Untamed: Lopa Banerjee

[Inspired by the lines of the poem ‘I too tried adultery for a short while’ which is a part of the autobiographical work ‘My Story’ by renowned, award-winning Indian author Kamala Das Suraiyya.] 

“You planned to tame a swallow, to hold her
In the long summer of your love so that she would forget
Not the raw seasons alone, and the homes left behind, but
Also her nature, the urge to fly, and endless
Pathways of the sky.” 
 
The summers seemed luscious as I harbored myself between faint signals of your wants, dwelling in my dreams with your hollowness, reverberating like distant chimes. The past many summers, waiting coy and demure in the opaque jar of this body, filling my land with sacred grass and flowers, you opened the jar, bringing me close to the holy waters of a conjoined celebration. In the untamed terrains of my heart, wildflowers grew and primal instincts rose, in dark evenings, my aboriginal wants singing in my blood accompanied you like thousand defiant flames.

Lopamudra Bannerjee
“I want to make you mine, only mine, you are my Goddess of restless dance, that you will dance only for me.” You demanded.
“But I am not a Goddess tethered to the rooms, the walls, the verandah, the terrace, my pariah soul seeks the elixir of freedom beyond the blue, endless horizon in many a sleepless night.” I said to myself.

As shameless as the sirens wailing through the window, plundering the streets at night, I have scattered the seeds of my burnt-out truths, truths of our rugged matrimony. How many monsoons following the sweltering heat of those invincible summers, our battlefield was lost in the language of our marital bed? The monsoons when my body and being brimmed with the blood of a silent inquilab, when my face, cradled in your dominant palms was inscribed with the nameless mantras of untying, my own liberation song?
 
Yes, in those monsoons following the hot, luscious summer afternoons, when my naked earth touched your prairies, your extended grasslands, and you closed your boundaries in search of my primal land, my breaths heaved through that land, and discovered the poetry, the music of adultery.
 
Adultery was at the heart of my own untainted cosmos, and you too tasted its slow-cooked flames, freezing and thawing in between spurts of your crooked desires, and I kept making you tea, your night bed, your jacaranda dreams, your groggy dawns. With saline tears, I fought back the crumbling walls between us, as in men, forgettable men, I kept searching the splintered chunks of my history, my topography, the musky aroma of my dusk.
 
Perhaps, I didn’t really want the dull soreness in between the pitch dark and faint light of mending, unmending, which all of you gave me; perhaps all I wanted was the penumbra of silence hanging loose, in between my dark, brooding domesticity and my untamed heart.
***


Bio: Lopamudra Banerjee is an acclaimed Indian author, poet, translator, editor from Dallas, Texas, with eight books and six anthologies in fiction and poetry. She has received the Journey Awards (First Place category winner) for her memoir ‘Thwarted Escape: An Immigrant’s Wayward Journey’, Woman Achiever Award (IWSFF, 2018), the International Reuel Prize for Poetry (2017) and International Reuel Prize for her English translation of Nobel Laureate Tagore’s selected works of fiction (2016). Her nonfiction essays, fiction and poetry have been published in various renowned journals, e-zines and anthologies in India, UK and USA including Stanford University’s ‘Life in Quarantine’ project.
 

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