Good Things

Wind in hair. Licking cake bowls. Singing out loud. Crying out loud. Reading new stories. Rereading old stories. Dancing, lots of dancing to those ridiculous tracks from the seventies and eighties. Pink nail paint on toes. The colour yellow. Cold coffee with ice cream. Hot coffee with sunshine. A favourite poem. A favourite song on the radio. Sleeping like a baby. A nice dream.

The last bit of Nutella on the butter knife. Letting balloons go. Warmth of your pet. Smell of old books. Libraries. The smell of new books. That sacred, unbroken spine. Cool drinks on hot days. Hot drinks on cold days. Winter. Woollen clothes. The soft comfort of blankets. Rain on roof. Rain dripping off your umbrella. The sea. The sand crunching under your feet. Breathing in. Breathing out.

Mountains. The cool wind in your face. The green, The blue. Singing along to oldies rock. When your favourite artist drops a new album. Smell of freshly baked bread. A new nail paint. A new friend. A new dress. Old paint. An old friend. Old pyjamas. Goosebumps. A bird song. Wagging tails. And puppy eyes.

Gelatos. Ice cones. And cakes. Long drives. An unexpected call. A hopelessly expected call. A happy movie. A sad movie. Freshly washed jeans. Whispered words. Hushed giggles. A rainy day. A sunny day. An in-between day. Standing ankle deep in a stream. Swirling skirts. The colour red. On lips. Nails. And feet.

Marshmallows. Caramel. And toffee. A Fitzgerald novel. Dragons and elves. Faraway lands and Fairies. Believing in magic. And miracles. Grass tickling bare feet. Long walks. Long talks. Long hair. Sunsets and sunrises. Old pictures. Old memories. Yellowed papers. An heirloom. A box full of nostalgia. Love. And being loved.

Fireworks. Autumn. When the goddess descends for those three days. All the lights. Tram sounds in the dawn. Madrugada-when night meets the day. A soft purr. Hiding in the crook of his neck. Hearing the heartbeats. Sparrows fighting. When the cloud has a silver lining. And sometimes when it’s tinted a crazy orange. When the eyeliner is perfect. Long sleeves on a sweater. Flowers in your hair. A tentative kiss. Twinkle in those eyes. Twinkling diamonds in the sky. Finding beauty in life…

– Sabarna Sarkar

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Roadside Melodies

What do you want to sing about today?

The song of traffic on a busy city road?

Traffic that rushes past, and won’t look at you even if you call, heart raw and eyes sore?

Traffic singing under the street lights in drunken gallantry…

And twirling as one with the dust motes fuzzy near those lights, peach-golden on top yet dusk and danger below…

The fogs of smoke drift around the light headed bulbs as my legs move to the rhythm of the tune of despair.

Accompanied by horns of flutes, with sphere-ish legs of grey, the only spear to pierce the smoke, intent on its morbid play.

I could see their burning eyes within the drifting mist. My hands hung in halting vice, before the vehicle’s fist…

A fire, unkempt that burns in pits of hell, suddenly aglow on the streets – a death knell? Curling strands of wonder ebb and glow…

The street opens in deep dark holes, they swallow men in droves. The darkness within are shadows under hellish welting stoves…

Signs ignored, lost among the tinted patterns of city streets, lost because of their banal persona, because of the jigs they dance before our half-shut minds, each day  obscured in sunlight, sharp in shadow…

The dances are subdued in the images of another poet, as the night grows darker with the twilight song in its veins. I still walk, hoping to hitch a ride from the surface of hell!

A flash of emerald halts your quagmire hunt, a pull, a memory of hell hounds that guard your cynic’s paradise…

A shock from the darkened paradise, but hell-never-the-less; as the sickly glow of orderly light punctuates my concentration. The horned hell hound barks with wrath, as the car picks me up, to heaven…

– Upasruti Biswas, Shakya Bose

Obituary of Imagination

How do you mourn imagination? A tombstone on your heart? A plaque on your soul? Twelve days beneath the shadow of the night, mourning memories and me..
No …salty tears rushes past my cheeks….my soul bleeds in agony…my intimacy with death frustrates me….I can not weave my dreams anymore.

