This Day: Gayatri Majumdar

Gayatri Majumdar

The day is becoming

A poem – a little light
unfettered behind the shadowless sun.

The little light dances, at other moments
a steady ballerina pirouetting a storm –
carrying within its slow death,
a thousand petals, many hues,
little red books, Darwin’s theory
and heady fragrances of spices
in a bazaar somewhere in Ernakulam.

The day tosses, turns
unable to shake off fables
of little or no consequence –
Aladdin’s lamp, beauties, beasts and such.

Words become the day
working their cleverness
around twisted empty hallways, sepia photos
hanging by a string –
to make nothing of it,
half-truths and silver sleep.

The day finally enters into
a pact with a poem:
falls in love, unable to recall the vows
of forevers and undone laundry.

The day MUST die
for coded in its birthing
are cries and thunders – remembered rain
wafting the Kadamba breeze
mixing up the saddest of those
purples, fuchsias and creams.

***

 

Dakshineswar – Chasing the Light

He sat there all lit up . . .
looking steadfastly at Himself;
He knew we would arrive. Late, but
He waited, of course, because He always does.

At the hour of the last mini bus
as it leaves for Dharamtala,
when lamps canopy mellowing the frantic
highs for this holy Hoogly, fervent prostrations,
other worldliness, hing kochoris;
the love heavy with
malai-milk-infused cha in khullars
with not one Ola in sight,

he abruptly says, a tad irritated,
chairgulo khali korun*’!
We obey like we would a schoolmaster,
vacating the long rickety longish ancient bench
quickly hoping in our hearts to stay.

In a hurry
not to have us leave this easy, Kali shuts
the hundred-year-old door
with chipping white-painted lotuses
ornamenting the eye – incense,
cobwebs, dust, flame-tongues hang
about a dim-lit entrance –
daran, aadh ghonta lagbe^
(This time, you can gauge the guard’s resolve!)
Not a soul budges; where could we go?
What lay beyond this dream of various shades of gold?
Which consecrated water will we dip our toes into?

So, She will make us wait humming drumming
shiny steel railings, braiding little girls hair.

The drunkenness evident:
traversing centuries, leaving lovers,
is this what we bargained for? What we get
crossing rivers, skywalks and bridges
chasing the light across forests, stars?

No japa, not even piety, 
giddy robustious dance this?

 

*Vacate the chairs!
^Wait, will take half an hour more!

Poetry because everything else seems to have evidently failed! – Gayatri

 

Bio: Writer, editor, publisher Gayatri Majumdar is founder-editor of Brown Critique, the critically acclaimed literary journal and has authored six books including three volumes of poetry. She curates the annual Pondicherry/Auroville Poetry Festival and is associated with Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry.


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