#111 From the Pickle Jar

Another day, another late morning,
I am awake. But I don’t feel like waking.
Maybe a cup of coffee can help?
Or maybe my supervisor’s reminder
That shall get me straight to my work then!

There’s much to do, that shan’t be done,
Much to do, but none’s power in my hands,
Much to do, yet laziness is bred,
And still, so much left to do,
Perhaps, I can do it all another day!

I’ll rest on the perches of my pronoia
Having done nothing, I’ll still be content.
Bless the broken road that I took to reach!
Spending days one by one,
From the pickle jar of fermented dreams.

Not a special day, this is just another one
From a long list of days left desolate
Days I have reserved to suffer,
Days that have lost all meaning since,
Days when I am scared to dream.

But, there’s no reservation kept
Holding back on my sleeve
Nothing to lose, there’s a cup of coffee for everything,
An empty chair in the living room
And some unanswered texts, they too will wait for me.

Possibility of a magic resides in afternoon siestas
Where most difficult questions find their answers too,
The warm mellow wind enters curious through the windows
Spotting a child lying next to his paper planes still unfinished
Softly touching his forehead, his dreams are given a push.

Still stuck to a lonely apartment at slumber’s end
End of the tunnel brings no light,
Unanswered texts and sparing calls try reaching me still
I keep my eyes fixed outside the window
A beautiful sunset appears to brings me peace.

Evening arrives too fast, another day spent thus
Doing nothing but just smiling at the accompanying walls,
A cat meows at the stars coming out to play
The distant temple bells mock Destiny, having already lost faith,
Another day ends just as it had started.

There are a few questions in my head
Keeping me awake in my lonely bed,
Did the gerberas bloom in winter?
Did she find an end to her sadness?
Will Han Geng release a new song ever?

As I drift slowly to my sleep
One question stays on, repeating itself,
“Aren’t I bit too harsh on myself?”
At the end of 26 years I learn,
I had never known what self-compassion meant.
*************

#108 গুরু, গম্ভীর, ঘটনা!

এই লক্ষীছাড়া কাব্য ফেলেছি ছেড়ে,
চৌকাঠ করেছি পার, ঘরের দরজা বন্ধ করেছি,
পথটাকে সঙ্গী করে, হয়ে যাযাবর,
প্রেমের ছন্দে লীন, ভাবে মত্ত-বিভোর,
হাসি দুর্বোধ কিন্তু এতেই আছে শান্তি আমার।

বয়স-কালে আরামকেদারায় বসে দেখেছি
ব্যাটা হতভাগা চাঁদটাও পূর্ণিমার রাতে একলা ঘোরে!
সুখ-দুঃখের গল্প ভাগ করে নেওয়ার মাঝে
ওই চাতালটাতে দুজনে বসে, একটু দীর্ঘশ্বাস,
আর মন খারাপের মাঝখানে সিগারেট-টাতে টান।

আকাশে বারবার তার পথ আটকে দাঁড়ায়
ওই ভট্টচাযদের বাড়ির নারকেল গাছ,
দুষ্টু বাতাসটা টিটকিরি মেরে ছুট্টে পালায়
ইউক্যালিপ্টাস গাছের পাতাগুলো সব দেখে হেসেই ফেলে,
প্রহর ঘুরলে চাঁদ বলে এবার তারও ঘুমোতে যাবার পালা।

আমার পথটাও বিশ্রাম চায় বাড়ির দোরগোড়ায় এসে
এত ঘুরিয়ে সেও আজ ক্লান্ত, পিঠ থেকে নামাতে চায় এবার,
কীর্তনের সুর ভেসে আসে দূর থেকে, পাখিদের কল্লোলের সাথে ডানায় চেপে,
মায়ার খেলার মাঝে ছায়ার লুকোচুরি,
মাথার পাকা সাদা চুলের গোছা নেড়ে আমিও বিজ্ঞ হবার ভান করি।

রাতটা শেষ হয়ে আসে, স্বপ্নের দেশ থেকে বাস্তবে এসে পড়তে হয় চিৎকারে,
ঘুম ভাঙলে মা বলে, “কিরে! অফিস যাবিনা আজ নাকি?”
আমি কাঁধে গামছা ফেলে বাথরুমের দিকে তাক করি,
রাতটা ছিল শান্তির, আমার নিজের মত করে কাটানো সময়,
শুধু এই দিনের বেলা যত রাজ্যের বিরক্তি এসে জীবনে হাজির হয়।
*************

#107 Praying

A beautiful starry night,
Story of a single soul, bit too happy,
To be here, to be home.

