HARMONY: Boudhayan Mukherjee

Boudhayan Mukherjee
Nestled amidst the verdant slope of formidable Pareshnath hill
The Topchanchi lake below
A place often frequented by us, the De Nobili Boys
Draped in their usual khakee n white school uniforms
With the overwhelming frame of Father Dietrich in high boots leading our pack

Standing at the crest, the marble white temple of the Jains
The German jesuit also bended in prostration before the holy shrine.
His caressing voice still echoes
as he used to say to the priest 
Pointing at us 
"Please forgive my langoor kids"
While we were busy watching the innumerable monkeys flocking the trees like a pearl string.

Clouds shrouded the temple spire
As father climbed down the crag with all of us following him
The old saint waited a while and touched his holy cross on the temple pillars
It was always easier to descend than climbing up

How alluring it looked from the top
Limpid flowed the lake waters infinitely placid 
The shooting of a movie was going on
The Bengali romantic film Sankhabela starred by Uttam and Madhabi
Embracing each other in a love scene on a narrow boat in full turmoil
We were not allowed to see at the theatre later.
***

Bio: Boudhayan Mukherjee, a bilingual poet, author and translator started as student editor and literary secretary of Tagore's Visva Bharati University. Has been published extensively in journals and newspapers since the mid seventies. First book of verse “Black Milk” followed by five poetry anthologies, a collection of short-stories and books of translations, Has represented Sahitya Akademi, the prime literary institution of India, at various poetry readings and taught Creative Writing in English Indira Gandhi National Open University. A founder member and poetry co-coordinator of Srijan, one of the most renowned literary platforms of Kolkata. Editor of several literary magazines, he has been recently awarded the Swaymagata Literary Prize [2021].

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