By Gopal Lahiri
The mansions reach out to the sky-
in their shadows leaning are mud walls,
Darting spots of light, dust is in cryptic shade
love and death stay together,
Cricket on the narrow alleys, pan-shops prompt scores,
selling among other things, the bidis,
Evening glows here like an earthen lamp
the dry leaves gather on the tram lines,
Smoke rises above the bus shelter
road side stalls display Kalighat Pat paintings
hooded faces of slums breath through
the holes of the worn blankets.
The temple is filled with blowing of conches
the clamour of visitors,
The evening ushers in mystery and suspense
strings of jasmine welcome you to the earthly paradise.
Kolkata- Scene 2
The rosy daydreams can choose for themselves
how much they want to float away in the blue.
Missing smile, miss the hugged hello of my city
miss the traffic at rush hour, the mass of people.
Seasons will not be one of smoke and dust in lockdown,
sparrows and pigeons start revising the city-profile.
The red-brick building, anarchic roadways write sitcom.
silence is the new normal here, so is the boredom.
The sound and aroma-spice and sweet are absent. a diary
deletes the bells of rickshaws, horns of old buses.
Café wall will no longer store the hush and whisper,
those high notes of peppy music, unedited voices.
Each is a dash of colour, a healer, a layer of varnish,
chaos is a privilege now, noise is prized.
Gopal Lahiri is a Kolkata- based bilingual poet, critic, editor, writer and translator with 21 books published 13 in English and 8 in Bengali, including three joint books. His poetry is also published in various anthologies and in eminent journals of India and abroad. His poems have been published in 12 countries and translated in 10 languages. He has been invited to several poetry festivals across India.
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