Poetry: Mandakini Bhattacherya



Cars whizz by the light of the lampposts
The lampposts that border the sari-like pavement
The pavement in whose bricks I see a design
A design that spikes into your melt-me-brown eyes
Your eyes that mine eyes search over a sand-heap
The sand-heap that cuddles the tea-shop bench
The bench where your lips play a melody
A melody of meeting with the brim of a tea-cup
A tea-cup whose wisps of smoke bring us together
Together, as also when your eyes gaze
Gaze deeply into my eyes across a lens
A lens that lengthens shadows and clears focus
The focus you adjust, nonchalantly for my eyes
Our eyes meet, un-meet, depart
Departure leaving memories on my eyelashes.


In the corners of wispy streets
brought into existence
by Grandpa and his friends,
sudden rides materialise.
Bang! Bang!
I ride the Desire Car.
In the evenings
that stretch into mornings,
the night somehow disappears.
As Desire sucks, feeds, grows,
the streets stretch from urban to countryside,
from Kolkata to Diamond Harbour,
and merge again.
Like a roving gypsy with raving fires
I traipse and sashay
from boulevards
to riverside temples with hidden menaces.
Forever, forever travelling,
the unfamiliar streets morph and beckon
with familiar flames and names.

* Adda is the Bengali word for friendly gossip.

Mandakini Bhattacherya, from Kolkata, is an Assistant Professor of English and a multi-lingual poet, literary critic and translator. Her scholarly articles and poems have been published in international and national journals, and also in books and anthologies. She was invited by Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi and participated in the All India Young Writers’ Meet organised by it in February, 2020. She is Associate Editor of the ‘Muse of Now Paradigm’ anthology (AuthorsPress, 2020). She was awarded the Philosophique Poetica International Achievement Award ‘Master of the Word’ in recognition of her poetry by Philosophique Poetica and Grand Productions Canada at the World Poetry Conference, Bathinda, Punjab, in 2019.

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