Amita Ray (Towards Visibility)

Amita Ray

age sculpts a framed face animating
an unobtrusive corner of haveli
in the hollow of her venerable womb
posterity sketches its roots,
branches wrinkle in flawless mesh
capturing the indecisive count of her age,
the sunken sockets of the matriarch
epitome of empowerment
hold pedigree in spine entitled
its fluidity diverge in veins a continuum,
years arrested in furrows of her hallowed gaze
immortality palpates unblinking,
her mystic gaze registers cryptic dialogues
coupling the mortal with immortal.

* Haveli: old private mansion


she looks at herself lacklustre,
staring at the red dot between her brow
the fateful sun bridging flights of darkness
in a life less than a decade and half years old

days trundle dos and don’ts pieced together
she pines for her child, a rag doll left behind
in penniless sundry joys of childhood
she now festers in a squalid den
of a knotted city slum

daily chores pile up
as does her body needs
pangs of hunger coalesce
with a seedling in her womb
the burgeoning life terminates
in spasms of unpardonable abuse
the miscarriage bleeds, bleeds, merges
in embers red of a doll forsaken, her child
between the vermillion parting of her hair.

Amita Ray, a former associate professor in English and Vice- Principal of a college based in Kolkata. She is a translator, short story writer, reviewer and poet. She has four volumes of translations to her credit. The titles of her translations are Khirer Putul (The Doll of Condensed Milk), Treats in Translation, Legends Speak (Co-authored) and Dwipantarer Katha (The Story of Transportation). She is a widely published short story writer. Her collection of short stories TRAIL OF LOVE AND LONGINGS published in 2020 has received rave reviews. She is a published poet and has brought out a collection of poems Until Birds Sing. She is an executive council member of the Intercultural Poetry and Performance Library, Kolkata. She is also an Advisory Board Member of Kavya Kumbh, Kolkata Chapter. Her translation of Abanindranath Tagore’s Khirer Putul (The Doll of Condensed Milk) was shortlisted for the Sahitya Akademy award for English translation 2022.

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