Lopamudra presents a series of prose-poems or short vignettes in blank verse based on certain long-standing images of Kolkata, and the US. Here’s the first one of the series, ‘College Street’ exclusively for Different Truths.
Don’t yet know what to call you. The stealthy beams of light shining in my streaks of new grey hairs, or the black pregnant clouds that hovered above the flaky skins of plastered old buildings, breaking out in splurges, in vignettes of lies, hoaxes, twilight dreams? What do I call you?
Can I call you the crooked teeth of my younger, awkward days, as I whirled in half-circles among fake friends? Can I call you my cheap ear-stud which fell in the pool of college square when we huddled together, false buddies, pinching each other, crackling in vain, transient giggles? Or can I call you the ruptured skin of Coffee House, upholstered with arguments and innuendos, with poetry and cognac fire? Do you know that as I walked right in, I could see the frothy foam of debris wailing silently, beneath its refurbished interiors?
Can I call you the dust motes settling beneath the piles of books, new and old, that brushed past my hands, my elbows, as we walked, hand-in- hand, through the clamouring rush, smudged, crushed, panting? Can I call you the smoky breath, the tight clasp of a lover who possessed me like a ghost, sucked my bones and marrow, and ditched me in the suffocating by lanes, with my messy blood-stains?
I am a bystander in your serpentine lanes in the crossroads of my journey, wondering what you would say, if anything, if you would look at my nimble feet, the speckles of dust settled on my half-rimmed glasses. Can I look straight into your face, and see your fine details, without trembling, surrendering?
Walk right in, take a tram ride, saunter all the way from the drenched lawn of Presidency to the translucent skin of the university. Walk right in, as the old clock sings a sweet, sad eulogy, and you inhale the splashing, gurgling air of memories.
Pix from Net.
Lopamudra Banerjee is a writer based in Dallas, USA. She is the co-editor of ‘Defiant Dreams: Tales of Everyday Divas’, published in collaboration with Incredible Women of India and Readomania. Her unpublished memoir Thwarted Escape has been First Place Category Winner at the Journey Awards 2014 hosted by Chanticleer Reviews. Her English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s novella The Broken Home has been serially published at Café Dissensus. She is also an editor of Learning and Creativity.