CELEBRATION OF LOCAL: NAINA DEY

Janmashtami

It rained that night as well
On Janmashtami
As it does every year
The temple with its fairy lights
Milling with people since morning
It was a public holiday.

Inside the temple I peeped
Squeezing myself between colossal limbs
To watch the toy gopis in sparkly dress
Moving round and round in twos
Holding hands

And then it began to rain
Making my father hurry towards home
Myself on his shoulder
His kerchief pressed to my head
My mother following

Thus did a father carry his newborn to refuge
On a rainy night
A myth traversing the river of time.


Rainbow

It had sprung suddenly
From nowhere
Red, indigo, liquid green
One arm inside a pillow of cloud
The other plunging, suicidal
Behind the skyrises, the hospital
The flyover whizzing cars
A perfect arch of Rama’s bow
Like an unexpected gift
People on their evening stroll
Flip out smartphones
To capture a rare rainbow
A student takes a picture
But continues staring
Lips parted to show pearly teeth
Inhaling colours
While thinking of his girlfriend
Watching the bird-plane cutting through the cloud
Cutting across the rainbow
Watching a beautiful miracle.
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Naina Dey teaches at Maharaja Manindra Chandra College (University of Calcutta) and is also a guest lecturer in the P.G. Dept. of English, University of Calcutta. She is a critic, translator and creative writer. Her books include Macbeth: Critical Essays, Edward the Second: Critical Studies, Real and Imagined Women: The Feminist Fiction of Virginia Woolf and Fay Weldon, Representations of Women in George Eliot’s Fiction, Macbeth : Exploring Genealogies and a book of poems Snapshots from Space and Other Poems. She was awarded the “Excellence in World Poetry Award, 2009” by the International Poets Academy, Chennai and twice won the Heart Bytes poetry contest organised by Sacred Hearts College, Kochi. Her latest publication is a translation of Upendrakishore Ray Chowdhury’s “Gupi Gain O Bagha Bain”.

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