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Poem: Chatla Blues

Photo: DNA India

By Goirick Brahmachari

Baul Banshi in the evening sky
Memories of my father’s eyes.
Chatla flows from shore to shore
hides secrets of lullabies.

I don’t sing of love no more
though my Duitara loves to cry
I sleep by the banks, with fireflies
On silver-dust-Bhatiyali-nights.

On fishing nets, I rest my faith
By selling fish, I write my fate
On Bhuras I sail, I spend my day
Walk village streets, on the market day.

I can’t read, I can’t write
I don’t know the world outside
All I wish is to live and die
In this soil, where my grandfathers died.

In rain, I sing of my mother
Sometimes I wish to see her
But rain can sweep away memories
and bring back horrors of dead water.

This evening when I went to the bazar,
Some Babus came in a white motor car
They lined us up, and asked for some papers
They said we were ‘D-voters’.

When my turn came, I could not speak
So they pulled me over to the police jeep
I cried for mercy, I cried in pain
I tried to tell them it was a mistake

They said they are taking me away
to a bloody camp of bullets and oil,
they said they are making me a stranger
to my own soil.

They are taking me away
from the banks of my Chatla
They are taking me away.

Originally from Silchar, Assam, Goirick B lives in New Delhi. He has published three volumes of poetry. His latest collection of poems, Wet Radio and other poems (2017), was self-published via CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. He is co-directing a City Symphony titled, Dilli Dur Ast, which is set to release in 2018.


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Cafe Dissensus Everyday is the blog of Cafe Dissensus magazine, based in New York City and India. All materials on the site are protected under Creative Commons License.


Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine on ‘Travel: Cities, Places, People’, edited by Nishi Pulugurtha, academic, Kolkata, India.

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