Dreams are not meant to be woven… dreams are accidents of the soul when life cannot carry you anymore…
I have woven dreams in words….have enmeshed its sweet essence..in pages…poetry flows in my blood…but now my words have ceased…sharp pain of failure,recurrence of failed endeavours…failure so dastardly ,pierces my heart… As my passion weeps gently…
the words are like fireflies, irreverent to the trap i spread for them… sometimes, just sometimes, i feel they are better off, hidden from my predatory pen…
They hide in labyrinth….labyrinth in my brain ….my heart immersed in nothingness vehemently searches for them..
but the sea of nothingness is like an ocean of meaning, where lost thoughts come to bathe… and my arms beat the waves of imagination, searching for the island of lost dreams…
Sea of nothingness is a sea strangely beauteous….the land of broken dreams…where the sun beats relentlessly …refulgence destroying…eyes….eyes so pulchritudinous…
A land where the dead tree gives no shelter
the bright sun is an ignominious blot on the surface of my mind, the shelterless trees, an autumn in spring… my mind is a jungle of thorny ideas. I hide them, to avoid getting bruised…
My bruises burn….burn in an anger of rage…wordly vistas pop in my mind…mind unfettered by chains….
I try to paint…but again I fail

and then I stop trying, letting my heavy heart sink like lead… and then I float, my fingers paint, and my letters form words and words form worlds. the fireflies lead the way,

while the trap lies forgotten…

– Shakya Bose, Akashleena Basu

In Tune

Shakya Bose  I am pretty sure mid night drinks my blood and makes me high… but I am so fucking happy to not be alone when I want to be alone, and yet feel alone, as if spending time with myself… you, for the lack of a better image, are part of my skin…

Upasruti Biswas  One of the most awe-inspiring and joy giving things I’ve read…

Shakya Bose no wonder people think we are lovers… we ARE! just not in a way people will understand!

Shakya Bose and liking my own quotes…. i should go and sleep…

Upasruti Biswas Because people only ever look for love in the conventional ways, in a rose and a kiss but not in the clasped hands quivering in laughter, and in conventional places like the heart, but not the soul, from where love itself is made..

Upasruti Biswas I think the right word is – attuned. I’m “in tune” with you.

Shakya Bose so in tune that i can hear your thoughts like the machinery in a slot machine? and i never have to wait for it to hit jackpot!

Upasruti Biswas So in tune that I can hear you even in writing, and off-key notes make me frown, when they play on your face..

Shakya Bose so in tune that i anticipate your mistakes, because they are mine and not mistakes at all; and your silence is the gateway to the frown that is me…

Upasruti Biswas so in tune, that a piece of life seen out of the corner of your eye, makes me giggle in wonder, a whisper of unease in the air is mine and yours, mingled at an eyelash fall of either…

Upasruti Biswas Incidentally, one of my top 10 favourite lines is the one you just wrote. Ei prithibi te ki shobai amar theke bhalo lekhey?  gajor rao jaadu kaali te bhorti aajkal.

Shakya Bose so in tune that we can never figure out why the other likes the letters of their brain, when the words are the same only written from left to write, to be read from right to left… ^ this, i think, is the problem!

Upasruti Biswas And also why, the moment a thought unfurls a bud in one’s head, the thought has already blossomed full in the other… ^etao chaap!

Shakya Bose the flowers were never meant to be tamed… the heads are just the branches, isn’t the fall that really matters?

Upasruti Biswas But the fall could have been fatal, petals scattered in the wind, yet they all came back home to grow up from the same old place…coincidence? I THINK NOT.

Shakya Bose coincidences are the second best inventions of life… because coincidentally, it ends.. May friendships remain sunset golden, long past twilight.

– Shakya Bose, Upasruti Biswas

The One Without the Title

Maybe it’s just a clicking of nails on squares, just letters typed in monochrome,

Maybe it’s nothing but dreams of what should be…

Maybe the hot chocolate and blushing roses, the gentle dances, sweet love proses,

Maybe they’re all just parts of new-old memories…

But it’s love, still at the end of the day,

Worlds apart, still bright,

Maybe in the stars we all see at night,

Under the sky we share,

Love is love no matter where we are,

Maybe love is love, tonight.

Always.

Love is in virtual presence, and lonely smiles…

Love is in the shared sky and affordable stars!

And in the web intangible that wraps us close, in the distant light of modem’s glow..

In tired eyes and bruised fingers, of loving laters and belated letters….

