Thursday, 30 January 2014

The Blessed Damozel (Dante Gabriel Rossetti)

The blessed damozel lean'd out
From the gold bar of Heaven;
Her eyes were deeper than the depth
Of waters still'd at even;
She had three lilies in her hand,
And the stars in her hair were seven.

Her robe, ungirt from clasp to hem,
No wrought flowers did adorn,
But a white rose of Mary's gift,
For service meetly worn;
Her hair that lay along her back
Was yellow like ripe corn.

Her seem'd she scarce had been a day
One of God's choristers;
The wonder was not yet quite gone
From that still look of hers;
Albeit, to them she left, her day
Had counted as ten years.

(To one, it is ten years of years.
. . . Yet now, and in this place,
Surely she lean'd o'er me--her hair
Fell all about my face ....
Nothing: the autumn-fall of leaves.
The whole year sets apace.)

It was the rampart of God's house
That she was standing on;
By God built over the sheer depth
The which is Space begun;
So high, that looking downward thence
She scarce could see the sun.

It lies in Heaven, across the flood
Of ether, as a bridge.
Beneath, the tides of day and night
With flame and darkness ridge
The void, as low as where this earth
Spins like a fretful midge.

Around her, lovers, newly met
'Mid deathless love's acclaims,
Spoke evermore among themselves
Their heart-remember'd names;
And the souls mounting up to God
Went by her like thin flames.

And still she bow'd herself and stoop'd
Out of the circling charm;
Until her bosom must have made
The bar she lean'd on warm,
And the lilies lay as if asleep
Along her bended arm.

From the fix'd place of Heaven she saw
Time like a pulse shake fierce
Through all the worlds. Her gaze still strove
Within the gulf to pierce
Its path; and now she spoke as when
The stars sang in their spheres.

The sun was gone now; the curl'd moon
Was like a little feather
Fluttering far down the gulf; and now
She spoke through the still weather.
Her voice was like the voice the stars
Had when they sang together.

(Ah sweet! Even now, in that bird's song,
Strove not her accents there,
Fain to be hearken'd? When those bells
Possess'd the mid-day air,
Strove not her steps to reach my side
Down all the echoing stair?)

"I wish that he were come to me,
For he will come," she said.
"Have I not pray'd in Heaven?--on earth,
Lord, Lord, has he not pray'd?
Are not two prayers a perfect strength?
And shall I feel afraid?

"When round his head the aureole clings,
And he is cloth'd in white,
I'll take his hand and go with him
To the deep wells of light;
As unto a stream we will step down,
And bathe there in God's sight.

"We two will stand beside that shrine,
Occult, withheld, untrod,
Whose lamps are stirr'd continually
With prayer sent up to God;
And see our old prayers, granted, melt
Each like a little cloud.

"We two will lie i' the shadow of
That living mystic tree
Within whose secret growth the Dove
Is sometimes felt to be,
While every leaf that His plumes touch
Saith His Name audibly.

"And I myself will teach to him,
I myself, lying so,
The songs I sing here; which his voice
Shall pause in, hush'd and slow,
And find some knowledge at each pause,
Or some new thing to know."

(Alas! We two, we two, thou say'st!
Yea, one wast thou with me
That once of old. But shall God lift
To endless unity
The soul whose likeness with thy soul
Was but its love for thee?)

"We two," she said, "will seek the groves
Where the lady Mary is,
With her five handmaidens, whose names
Are five sweet symphonies,
Cecily, Gertrude, Magdalen,
Margaret and Rosalys.

"Circlewise sit they, with bound locks
And foreheads garlanded;
Into the fine cloth white like flame
Weaving the golden thread,
To fashion the birth-robes for them
Who are just born, being dead.

"He shall fear, haply, and be dumb:
Then will I lay my cheek
To his, and tell about our love,
Not once abash'd or weak:
And the dear Mother will approve
My pride, and let me speak.

"Herself shall bring us, hand in hand,
To Him round whom all souls
Kneel, the clear-rang'd unnumber'd heads
Bow'd with their aureoles:
And angels meeting us shall sing
To their citherns and citoles.

"There will I ask of Christ the Lord
Thus much for him and me:--
Only to live as once on earth
With Love,--only to be,
As then awhile, for ever now
Together, I and he."

She gaz'd and listen'd and then said,
Less sad of speech than mild,--
"All this is when he comes." She ceas'd.
The light thrill'd towards her, fill'd
With angels in strong level flight.
Her eyes pray'd, and she smil'd.

(I saw her smile.) But soon their path
Was vague in distant spheres:
And then she cast her arms along
The golden barriers,
And laid her face between her hands,
And wept. (I heard her tears.)       

(Another piece of literature that had it's say in deciding who I became.)

To hell with you!

"And every night, I will pat you to sleep. A sleep so peaceful that you won't remember having to face the big, bad world next morning. Promise."

On certain nights, you actually feel like dying.

Because hell could be better, who knows!

Monday, 27 January 2014

Home Coming II

It was yet another of those sleepless nights, silent and cold as death. The air in her bedroom stood stagnant the way it had done every night over the past countless years. She, like many an occasion before, prayed that the silence remained. That, however, went unanswered soon as he broke it with gritted teeth, hurling yet another round of chosen abuses at her. She remained quiet just as she resolved to do long back.

The air, still and heavy with silence for long, now seemed to grow colder with every hissing word he muttered at her. She realised, yet again, that she had ran out of tears long back, and anger as well. Now what remained in her could possibly be described as a soulless body, she told herself.  This thought offered her some comfort. It protected her like a shield, she wanted to believe. Yet, much to her dismay, she soon felt the warm salty trickle down her cheeks, pressed against the pillow; the pillow that was carefully placed at the farthest corner of the bed away from its other twin, the one which he leaned against at the other end of the bed.

