Poetry: Gayatri Majumdar (Tagore Special)

Gayatri Majumdar

Remain – Silently
 (For Ma)

Gizmo-ed as I am in these hours of
unveiling exoplanets, space X, mass exodus, almighties,
I return to the idea of You

Feeding on your songs periodically –
they shore up as if accidentally in melodies strung
by random pied pipers, distant ship-horns, dancing shells
and those delectable one-stringed instruments –

At close proximity (actually, inside my head)
to your villa of palash, shimul, fall colours,
a separate Dushtabudhi incubates
righteousness and other grim burdens,
theirs is a brotherhood (and probably sisterhood) of puny beliefs
resulting from reptilian fear – they claim, from many universes ago,
unable to bear the rationality devoid
the nectar of dreams slow waltzing death.

Because they attended wrong schools, seeds
tilling their fragile beings bear markings of mistaken identities
with no sonic hum of bees or blooming to spring.

And in the end,
still dragging kheya toris* to ghats
sun-tinctured vermilion perpetually setting
and to other banks of transactions of the living.

Paradoxical colours strait this emptiness
You stencil with utmost care
rainbowing lotuslands, peace, other brutal endings;
they still ashen our bodily remains with undying blues,
our hearts origami – sprouting greens.

Unstrung, I return this hour to You – another high,
here – re-shell this birthing of lost causes
centuries labouring on what never has been . . .

Unshackle us to be free again;
steer my kheya tori toward the land of forgetfulness . . . forgiveness –
of unending, unsoiled melody

Where nothing more need be uttered,
nothing is . . .

Remain – silently
never leave.

*kheya tori: ferrying boat


Bio: Gayatri Majumdar is editor, publisher and founder of the critically acclaimed Indian literary journal The Brown Critique (1995–2015). Gayatri began her career as a journalist in the Press Trust of India and The Independent in Mumbai. She later worked as assistant editor of Indian PEN (then edited by Nissim Ezekiel).

Her published and upcoming books include A Song for Bela (a novel), poetry collections ShoutI Know You Are HereThe Dream Pod, non-fiction The lotus of the heart and The Brown Critique Home Anthology which she co-edited. She is on the Review Committee of Yearbook of Indian Poetry 2021.

Gayatri is co-founder of ‘Pondicherry Poets’ and has been co-curating the annual Pondicherry/Auroville Poetry Festival. She lives in Pondicherry, India, and is associated with Sri Aurobindo Society.

1 comment :

  1. Soul stirring poetry indeed... compelling us to do some soul-searching ...


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