CELEBRATION OF LOCAL: SANJUKTA DASGUPTA

Park Street 

“That school on Park Street is so beautiful”
The awestruck student told her teacher
The nun of her missionary school replied
“we are all missionaries
But their school is for the rich
Our school is for the poor”
The student rushed back to her parents
“Our school is for the poor, sister said
Who are rich, what do they do
I know they read the same books
Do the same exams as we do
But they must be dressed in silks in summer
Eating biriyani all the time”

No buses plied on Park Street
No rickshaws, the chariots of fire
No bicycles, no hawkers
Bystanders and busy pedestrians
Lined the pavements stretched
In front of magic names and heavy doors
Guards guarded those doors that swung open
For the rich, slammed shut for the poor
No parking on Park Street for the poor
It was a seductive street that ravished the rich
And humiliated the poor!
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Sanjukta Dasgupta: FormerProfessor and Former Head, Dept of English and Former Dean, Faculty of Arts, Calcutta University is a poet, critic and translator.  She is the recipient of numerous national and international grants and fellowships and has lectured, taught and read her poems in India, Europe, USA and Australia. She was the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Writers Prize, United Kingdom. Dasgupta’s published books are The Novels of Huxley and Hemingway: A Study in Two Planes of Reality, Responses: Selected Essays,Snapshots( poetry), Dilemma (poetry), First Language ( poetry), More Light (poetry), Her Stories (translations), Manimahesh (translation), The IndianFamily in Transition (co-edited SAGE). Media, Gender andPopular Culture in India: Tracking Change and Continuity (co- author, SAGE, 2012) ,Tagore: At Home in the World ( co-editor SAGE 2013), Radical Rabindranath:Nation, Family and Gender in Tagore’s Fiction and Films.( co-author, Orient Blackswan 2013), SWADES- Tagore’s Patriotic Songs ( translation, VisvaBharati Publication Division, 2013), Abuse and Other Short Stories (Dasgupta Book Company, 2013), Towards Tagore A collection of Essays (ed with introduction -VisvaBharati Publications, 2014), GolpoSankalan: Translated Contemporary Bengali Short Stories (SahityaAkademi New Delhi 2016 reprinted 2018), Lakshmi Unbound (Poetry) 2017. Claiming Space for Australian Women’s Writing (co-edited. Publisher: Pan Macmillan, USA), 2017.

2 comments :

  1. Quite a thought provoking narrative, beautifully crafted and very effectively told.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The glimpses of a city with the blend of a soft satire parkstreet can be any urban street

    ReplyDelete

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