Voices Within: Urna Bose

Urna Bose is an advertising professional, writer, poet, and editor. Her poetry has gone viral, globally. She won ‘The Enchanting Editor Award 2019’, from the Telangana Poetry Forum, and the ‘Women Empowered - Scintillating Creative Impactful – Feminine Power Inspiration Award 2020’. And recently, the prestigious Nissim International Prize for Poetry, 2021. As the Deputy Editor for Different Truths, she also devotes her time to the ‘Poet 2 Poet’ column. Urna’s vast body of work include clutter-breaking advertising campaigns, and iconic brand work. Urna’s campaigns have won Indian and global creativity awards, and some are even industry case-studies.


The Arithmetic of Love

Two wistful eyes: enlarged.

Both forgetting my Irish convent school

manners: staring is rude.
Two hands: longing to encircle you.
The diameter of shrinking distance,

the immeasurable radius of desire.

 

Two curious fingers: daredevilish.

The incalculable angle of a wanton wants

to own you. The 90-degree tangent

of my temperamental finger climbing.

The square of whimsicality,

with its wobbling centre of gravity,

off centred, thrown off.

 

Your stubby fingertips

on my back, circle sublime,

and the elliptical paradox

of a sudden hickey.

Hope it stays engraved longer,

under my printed red scarf.

 

Two ears: wayward.

Wanting to be gently nibbled.

Not gobbled up, not wolved down.

To slow down, is to savour.

 

Two thighs: not perfectly parallel.

Heaving and sighing.
Waxing and waning, moodily.

How many millimetres

make a kilometre, did you say?

And, how do you measure the full moon

drenched in desire,

with your meticulous metric system?

 

Two hearts: throbbing.

From the melancholic,

vinyl-record ingrained

rings of Saturn,

to the auburn volcanoes,

rusty canyons and the two small,

red-smeared moons of Mars.

Two pulsating hearts: one mine,

the other, yours.

Resting content,

valved in, within the chambers

of mine.

 

You are a sceptic.

“But where’s the proof, the hypothesis,

the logic?” you ask.

The penetrating pinch of your musk, pinches.

The salty lemony doubt

cutting the sweetness

at a sharp 30-degree slant.

 

Vanishing dregs of doubt,

find their way back.

Hang on. Let me check.

I look inside my heart, once again.

 

Why, your heart’s right there,

inside mine.

The veins entwined,

the arteries intersecting.

Hot, hammering blood

rushing straight to my cheeks.

 

But wait, scores must be

settled in love.

So, I answer back, belligerently.

“Hey, my arithmetic

is effed up, in any case.”

 

 

Not a Dream, To Dream

 

A skyful of puffed-up,

cobalt blue, iridescent dreams

condense and compress

their nymph like anatomies,

into a tightened claustrophobic knot.

 

The knot I hold in

the alcove of my hardened collar bone.

Like rain water, stored

in the hollow cavities and craters of

calciferous Mumbai buildings.

 

Mumbai, the city of dreams and

kahani-mein-twist* destinies.

Really, yahaan kuch bhi ho sakta hai**.

Where the greedy builder,

ran out of cement and granite,

concrete and bricks,

intention and integrity,

and left the cavities to

stare vacuously,

at the new apartment owners

paying blood EMIs.

 

EMI: it’s the nimble acronym for

easy monthly instalments.

There’s nothing “easy” about them,

I assure you.

 

The blood gushing through

the dreamy house owner’s

flared nostrils and spilling out

on new 2x2, slightly tacky floor tiles.

Reddish brown. Tinged with black.

Extracted out of the arteries

with an exploiter’s precision.

The fine print in font size 7,

effortlessly illegible, putting

good old Shylock to shame.

A labyrinth of clauses and

conditions, fees and taxes.

The “feeding” of fattened middle men,

and their fattened middle men.

The sacrosanct food chain, you better

kneel before, and fold your

sweaty middle-class palms

with the devotion of a desperate pilgrim.

 

Owning your own house

in Mumbai?

How dare you dream,

such a dream?

How dare I dream,

such a dream?

 

How dare? How dare?

 

* Twist-in-the-tale

** Anything is possible here.

 

 

 

Friendship

 

Friendship is a strange,

exotic, faraway country,

at times.


You need me?
Every flight is available.

Visa? What a silly, trivial concern.
There’s visa on arrival,

without a queue, of course.

 

All gates, wide open.

No security checks.

No immigration checks.

Bright orange, thick marigold garlands

around my neck, placards

grandiosely announcing “welcome”

in big, bold, trusted, upper case Garamond.

When you need me,

I am the overwhelmed guest of honour.

But when, I need you?
Visa? Are you out

of your mind, my dear?

Don’t you know, all gates are tightly closed?
Immigration, extra stringent.

Security checks, extra tight.

‘The Times They Are A-Changin’’.

Bob Dylan plays on loop,

somewhere faraway.

 

Dutifully, the weather report

declares, “icy, harsh winds,

turbulence, storms,” and of course,

the matlabi* slippery slope of glaciers.


Friendship is a strange, exotic,

faraway country,

at times.

When you need me,

I am the guest of honour.

You lovingly plead, “stay, please stay”.
Yet when I need you,

I am a homeless refugee.

 

Now, I’m learning to unpack,

neatly packed into rolls,

fastidiously folded, tidily arranged bags.

Now, I’m also learning to read,

between the lines.

 

The boundary lines.

The border lines.

And the sacrosanct,

un-trespass-able LOC.

 

Friendship is a strange, exotic,

faraway country.

Or maybe, I’m not

cut out for travel.

 

*Opportunistic

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