Sunday, 12 January 2014


Strange are the depths of silence. Almighty, all powerful.

How-much-so-ever you may think you still, despite all, retain the ability to fathom your feelings, to phrase your thoughts into words well expressive of the many shades of the storm and the calm your heart is exploding and shrinking into, you can hardly meet the standards Silence sets. Sure, Silence does not help vent, but it surely saves you from a shallow expression of the helplessly complex knots your arteries and veins seem to conjure at times like this.

Leave your soul unspoken. It much deserves the sanctity of Silence.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

পাণি গ্রহণ, নবনীতা দেবসেন

"কাছে থাকো। ভয় করছে। মনে হচ্ছে 
এই মুহুর্ত বুঝি সত্য নয়। ছুঁয়ে থাকো।

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Gurgaon Chronicles - Part 1

Gurgaon is a heck of a unique thing in this entire territory named India. Trust me, it is. More than how much you can imagine it to be from the pictures from your friends' timelines on Facebook.

They'd show you the steel and the metal, and the glasses that wrap the 25 storeyed buildings giving them the look of a mirror proudly faced against the Sun, doubling it's dazzle when the mercury hovers around the upper ends of forties in what they call Summer in lack of better words.

It is that. It is the concrete, and the steel and the iron and the glass. But then, it is much more. In both senses.

Gurgaon can suffocate you with being busy. Gurgaon can kill you with its solitude. Let me explain.

Once you acquire a temporary or a permanent residential address, or not even that, just a phone number that belongs to this region, the whole world will start getting in touch with you to tell you where your life should be. The food-mails will relentlessly coax you to their three courses that are always offered on special prices for very limited days, the shops will lure you with their double-digit discounts through the year, only to have you helplessly gasp at where to begin with and how it feels like a different currency altogether to look at the price tags. And then, the brokers would tell you about property deals, the agents will tell you where to put your money away, and the pamphlets at the grocery stores will tell you where to go for your next vacation. They would give you a card for every store you ever visited in the name of loyalty points, with carrots you almost never encash eventually. And then, its not all about things money can buy. Why, every day of the week sees a theatre workshop or a fine arts exhibition at what they designate as the cultural hub. They have their own run of short films, live painting shows, and artists from the remotes of the city on the dias.

The city can surely get you on your toes if you let it.

But then, it's lonely. Very. You don't walk down the streets, you don't know the shopkeeper by name, you don't trust the changes they hand over and count it everytime, a habit you never had before landing in this city. There is this medicine shop from which I bought my contraceptives, my pregnancy support medicines, my every little medical tid-bits over the nine-months' long journey, eventually giving way to buying feeding bottles, diapers and teethers thereafter. The same two men, nice and courteous, greeted me at the counter for the entire span, and never ever for once asked me if I had a boy or a girl.

It is this devoid of human touch!

See! Gurgaon can suffocate you with being busy. Gurgaon can kill you with its solitude.

Friday, 3 January 2014


নতুন করে
গল্প সাজাবো॥

আবার নদী হবো একদিন,
ভাসাবো দুকুল॥

এবড়ো খেবড়ো রং

এই এবড়ো খেবড়ো রং,
থাক বরং॥


I haven't ever seen a baby more wonderful than this. There cannot be. Simple.


Love - Labour - Lost

"Sun in the earth sunflower,
Bird in the air, rain
Eye within eye, daybreak...
Streets we have never walked on
Windows we have never opened
Hands we have never held
Dreams we shall never, never, see again...
Sun in the earth sunflower,
Bird in the air, rain
Eye within eye, daybreak..
Life we have never lived
Hopes we have never realised
Fires we have never lit
Love we shall never, never, make again
A thousand desires such as these
A thousand moments to set this night on fire
Reach out and you can touch them
You can touch them with your silences
You can reach them with your lust
Rivers mountains rain
Rain against the torrent hillscapes
A thousand a thousand desires such as these
I loved rain as a child
As a lost young man
Empty landscapes bleached by a tired sun
and then suddenly it came like a dark young woman
Her eyes scorched my eyes
Her body wrapped itself around me like summer without end"

You were one of your kind. You were strange, very strange. You confused me.

But then, you were worth it. All of it. Worth all the pain. Worth all the ecstasy. Worth all the confusion.

No, I was not unmoved. Every time I said so, I was lying, gritted teeth.

I am fortunate to have known you. And, to have given you up. Willingly.

And, well...

Thank you! For everything.

Carbon copies

This article has also been published in Women's Web

Hate Tomatoes. Like, really! If raw, then, hate you too for it!

Fish markets turn them on.

Churches calm them down.

They love mushrooms, and loathe papayas. Especially, if ripe.

They put on and shed quite easily. Weight, that is.

Love to walk. And, to sleep.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year Resolutions

Ghyan ghyan korbo na.

Roga hobo, roga thakbo.

Bokhey jabo. Ja ja etodin korini othocho korar ichchhe chhilo, sheishob jabotiyo bokhatepona ei bochhor korbo.

Galagali shikhbo.

Porashona korbo.

Chhobi ankbo.

Boi porbo, select kore.

Cinema dekhbo, porisrom kore collect kore.

Ghyan ghyan korbo na.

Oshudh khabo. Course complete howa porjonto.

Shajbo. Cosmetics kinbo. Parlour jabo niyom kore. "Ki hobe!" bolbo na, ba bhabbo na.

Ghyan ghyan korbo na.