Poetry: Ganesh Puthur

Ganesh Puthur
Seeing Howrah Bridge From Mallick Ghat

To see Howrah bridge From Mallick Ghar 
Was more than a necessity after seeing it
In an acquaintance's instagram post. 
With its gigantic metallic ribs
countless vehicles passing 
And colorful lights casting its reflection 
On the turbulent surface of Hoogly river.
As I walk through a small pocket road
To find the way to Mallick ghat,
I feel silence enveloping me 
Only to be broken by barking street dogs 
Little perplexed by seeing a stranger.

It was night 
A deserted flower market
But the smell of Jamanthi flower
Still stranded, overcoming the malodorous drains 
Filled with urine and dirt. 
An old man wrapped in a shabby scarf
Showed me a small path,
Barely one could walk with 
Single room - houses
Sans doors on either side.  

I can hear the cry of Hooghly
While standing on the Mallick ghat,
Moaning about being reduced to a huge sewage canal.
People sleeping on the stairs of the ghat
Mosquitos on a run to suck different blood groups
And two young men carrying a bin
Filled with food wastes 
Throwing ruthlessly into the river’s womb.

Returning from the Ghat
Walking through the narrow lane,
The flower market and a few suspicious eyes.

Climbing the stairs to Howrah bridge,
I see a fakir playing ektara,
Is this just another sorrowful music
Or this city’s heartbeat?

A Night and A Day

Sorrowful nights climbing the doorsteps knocking the window shields
like an unintended guest reluctant to leave you
Or like raindrops falling like tear drops from the clouds
traveling through the curved edges of the earth.
A lantern is lit, spitting shadows on the wall
But it can’t erase the darkness with its tiny flame
Because it is like a firefly in wilderness
Staring at emptiness with the little phosphorus left.
Nature’s will is to last till the sun rises.
I can hear birds murmuring about the sights they saw last eve.
About the deep green forests, children playing in the meadows.
I see the dew drops sliding through the leaves
Making the soil beneath it wet and lively.
The sharp rays from the sun bringing happiness
For not just me but for all.
Isn’t this life in a glimpse?
A seesaw constantly moving between happiness and sadness,
Between light and darkness.
It is, but the seesaw keeps moving.
Now, the sun is all set to set
To welcome the definite hours of darkness.
Later the darkness will pave way to the light
And this cycle is to roll till the very end.

Bio: Ganesh Puthur, a bilingual poet in Malayalam and English, is a recipient of the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar (2023). He has published two anthologies of poetry in Malayalam, "Achante Alamara" and "Amma Varakkunna Veedu," and his English poems have appeared in esteemed publications like The Muse India, Poems India and the Borderless Journal. A native of Kerala, Ganesh also holds a Masters degree in History from the University of Hyderabad.

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