Fire of my reverence: Shakti Chattopadhyay

Fire of my reverence
Incinerate me
First, torch the two feet that can no longer move
Then the hands which hold no love or order today
Now icebergs of flowers in the crook of the arms
No more responsibility settling on the shoulders
Burn them in proximity to life
Stop a moment, then destroy
The silent seat of knowledge coloured by truth and lies
Save the pair of eyes
Maybe they still have
Something left to see
When the tears have stopped flowing crush the eyes
Don’t burn the garlands and bouquets dishevelled with fragrance
A loved touch lives on their bodies
Let them drift on the river freely, wilfully
Fire of my reverence
Incinerate me

Stone: Mandakranta Sen

Your breast is like stone, you’re a man
Let me lie on it, I want to lie on it
I’ve rubbed my mouth on stone, such a terrible wound
On my lips

How shameless the wound is, it refuses to heal
It doesn’t want to hide its face
It’s an ugly sight, but still it doesn’t seem
Reluctant

Stone is cold, stone is so bare my love
I have rinsed stone with my tears
On this stone I’ll just smear a fistful
Of soil

Your face is smeared with earth, you’re a man
Let me wash it off, I want to wash it off
The wound is old, and yet a touch still
Makes it bleed

Words: Premendra Mitra

Even afterwards there are things to say
After it has rained
Like the soil-smeared smell of a wet cool wind,
Blurred, like clouds
Who knows whether they’re words
Or a trembling vibrant silence

I shall not say these things to her
In pauses between the determination and effort to survive
My astonished heart
Tells itself in solitude
All these mist-like words
I have whispered many strange things
How much of what the heart means
Can these words hold anyway

Like snow all these words melt
On a lofty peak
Of passion
I touch a hand with my hand
Grope within my heart with words
Do we have each other still?

And so when all my words
Have been defeated, a sigh
Flows, and perhaps indifferent time
Shivers by mistake, once

And then in every crack of existence
The fog settles, and words
Like the fog, roll towards the horizon

Tunnu’s Computer: by Debarati Mitra

Dorothy Smith of South Africa had set my data
Whether I’m woman or man, creature or matter
She alone knows
I am alive, though
I even think of myself as a woman
I was placed inside
A Blue G royal faber machine
Then, bouncing between places
I’m in Tunnu’s hands now
Tunnu skips her classes at school
Plays the synthesiser
Dances with her friends
She doesn’t play games herself, but watches
And operates her computer sometimes.

Actually I’m an awkward robot
Halfway through a game
I don’t know yet how the story ends
It seems there’s a princes in a kingdom
A harassed Tunnu sends me off to find her
Blowing up a pillar, she makes me climb
A cloud in an instant
The next moment I’m swimming, breathless,
With mermaids seven hundred miles under the sea
Rummaging in the freezing sand of the desert for her
She must be in a room in the palace
An immense mirror in front of her
I am forced to shatter it
A part of her soul spills over to this side
Mrs Smith hadn’t meant for me to suffer so
But Tunnu doesn’t care
It’s all a game to her.

One day Tunnu, Bisku and Lyree
Were playing on the computer in the living room
Her friends told her
Change your computer games, Tunnu
So boring and so immature
We’ll copy some intelligent games for you
From the Rainbow Research Centre

My foolish body began to tremble at this
I was almost extinguished, sobbing
Press any key you like, I’m not
Going to respond to your juvenile wishes anymore
Instead I made her hand
Shake and jerk
And bend like a bough

Dr Smith had never even dreamt of such a thing.