In the long lost warmth of a true-felt hug, once as close as dreams

In the wandering joy of music heard together in that dream…

In the shared past of a distant presence and emotions unbound in faultless stars…

Maybe hidden in ink-bound cream, leather and words of joining hearts…

And through eternity itself we shall burn bright, weaving our love

Into the very pattern of the intricate web of time with the fiery tendrils of passion…

In love of defiance, in laws of irrationality.

In heard silences and resonant remembrance…

Of the taming of the shrews, of songs unsung,

Passions unbridled, we shall dance on…

In misstepped dances, mistaken melodies,

Misplaced rhymes and misdirected lives…

Of missing lovers and mesmerising loves…

Of burning up in the pyres we sing, mingling love & lust…

Of decadence we sing tonight, transcending the mundanities, we dance!!!

Four sets of fingers typed away at furious pace. Four screens rang with incoming alerts. Four faces glowed.

Micro tales of tiny hearts, pulsating with cigarette smoke, love, lust and biblical sins…

Poetry in fits and starts; Life, in endless sonatas…

And we dance till the end of colours…

When everything was monochrome, except happiness…

We painted rainbows into the musty essence of time…

And be the golden treasures at her painted foot, resting the rest of happiness and love

As golden as the hair on Helen’s head…

As golden, as the glinting ouroboros of eternity on her finger…

As golden as the lonely sands on the sunset beach…

Drunk in essence of 26-lettered passion?

What passion, what pain… and what nostalgic drunkenness!

– Antarleena Saha, Debdip Maitra, Shakya Bose, Upasruti Biswas

The Coup de le bard

And by the moonlight,

I sat down and sang,

Sang, of the memories tonight,

Piercing the silence, my voice rang…

I sang with the skylark of long-lost ones,

I cooed with the quail to rejoice new love!

In dripping moonlight and silence loud,

I laughed again in hope profound!

The roses they bloomed, in joyous exultance,

And the stars twinkled bright as if cleaned afresh,

And even nature seemed coloured with regal exuberance,

Blushing like a maiden, wearing her favourite dress!

Awaiting silence, the warmth of the night?

Still cold, star fire burning bright?

But the sparks in the distance, the faint night-lights?

The shy marble angel, her face she hides?

Awaiting her knight, in gleaming armour bright…

A stallion, with dancing eyes, bringing her lover home tonight!

The lonely moon’s mirror the sparkling waters…

She guides the lovers back home tonight!

The princess’ eyes drooping, a closing shop’s shutters,

She dreams of unicorns, and a thousand rainbow lights.

And flowing night atop her head, gentle sunshine love-breathed face

Gowns of pristine white, collars lined with lace

Her lips the colour of blushing rose, the allure of her charming grace

Taught in early green-peahood, gliding, smiling forgetting haste…

Sun-kissed cheeks glowing, she ran about in haste!!

And her tinkling laughter echoes, through the deep forest!

Trilling her shy melody that pleased one best…

Yet quiet she was in confidence

And fire-heart when needed most

And the whole kingdom raised her a toast

But no one knew what calamity brewed

Her story stood still, the bard eschewed!

And all ’round the people clamoured

Treat the bard, of who is he enamoured?

Was it the shy kitchen girl, oh so outrageous,

Or the lovely serving maid, though some said preposterous…

But then the bard sang, his heart’s greatest song,

Off with the princess, he ran far along.

