Poetry: Sridipa Dandapat

Sridipa Dandapat
Heart is a Messy Place

The table was nice.
Chairs comfortable.
A beautiful house.
Two beautiful souls.

The story was happy.
More of a drama.
A comedy of romance.
The faces grinning.
The pictures perfect.
But the tragedies whispered to each other from the bookshelves,
Who has ever loved more than the separated?

And loneliness follows one through the same old route.
Same known steps.
With the misspoken.
With the unspoken.
With the words stuck in the throat.


I had a great dinner.
Tasted almost like restaurants.
And heading for a cozy bed.
A friend over video call.
Talking about how depressing quarantine days could be.
No meet-up.
No outing.
No life, at all.
We end up discovering a plan.
A game of blind man’s buff, like good old days.
Let’s blink as much as we could only see the aesthetic of life.

News app pings.
Kids eating grass.
Labourers drenched in bleaching.
No roof on their head.
Corpse in their hands.
People rushing out to cage stupidity.
People rushing out to undo death.
Rehearsing a new time’s tale.
To love is to stay apart.
Death toll rising.
As much as the curse of being careless.
As much as the popularity of humiliating others.
As much as that we are dead deaf to hear the melancholy any more.
Let's rework the plan.
Let's blink as much as we could only see the ray of hope.

Yet somewhere, in some faraway land,
The mask melts unto the skull.
There lies the vacuum.
The hollow stuffed with hay.
Sunset on a broken column.
Calls it a day.
Chaos woken up from an age forgotten.
With scars to inscribe.
With cacophony of eternal despair.
"This sadness will last forever."

Cosmic Latte

When the cosmos planned
To bring together
The divinity, 
The ultimatum
And the enormous truth
In one palette,
Colors were born in
A globe. And human mind.
Tinge of green for forest.
One sees growth, the other envy.
Tinge of blue from the sky and the sea.
The eternal sadness vis-á-vis limitless freedom.
A stroke of red for the mountains.
Desire beckons or the wrath stomps.
And Yellow for the sun.
The abundance of hope/ the agitation arises.
The palette of the earth swirls.
The palette of human mind.
A rainbow wheel.
The eyes await an answer.
The new-born’s a yin-yang.
A spot of peace among the chaos.
And chaos among the peace.

A Drop of Ocean

As you close your eyes
After a bad day, a bad month, or a bad year
A salty driblet roils down your cheeks.
Like a chalk on a rough blackboard.
Like a flooding river over 
A draught-stricken land.
The same water has flown
From the glaciers to the enormous belt of seas.
For months, decades and centuries.

As I stand by the side of time
I see,
Deserts have pined for a mere glance of it.
Sailors have called it home.
Kingdoms have bowed down before its rage
And it has calmed the quench of a 'low'.
Name it as you please
But I call this the mystery of the eternity.

Like a whimsical god,
Watching from someplace far
Or probably is dead,
Had placed its horcrux in elements
And forgot a long time ago.
With every drop you consumed
You had been a part of the eternal.
And before a drop of your tear,
I see an eternity passing by.
Like poets have written and bards sang
the world in a grain of sand 
Or the heaven inside a wild flower.
So, when you stand beside me against time,
And find your soul in the time immemorial,
What is your sadness, grief or pain before a drop your tear?

Bio: Sridipa Dandapat is a Junior Research Fellow (PhD) in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Patna. Her research interest mainly focuses in South Asian Literature, Children’s Literature, Gender Studies. She has published recently with New Review of Children’s Literature and Librarianship (Taylor & Francis). While chasing jargons, she often seeks solace in the soothing world of poetry. Her creative writings are mostly regional (Bengali) but she has penned one English-language poem in the international anthology The Kali Project from the house of Indie Blu(e) Publishing in 2020.

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