Sneha Bhunia: Figures of Thought: Collegiate Voices across Spaces


Tonight, I write to thee, O traveller 
of a time, I cannot envision yet.
How you chanced upon this -
In truth, I do not know ,
but I want to tell you about
my jasmines that grow,
around the rusted bars
of an enthralling cell ,
midst the cries of migrant birds,
blaring televisions and knells.

I don't remember the last time
I felt a touch upon my skin.
Instead, I trace
the braille ghost of a three,
has three years really fled
since life had abandoned me ?
abandoned us all to rot
at the doorsteps of arbitrary fate,
smelling the incense of trepidation
and hope at once, in an eternal wait.

I've grown accustomed to her voice -
the one who inhabits the cell next to mine.
Reminiscing of a time when
giggles and screams together dwelt
before silence deafened us all
in its tyrannical quell,
of our longings of solitude, and now
the sound of my own syllables,
so foreign and distant at times
threatens farewell.

The mustard mornings of May
jeopardizes to torch the world alive.
We quietly curl up next to the wall -
as close as we can be ,
we talk of death and how many
such mornings we will live to see,
before we finally reduce to dust
in the name of a nameless sin,
freed from the fear of being buried alive,
the winds shall bear our coffin.

O patient listener !
take my love and give some to him.
Tell him, I wrote him letters
on dandelion parchments
Even bribed and smuggled
tokens of love in the folds of garments
but they never reached their destination
for no word came to console me otherwise
and though I wept in longing and release,
I never forgot to pray for him each night.

I often wonder why do we bother
to adorn the dead with fragrant flowers ?
But if you insist on numbing sweetness
to the burns of a stinking corpse ,
I still have my jasmines blooming
to perfume my death when I'm gone.
But if tomorrow arrives
and I’m destined to live with these ghosts,
I'll scatter them on the streets
for there isn't a corner that isn't haunted anymore.

Author's Bio:  Sneha Bhunia is a first-year undergraduate student pursuing English Honours from Loreto College, Kolkata. Fascinated by literature even as a child, she aspires to teach and write short stories someday. She spends her leisure drawing and playing the piano, looking upon the world as a stage where we are all stars reciting our infinite tales.

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