POEM A poem beckons in dawn’s distant glow across the sea. Can you teach me how to walk on water? You have all the answers. Or is it too late in the day, or has the day fractured even before it has begun? But I must walk if only to drown. Surely, it is never too late to lose all your bearings in the quest for silence at the poem’s heart. FUGITIVE In these anonymous lanes I look for the lost tree of my childhood now buried deep in night’s dark soul. The city lights are myths that mask the impossible longings of my fugitive heart. WORDS These words, forever elusive calling from a future crossroads have led me to this dream. Tiptoe into my sleep this one sleepless night and retrieve them for me. Only if caressed by you will they come home. Only if born of you will they find meaning. Only then will a poem walk out and breathe. MUSINGS AT DUSK Can you tell me why it feels like something has just ended? And yet in the end, is a beginning? In the moving on, a return? Why has one wanted to traverse miles of open spaces today? And why has one stayed rooted at one place, enclosed inside four walls of this room? Why has one wanted to spread one’s arms and embrace the world? And why has one buried one’s face in the pillow and shied away? Why was dawn so heady and at peace with itself? And why has the day born of it felt like a stranger? Why has dusk approached with this breathtaking suddenness, as if wanting an end? And why then has it paused, hesitant, contented itself with an ellipse … Why does it feel as if I am being written somewhere? And yet an essence has been blotted in unwept tears? Why does it feel like someone has called my name again and again? And yet, all day, I have been privy to the silence of mountains in the winter?
Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri is a film buff, editor, publisher, film critic and writer. Books commissioned and edited by him have won the National Award for Best Book on Cinema twice and the inaugural MAMI (Mumbai Academy of Moving Images) Award for Best Writing on Cinema. In 2017, he was named Editor of the Year by the apex publishing body, Publishing Next. He has contributed to a number of magazines and websites like The Daily Eye, Cinemaazi, Film Companion, The Wire, Outlook, The Taj, and others. He is the author of two books: Whims – A Book of Poems (published by Writers Workshop) and Icons from Bollywood (published by Penguin/Puffin).
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