Between the days’ chaos left behind,
In the nights’ murmurs coming from the grasses,
Sleeping birds find their interlude.

Under an open sky,
Expanse of the green surrounding,
Idle mind, clouds going far.

Even in the mild wind
Tender boughs play an invisible music,
And feeling is faith restored.

Stories from memory,
Colourful flags of a distant place,
From attachments, a cessation of suffering.

Sitting in an extreme calm
Watching remnants float away in the stream of time,
What could have been washed away easily by rain.

In the myriad tests of life
This fear of loneliness is but a little thing,
And the smiling moon, a constant companion.

Surrendering myself
Seeing futility in contemplating paths ahead,
Peace in no knowledge of future.

Journeys that have been,
Reflections on my window are firmly painted,
Appearing on my forehead as wrinkles.

In the beauty of all things incomprehensible,
I only see reflected my own insignificance.
O’ Lord Buddha, with your affection lead me to wisdom.

I shall sing in your prayer, “ༀ་ཨ་ར་པ་ཙ་ན་དྷཱི༔“.
*************

#104 My Voices of Depression

There are moments when I break;
Moments when I am at the very edge
And there is no way back, especially when,
Nightmares find their way out of my head.

Those days in calendar are so empty,
Wish I didn’t have to leave my bed
And go about pretending to be alive,
I still have to breathe, and I cannot fail.

The body feels so numb of fear –
Left in a dark room all alone
Or lost in this crowd with no hands to hold,
I won’t ever find my way back home.

Stuck here motionless, living together,
Me and this terrifying past of mine,
I am so scared of not knowing
What makes me the saddest boy alive!

Along came the constant fear of letting down
Behind shut doors locked in my own world,
A pain all these books couldn’t drown,
Within my lonely life, I’ll still be more alone.

Feeling incomplete, I’ll just let everyone go,
The emptiness is better than hurting,
And even in my ideal loneliness
At least I’ll have memories to survive on.

This would not be the last week
When I have to force myself to sleep,
Overlooking a million tell-tale signs of not being,
Resigning before I even had the chance.

This depression shall pass too,
With nothing said at all, and nothing done,
There will be no change, and I will still feel sad,
But it will be one more chance of being apart.

Maybe the sun won’t shine again,
The night will be cold and long,
Even if it is scary alone, the path is there,
And I have to keep on walking aimless.

I’ll stop to rest the day I feel content,
When the road is no more, the stars come to die,
Nights do not feel anything at all,
Where all my pain is passed on and I depart.
***********


Written during Covid-19 induced national lockdown, April 2020.

#103 এক চৈত্রের সন্ধ্যার কবিতা

এই চৈত্রের হাওয়ার মাঝে আজ
শুধু এই জানালাটাই আমার সম্বল,
বাইরের পৃথিবীর ওই একটুখানি
একটা গাছ, আর এক চিলতে আকাশের ফাঁকে।

রাস্তার গ্যাঞ্জাম আজ হয়েছে অদৃশ্য
আর জীবনের কোলাহল যমের বাড়িতে,
ট্রাফিক সিগন্যাল এর তাড়াহুড়োর নিয়ম
গেছে ভেঙে অচলায়তনের রোজকার গণ্ডি।

পাশের বাড়ির চিলেকোঠা থেকে ভেসে আসে
গেয়ে যাওয়া এক অচেনা গান, এক মুক্তির কথা,
এই শুষ্ক জীবনের বাতায়নের একাকীত্বের সাথে
মন খারাপের সুর যেন বলে সব ঠিক হয়ে যাবে।

কালবৈশাখীর ঝড়ে উড়িয়ে দিয়েছি সকল ব্যথার কারণ
রাতের বেলা পরিস্কার আকাশের তারার খোঁজে আমি।
*************

#101 Poem titled ‘You’

You are beautiful, you know?

A few moons, and the wind feels sweeter already,
The necklace stares hard, only if you let me
I’d look again, if you just turned around.

This city is very new, it feels so much more.
The metro rail, the stations here and there,
We find each other, we wait a bit in both.

Just running a little late today; I wanted to kiss,
Lucky is the cigarette between your bright red lips,
I will receive a few texts, “wait some more”!

Across the table you punish that bit of unruly hair,
A stab right there, a little bit of death,
Eyes hold my soul back, while your fingers ran havoc.

