distant Bible
To be or not to be translated.
But every wave, and my immediate longing
To wave back in recognition, formed a delicate secret-
A secret that speaks of their togetherness
And the togetherness of their individuated lives,
In one life that they had, and shared.
Image: Soumyajit Pramanick