Conversations Nos. 5, 6, 7 and 8: by Purnendu Pattrea

No. 5
I am the tree you travel by
You are my roadside inn
Suddenly the cloud screamed – why? –
The lock’s so big, I can’t go in

You are my oceanfront
I am your hair that flies
Suddenly the cloud screamed – why? –
It’s all wrong, these are lies

I am the lines that crease your palm
You’re my fist which holds something
Suddenly the cloud screamed – why? –
You cannot go, this boat is leaking
* * *
No. 6
You didn’t come yesterday, today’s gone by
It’s cloudy now, it’ll rain soon
Terrifying rain, Calcutta will drown
Are you still looking for your nail polish?
Were you dressed? Why didn’t you come then?
Were your shoes torn? They weren’t torn?
You didn’t have any kohl? Why bother with it
I already know the deer in your eyes

You didn’t come yesterday, today’s gone by
It’s twilight now, in a moment Calcutta will
Put on its burqa and drown in a deeper mist
Are you still looking for your safety-pin?
* * *
No. 7
Your letter arrived around four o’clock this afternoon
A million thanks for your reply, although it came none too soon
Are you shedding tears for me? Turn your heart to stone forever
Charulata’s playing again, would you like to go together?

When shall we meet and where? You haven’t even dropped a hint
Now that you’ve got fairy wings, you can fly out on the wind
Will you come to Sitangshu’s cafe if it doesn’t rain?
The bird is fluttering as it wants to peck the silver grain
* * *
No. 8
– You’re turning horrible by the day
From now on I’ll call you
Furnace
You know why? You keep burning me
What you give me when I hold my hand out for pleasure
Is nothing but fire

– You’re becoming worse by the day
From now on I too will call you
Executioner
You know why? You keep killing me
The regret of all that I cannot give you
Is nothing but the blade

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