I run again through the book fair,
Crowded, very noisy, all those lovely books too,
Trying to find you in my created chaos.

I feel like this ‘young boy’ first time in love,
A little bit scared, a lot less man next to you,
While we walk back home, can you hold my hand?

Under the lamp post, I will wait.
Please look from your window once,
Then send a “good night” text.

*************

#100 XXVI

When I’m 28, I’ll understand a few things better,
I’ll behave more maturely.
I promise I will yell less, get angry less often;
Maybe I can even forgive you!
But now I am just 26, so I’ll hold on to my anger,
Just a while longer, till it’s all in the past.

As soon as eyes met, I knew this was to happen,
There was no beginning, but a sure end.
I’ll follow my dreams, or wherever my destiny takes me,
You wore your crown and we did part,
Your climb higher is only a matter of time now,
For which the Princesses shall stand firm, the warriors die a cruel death.

I stand before my own tomb,
But I won’t lie in, not so soon.
I feel amazed at the beautiful drawings –
Such hate directed at humanity,
Truth, you could only poison!
But we all love to play with fire.

My escape became quite literally,
A wound of arrow, a blessing from sorrow.
Penance for everything dear,
I will be darkness, a memory to forget,
But I stand today in front of ruins
That has my soul buried, but I outside of it.

Last two years were a roller-coaster ride,
Hell of fun, a lot much to learn.
Do you remember your promises sent with the clouds?
Oh Princesses! I might have been your courts’ biggest fool,
However, one thing that I understand now,
The wind belongs to none.

*************

#98 Sleep Talking

There’s no chasing
I won’t even dare try,
Nothing more to do.

A break, from all known:
Another walk away.
Would I want to be back?

My glasses stained,
Slightly hazy,
It’s been raining constantly.

Lots of clouds, less sunshine,
But it’s slightly wild, where I would be,
For so long I have had only dreams.

Will everything be the same?
Would you befriend me again?
Just some random questions.

Sitting along the Mekong
Another boat left,
But I couldn’t return home.

At the end of this journey,
I will come out older,
Not much wiser, maybe just a bit.
*************

#92 Lullaby for a cat

A lingering conversation even after she had left,
The moon tilted to the side some more
Heavy stale air, a lot of random thoughts,
It was an hour I had not seen before.

There is a high wall outside my window,
A thin shadow falls and then rescues itself
Quick flick movement, a few hurried steps,
The cat runs over once more.

On my desk is a portrait, one yellowed from Tirap.
Only an earring visible, and a few strands of hair,
Desperately trying to hide a watch that no one wears anymore;
Slight spots on my memory, are they bidding goodbyes?

But next to another window is a deep sigh,
Things have become calm, but where’s the feeling gone?
It all is in the eyes, but hidden in plain sight,
A few Instagram posts, to prove that she is still breathing.

The artist still draws her favourite fish again, crying yet,
Why is everything so painful, scared to ask someone else.
There’s her phone on her bed too, but too far to dial
His number that she couldn’t forget, more painful than his face.

The pair talk to an emptiness, a vague understanding,
No one will come around this time. Why?
It’s over. It always was, from the start.
A Capricorn, and a Libra? Oh, please, a match for Purgatory.

But the cat stops in its steps this time,
Not believing such machinations as frail humans do.
Knowing there’s warmth in her sketched lines and his written ones,
They’ll never see true feelings one more time, but they know it too.
*************

#90 Pioggia forte di Sabato

The rain does not stop.
Scattered skeletons on the road
Left lying stenching of old memories.

Completely drenched,
No more chance of returning home tonight;
With very little refuge in complete despair.

Too tired to walk further.
The crazy river bellowing below,
Furious for reminiscences in polaroid.

Flashy whites, retreating neon lights,
Thunderstruck, talking to the self,
Standing in the dark – the old fool scowls.

Clouds too break out laughing
Hidden sneers at a fall so pathetic,
High and mighty curling by the sidewalk.

No way of swallowing words,
Those dreams have long since seen their sunsets
A permanent dark only stares ahead.

Long drawn out conversation continues,
Shifting blames to muttering curses:
The visible anxiety of a fragile male ego.

Clutching hard at remnant straws
Most of which this rain would wash away too,
But such nightmares find a way of coming back.

Grayed hair – crownless prince undead
Of all gifts gone – taken away, squandered with pride,
April seems just the start of many heartbreaks.
*************