In the dream, I am walking. The chain around my foot rattles like a hungry snake. Yet I am walking, floating... down the sleek black streets of my past as if there is no chain around my ankle. As if this rain-soaked evening is as fresh and untainted as the day its first memory was… Continue reading Look Elsewhere
Poison penetrates me, drop by drop. I stand before her gaping mouth and count the rotting teeth. Row upon row of stones dark with ever-oozing blood and pus, and I think of the depths the poison would have to reach before being able to carve out such exquisite pain from their steadfast roots. The roots… Continue reading Purgatory
The heaviness in your heart is not for the world to see, yet who to share it with, but the world? Who to cling to but the unknown, the unfamiliar? Love can heal, they say, but what if love is not enough? What if the hurt you carry has spilled one too many times and… Continue reading Unfamiliar
Till a while ago, whenever I looked down from a high ledge, I'd retreat, afraid of a fall. Now, I enjoy looking down from this abandoned balcony without rails, strewn with blood-red broken chairs. Down below another abandoned balcony comes into view. Shadows deepen in the woods, clouds rumble in the sky. And in the… Continue reading Raai, Awake 5: Translating Ritam Sen’s Jaago Raai
Call me quaint, but Radha is one of those metaphors that never fail to move me no matter how cliched. In a way, she is such a primal symbol of love; a love so pure and all-consuming even a god couldn't handle its weight and had to run away. Radha is what remains when we… Continue reading Amar Haat Bandhibi: A Translation
'Jaago Rai' was first published as a series in a Bangla poetry blog, and garnered quite a following. The poems were collected and published in 2013 as a little black chapbook illustrated by the poet himself and created by a little collective of madcap writers and artists who called themselves 'Houdinir Tnabu' (Houdini's magic tent).
On days like this, I don't want the pain to stop. I wake up dreaming of sumptuous steaks in golden platters and my stomach turns. The weak but insistent rays of a late-winter sun struggle against my dusty blue curtain and I try to wipe off the smug faces of my uncle and aunt sitting… Continue reading Love Will Keep Us Alive