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Halftones

the motley musings of a maverick

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love

CORRIDORS OF TIME AND THE WITNESSES

The eucalyptuses swayed, embraced and kissed, and swayed away. The wind blew harder and they swayed again, this time embracing each other for a longer moment before they swayed apart. On the backyard, I stood amidst the bamboos and wilderness, withdrawn from the world, my eyes following the movements of the two eucalyptuses.

The wind had not blown so fiercely in the last two years. The scene outside was exhilarating. In fact, coming from a world where sounds of drilling machines, horns and loud stereos reign, I didn’t have any idea what it was to see and hear nature dancing to its own tunes. I came out of my room to feel the first drops of rain on my face, to inhale the scent of earth, to turn nostalgic.

“Laal? Where are you heading to in this storm?”

“To fetch the cows, they must be frightened. This time we are going to get a good harvest, though.” He went on, whistling.

Laal was the oldest man alive in the village, still hale and hearty in his mid-eighties. He often whistled while feeding or rearing his cattle. I caught the festive mood too; I brought my umbrella out and stepped on the first puddle, then the second, the third and marched ahead, splashing mud and singing to myself without any destination in mind. Yet, I knew I would struggle between my heart wanting to cut short in front of Deepti’s house and pay her a visit and my mind forcing me to shed off any hopes lingering at the back of it. I turned to take the outer road, the road which passed behind Deepti’s house and in front of the richer part of the village with wealthy settlers and a buzzing market area.

“Samiran, it seems you are enjoying the weather. What about a hot cup of tea?” Nirmaali offered, standing sheltered in the verandah of her house.

I halted at their entrance. “No thanks; some other day.”

“Out on business?” she asked again, smiling.

“Yes.” I lied and sauntered on.

I reached the abandoned rice mill from where the main road divided into the inner and outer road. I saw the eucalyptuses moving to and fro. Tall as they were, it was easy to notice them from any point in the village. Some used to say a young girl hanged herself from the large peepal tree behind the mill and her spirit roamed about.

A while later, I crossed the largest grocery shop in the village; it was owned by Dhanuaa, a short and stout man in his seventies. His son Mantu ran the business now. He was younger to me by a few years but he looked older and wiser; unlike me, he had stayed in this village since his birth.

“How is it going, Mantu?” I greeted him.

“Good! Good! Where are you heading to, Doctor?” Mantu asked, as he pushed a carton of uncle chip packets inside the shop.

“Nowhere in particular; just enjoying the weather.”

Thunder cracked again and the wind blew harder. Shivers ran along the exposed part of my hands. I bade him farewell and walked ahead. My heart thumped louder as I approached Deepti’s house. She always brought the worst out in me; at all times her eyes were aflame Continue reading “CORRIDORS OF TIME AND THE WITNESSES”

To a John Keats of Today

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O Love,

 

Why’d you wait with bated breath?

For your Bright Star: a glimpse, a word, a dewy-eyed kiss?

The romance has gone, my friend, the winds restrained

It is Love that’s lost; it is Love that we miss

Continue reading “To a John Keats of Today”

ख़ामोशी-ए-लब

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ए फ़क़ीर,

तू अपनी सुना

अंजाम-ए-कहानी होठों पे ला

 

तू भी था ख़ौफ़ों और शकों की

बेचैनियों में बंधा?

या…

सहसा, दुआओं की ऐसी भीड़ लगी

Continue reading “ख़ामोशी-ए-लब”

the mad man

what in us

the teaching thorn

the hardened rock

the wonted morn

for him

the swaying of a tender leaf

in his heart

and he dreaming

Continue reading “the mad man”

dawns which never arrive

One night I left the jar; the one with a miasma from mold growth, besides the wash basin for the next dawn to arrive when I would have definitely washed it. The dawn never arrived and I didn’t wash it. Someone did after four and half months. Maybe my mother on one of her visits to the house. The space where I had placed the jar that night is empty. The miasma gone. Nevertheless, I didn’t wash it. I wanted to; on a new dawn. The dawn never arrived. I wanted to do a lot of other things, like loving you perfectly but the dawn never arrived.

নিলগৰ গান

তোমাৰ চকুৰ পতাই কঢিয়ায়

সমুদ্ৰ-গৰ্ভস্থ  এক বিষাদ

নে পাগলাদিয়াৰ ওপৰৰ স্থিৰ সেমেকা বতাহজাক

ৰ পৰা নামে এই চিনাকি অচিনাকি ৰাষ্টাটো

মোৰ বুকুলৈ

পলকত দেখো সত্ত্বা বিয়পি পৰা এটি পোহৰ

আৰু বহু হাহাকাৰ

মই পাগলদিয়া পাৰ হওঁ

নেদেখা পাগলদিয়া

পাগলদিয়াৰ কহুৱনিত

মোৰ চিৰ-পৰিচিত, হেৰুৱাই পোৱা হুমুনিয়াহবোৰে

জিৰণি লয়

আমাৰ মাজত থিয় দিয়ে নিলগৰ সুগন্ধই

বুকুৱেদি উজাই যায় আন এখন পাগলদিয়া

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