Poetry: Supatra Sen

Supatra Sen

One Final Game

I meet myself all over this house
To play hide and seek, to play catch- me- if- you- can
A little girl with a tricycle on the verandah
Unkempt curls falling over her dark dreamy eyes
Another… squatting on the window sill 
With a doll as large.
The other sits on the bed with books strewn 
Chewing the ends of a pencil 
Calculating and framing 
Answers to never-ending questions.

Sound of footsteps… I whirl around
There I am saree-clad 
With books and bag, groceries and medicines. 
And then all at once, a frail voice
Calling my name
Me? Calling myself? My past? Or my unborn future…
Are all those fragments me 
Or am I in shreds
Strewn all over in bits and pieces
Scattered with time.

One more game then, the final one
Let me bury myself…
Play hide and hide 
And never seek.
***


Fact… and Truth

She loved flowers in bloom
Specially the easter lilies
Firm yet delicate, erect and upright
Heralding the advent of spring.
Then one year when the old old house
Was under repair 
The lilies stopped blooming
Was their soul a part of the discarded old
And so lost a bit of their colour and zest 
She wondered.

A year passed and two 
The bulbs remained still and cold and lifeless
New plants replaced the old
And the lilies found a corner…hidden and obscure.
She remembered her lilies 
With smile and sighs
Only when spring came.

And then one year after three or four
The dark corner lit up
Life had returned.
Miracle, was it?
Whether love or will --
The fact is evident, … Life
She argued.
The leaves swayed and whispered gently
The Truth, invisible… yet Only that!
*** 


Fragrant… Eternally
                             
Roses? ... You ask with a gentle smile
Even before I nod you choose the best blossoms
Red, bright, beautiful, fragrant
Mind the thorns, you warn
The care and concern surface….again.

We had crossed paths 
Through myriad spines and prickles
Travelled with faceless crowds
Teeming millions everywhere
The self always solitary
                               
A hundred duties, a thousand commitments
Words to be kept, promises to be honoured
The road ahead so very steep
Yet this monsoon meeting 
Amidst the thunderous clouds and the incessant showers

A crowded restaurant
Waiters, bills, orders and business
Loud men, even louder women
Everything, almost everything as usual
Only we were a thousand light years away 
In our own world, our own planet
So contented… so peaceful… so happy…

A few words, more silence
 Profound silence speaking of tenderness and courage, 
Of never ever giving up
And then the solitary journey
Homewards… to the Roots

Different paths… different destinations
But the roses are in full bloom
The lingering fragrance returns 
To haunt, to remind, to reminisce… for eternity and beyond!
***


Conversations and Voices

Summer afternoons are unusually quiet
Doors fastened, shutters closed 
Yet somewhere through the cracks and crevices
Sunlight manages to seep in 
Creep in to create unreal figures 
On the paintless damp walls.

The figures form and melt
The lips sans words
As if governed by some unseen force
So much like the silent movies. 

And in the light and shade interplay
The faces and voices of childhood
The new bride on her balcony
Watering plants
In lively banter with 
One of the many daughters
Of an ailing father
Stealing time from medicines and tending
For recipes and fashions.
A roof-top adolescent romance
Soon to be forgotten in the meshes of life
The dreaming revolutionary
For a quick evening puff
The mansion-like house 
Now gone to time and promoters…
Rows of flats 
Expressionless, voiceless
Impersonal, without stories 
Covered in technology
So much emptiness in this multitude…
My world of five decades

The munchkin
With her talking parrot
Has moved to a new city
Of more opportunities 
The school dropout 
Is today’s corpulent businessman
The prankster of yesteryears
A top lawyer.
Yesterday’s conversations lost
In today’s noise and cacophony…
The seamstress in her dingy room
Teaching students the tricks of the needle
The neighbourhood girls
Talking and laughing at all things big and small
The needle with its intricacies does not bother them
They have bigger plans instead
A grand wedding, closet full of clothes, 
A new flat, trips abroad
Where are they…gone with time
Replaced by a new order
Yet so very identical
To the new that is now…
Is the new of every generation 
The replica of the previous new
Of  all ages…
So predictable, so clichéd…

A cracked nasal voice
A typical drawl
With the urge to sell old watches
Old records…old furniture
Tempting offers lucrative prices
For selling, 
Getting rid of all that is old
Old times, old music, old world 
Old conversations to new noises…
******

Dr. Supatra Sen is currently Associate Professor in a reputed college in Kolkata. She is an academician, teaching and researching in the fields of Botany and Environment for nearly three decades. Though her national and international books, papers and reviews are chiefly in her professional subject, she earlier won Two National Awards (First and Third) for two of her short stories besides a few for her varied literary endeavors. She is also the founder and Chief Editor of an ISSN peer-reviewed multi-disciplinary academic journal ‘Harvest’ since 2016.

3 comments :

  1. Dr. Piku ChowdhuryOctober 7, 2020 at 12:55 AM

    Beautiful poems... Hide and seek has such lovely visuals... Evocative and deep. The last poem too is compelling

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like each ofthe poems: very readable and making one think.

    ReplyDelete

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