Santasree Chaudhuri

Melody of Bandura

Neighborhood grocery store
I walked like a shadow
Picked up necessities from empty shelves

Recession mocked me
Inflation humiliated my wants
I went to pay
Credit card declined
Zero balance
Misery followed

Car was hungry for fuel
I threw the key into the flowing river Dnieper
Reached home
Walking alone through
Deserted roads
Darkness greeted me
I entered my cost apartment
I shivered without heating
I sat with an empty plate
Sipping soda from a green bottle
I am an elderly woman
Of a distant district town
Staying alone
In a war hit zone

Silent cell phone
Piercing sound of sirens
No domestic gas supply
Flameless oven
I pray for peace every morning
My piano needs my loving touch
I play my favourite tune
Doris Day comes alive
Que sera sera, what will be, will be....
I am alone
Amidst ego, arrogance of power
Cold wind comforted my desperation
My grieving heart floated
in our haunting neighbourhood
Looking for the familiar faces
Nancy, Dorothy, Kate...
Jolly good guys - Ted, Bill, James...

Finally, assistance...

Rescue team
Humanitarian aid
From the rubble of destruction.

I buried my memories, sentiments,
Belongings of my cosy home
Destiny smiled in silence
"Accept the apathy
Move on"....
I closed my eyes

Now I have a new address
Rescue centre...
Status - Refugee
In a Country culturally unknown to me...
I look at the borderless sky
If I die no one will cry...

I slept deeply
Only to wake up with loss of memory
Fighting my last battle in a suburban town feeding a blue bird
Looking at the crooked trees
Near the forest of pine
Holding a Bandura....
Last music
My mother taught
perhaps, perhaps, perhaps
Santasree Chaudhuri is an award winning entrepreneur, women’s rights activist, poet, and poetry-film-maker, currently based in Kolkata, India.