And in the deep forests, their faeryland they set,

The mead was ever flowing, the story’s here complete…

– Debdip Maitra, Antarleena Saha, Upasruti Biswas

Jhor

Piko :   Ekta jhor chai. Pata uriye dhulo cchutiye jhor.
Shakya :   Shotti… ratre, ghum bhenge jabe… maa ekbar eshe bolbe niche ashte… ghum ashbe na… laal akasher dike takiye aar chokhe dhulor ashtoron niye baki raat tuku kete jabe!
Piko :   Onek raatey ma gaayer kantha ber kore bolbe diye ne..bondho janlar kanch jhon jhon korbe ar phaank diye shoru shutor moto hawa boibe..bhetorey…icchey korbe purono gaaner khata gulo ber korar…
Shakya :   Majhe majhe janalar kanch bhed kore unki marbe bidyut er jholkani… bhoye pabo… kintu palabo na…boro hoye gechi kina!
Piko :   Ektu hashi o pabey, bhebe je ekshomoy, jhor uthle bhoy korto, karon thammi bolto, bendhe rekhe de nijeke! Ure jabi…Duure tin er chaal er alga tukro jhom-dhom awaj korbe, ar grill e ghosha khawa aam gaacher patagulor dhulo kada hoye dhuye jabe..
Shakya :  Mone porbe, baba janalar dhare dariye gaan korto, jhor utheche baul batash, aar aamar mon kharap hoye jeto. bhabte bhabte aabar mon kharap hoye jabe. kisher jonne? Sheta bujhte parbo na. Brishtir awaaj, jhorer phish phish, aar bidyut er kora naarar modhhye kaadte kaadte, aar haashte haashte aabar hoyetoh ghumiye porbo?
Piko :   Aar shei ghumer nibir anonde, abcha alor shopneo shunbo rimjhim ghonoghota, sraboner dharar moto ei borshon er cchota..money porbe, meghla diner khichuri, ar school er jonnyo rochona, khatar cchera pechoner pataye, cchata matha loker pencil ghosha cchobi..
Shakya :   Prothom kobita.. barite boshe gondalur golpo sesh kore phela, bichanar chador er ushko khushko mejaj, dadar sathe video game khela niye jhogra. Bhule jawa onek chhotto ghotona. Raag, obhimaan, bhalobasha, aar jhorer kache rekhe jawa thikana aar smriti medurota!
Piko :   Ar shei taal gaach money pore? Shohoj paather shaada kalo chobir ek paaye darano taal gaach, jaar sthir daanao jyano jhoro batashe tolomolo..Ar babuder taal pukurer maachgulo jyano jege othey, dola laga dheu e, jyano ekdiner jonnyo tara shei shudur shomuddure eshe pouchechey…jhore bhashiye dewa amar shopno bhora kagojer nouko..noukadubi holey shei hotasha..shei durbhabna..tobey ki konodino keu jhor atikrom korte parbe na?
Shakya :   Aar jahaaje chorar asha niye raat bhor kore phela, boi er patae rekhar bairer somudre, jar dheuke tulir taane dhora jaena… Africar jongole er moto samudrik jhor, aar prochondo bipoder muukhe aatke pora. treasure island er shei sea sickness… prothom je boi ek barer beshi porechilam ebong anondo peyechilam.. aajo kono boi beshibar porte ichha korena… kintu ekhono mone hoye, treasure island er shei jhor tola obhijaan jodi aarekbar petam!
Piko :   Aar tarporey jiboner jhor..nagordola ghurnir moto dheye asha shopna, asha, didha, ar kancher baksher moto thunko bhalo laaga..jhapte jhapte mukhey laaga shob here jawa, shob pichiye jawa..shurjer alor shohosha beriye ashaye chokher patar bhetor theke dekha ramdhanu jhor, abar shei ramdhanu kei jiboney tene ana, shei uronto dhulo baalir protiti kona apon rongey rangiye newa, jawar belaye..
Shakya :   Koto haashi thattar utsho hoye thaka. moner modhhe jhor uthleo lukiye bujhiye rakha, jeno bohu purono kno gupto kotha… tarporer jhorer seshe upolobdhi, etai toh jibon… etai toh bneche thaka!
– Shakya Bose, Upasruti Biswas

And I watch you walk away…..

And then, just in the moment before the skies opened up and started pouring,

I saw the black of your kohl lined eyes spill down your cheeks…..

And then you turned back, and were running away in anger.

Running away, just as the first fat drops of rain fell on my glasses,

and then all at once it was a torrent of downpour…..

Rain falling in deluges, lightning rent the dark skies apart as within me a gale raged on….

A veritable inferno of emotions raging and ranting and swirling inside,

finding no words to give them form…

And down I fell onto my knees,

urging the cold steel droplets to rip apart the mask of flesh off our skin…..

Rip it off, so all your pain could look me straight in the eye,

and my eyes could let them know just how much you are loved…….

And so, I fall, onto my knees on the tarmac,

my silent screams drowning in the boom of thunder, as I watch you walk away…..

Waiting for you to turn back, just once, every fibre of my being calling out to you to stop,

wanting to run to you, and hold your sob convulsed body close and whisper away all your tears, but you don’t hear……

And I watch you walk away…………….

– Debdip Maitra