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Two poems

By Mallika Bhaumik

The Third Eye

Night swims in the pool
of her eyes
the lover that never was,
spreads himself,
the dusk of her skin,
the doe eyes,
those that prompted the poet to call her ‘krishnakali’,
look up to see the circling blades
the jingling bangles count the moments.
The melancholy of Bhairavi trails off
– ‘my armlets are falling off ‘
the dreams of beloved’s home hide behind a cracked mirror.
Memories of hopscotch days
run along the kaash field,
the whistle of the train beckons.

Durga sits on a tulip-painted bedsheet,
clutching a crisp pink note.
The blooming buds of mogras
twisted around her plait,
lie scattered.
Her window opens to a dingy lane
of worn out tales,
the eyes do not see a sky,
the embers of the night’s rage
faintly colouring the distant horizon,
– the third eye.

***

The city, my muse

A love that unreasonably
stretches between the cantilevers
of a bridge, joining its twin city
over a muddy river
at the fag end of her journey,
a love that has flipped the archived pages of the history of defiance,
old serpentine lanes breathing the tales of Swadeshi.
A love that runs barefoot to
the ghat, where the symbol of Nari Shakti, Durga is immersed,
and the rambunctious kids play in the mud
cheering for her arrival next year.
The fluid emotions of the soccer fields,
a sip of chai from the steaming earthen mugs,
the hot kathi rolls and rosogollas of K. C. Das,
the gleam in the eyes during monsoon,
when silvery hilsas throng the bazaar.
That’s my city, the one who has seen me
blossoming into a woman.
I have also seen her in her gentler mood at night,
singing to me her lullaby
as the last tram hums by
its vigilant neon lights.
Dogs and people often curl up in the quiet corners of the streets.

Bio:
Mallika Bhaumik had been a student of literature and has a Master’s degree from the University of Calcutta in English Literature. She is passionate about writing and has contributed to many national and international anthologies and e-magazines. She has acted as a judge  in different poetry events and participated and won many contests as well. She is the author of her debut anthology of poems, Echoes, by Authorspress.

***

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***

Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine on ‘Narrating Care: Disability and Interdependence in the Indian Context’, edited by Nandini Ghosh, IDSK, Kolkata, India and Shilpaa Anand, MANUU, Hyderabad, India.

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4 Responses to “Two poems”

  1. Ronald Tuhin D'Rozario

    What a great piece of work! I congratulate the poet for writing it so beautifully with a lot of profoundness and detailing. It evokes a strange nostalgia and a deep sense of sadness too. Sadness where the poem ‘The Third Eye’ is concerned.
    There are many places in both the poems that so deeply resonates within.

    The Third Eye

    This brings in a deep sense of loss, an estrangement.
    How poetically the first line begins…

    Night swims in the pool
    Years and years of hidden grief outpours.
    The doe eyed ‘Krishnakali’

    Krishnakali tare ami boli
    Ta shey jotoi kaalo hoke
    Dekhi chi tar kalo hareen chokh

    Once who was adored as the doe eyed is now left abandoned amidst her thoughts. Grief grips the skin of her heart. Tight lipped. Yet the eyes says it all. In a quest to wipe her moisten cheeks perhaps or may be settling a twirl of her lock behind her ear (the poet left it for the mind to discover) her bangles jingled as she withdraws from her thought and looks up at the circle of blades rotating above. What goes in her mind then? The poet has left her as a complexed metaphor. The Bhairavi alaap wafts in the air one by one she opens up her armlets in a sense of detatchment as if never to wear them again.
    The dreams that she once wove with her beloved one seemed to hide behind the cracked mirror. A perfect alibi. A perfectly shattered imperfect dreams.

    Her criscross memories of girlhood days runs a parallel cinema if a reel from Panther Panchali, Apu and Dugga running across the kaash fields to catch a glimpse of a passing train. Satyajit Ray was not only a master storyteller but a permanent tenant in the heart of every bengali the poet softly ascertains it once more.

    Back home Durga sat on her bed clutching a pink note lost between what has been and what could have been. She seemed to have a sleepless night. Yet the broken petals of mogras lies scattered around. Here again the poet had build an air of mystery around the pink note and also in the fact that did she actually tore the mogra flowers in her absentmindedness night long in angst.

    The window opens up to a morning spreading over the dingy lanes with sorrowful tales.
    Where the skies are not blue but blinks the darkness of the night. A strange pull of melancholy.
    The rage of the entire night faintly pulls a paintbrush over the distant horizon as the third eye of Ma Durga.

    The City, My Muse

    In the poem the poet describes so beautifully about her beloved city Kolkata. Almost a sephia picture forms in front of the eyes.
    A love that binds Sutanoti and Gobindopur closer to Kolkata.
    Her tale stretches from those lost times when the city was known as Calcutta and not Kolkata. The swadeshi movent soread across the serpentine lanes so strongly reminds of Rabi Thakur. After the Jallianwalah Bagh massacare he came out on the streets with a movement of tying strings on the hands of one another. The string of unity and strength irrespective of gender, faith or cast one belonged to.

    A love that witnessed the arrival of devi on earth. Breathing the sacrament of life into her and her transformation into a woman and finally her departure for Kailash on the tenth day. All in one. All into nothingness. Completes an entire journey.

    The emotion of the city that flowed from a bhaar of chaa to the mishtis of K C Das. The nostalgia that reminded that rain was not only for the poets but the foodie bengalis too when a huge demand for the Hilsa fish filled the market.
    The city that has seen a bubbly school girl becoming a woman. The gentler moods of the night. The rays of the yellow steet light spreading across the darkness of her room singing a ghoom parani gaan.
    As the tung tung of the trams hit the last stop for the day many homeless – dogs and men curls up to sleep pulling the covers of dust and silence of a tired street over them.

    Calcutta, the city street is the protagonist here. And the poet so observantly writes down the angst, sorrows and grudges of her beloved city before she capped her pen.

    as the last tram hums by
    its vigilant neon lights.
    Dogs and people often curl up in the quiet corners of the streets.

    Ronald Tuhin D”Rozario

    Reply
    • mallika bhaumik

      Thank you so much for this beautifully done review of both my poems .
      They have enhanced and enriched my writes .

      Reply

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