Sudeshna Mukherjee


They all gathered 
in hushed tones
waiting for the moment
the lamp flickered 
in silence 
the universe seemed to wait 
with expectancy ...


With closed eyes 
she lay supine 
the red border of her 
'tant'* softly smoothening 
her sharp angular 
now wasted frame 
she lay inert 
her ebbing pulse coursed
slowly unspooling 
her pure love 
as she meditated
over her unfulfilled
young love 
pure simple and unadulterated

Lamentations -

Her pleas 
her protestations 
had fallen on deaf ears
authoritative voices 
had stifled the soft confessions
a hurried bondage put paid 
to her love her life her dream
she lamented her own death 
at such a young age 
for what was her life without her love 


When the initial novelty 
had worn off 
when he had had his fill 
he went back to his other constant 
gradually it was revealed to her 
his habits
his women his concubines


her heart rejoiced 
now he would free her 
now she could take up 
the severed ties 
perhaps her love would
accept her with open arms 
she celebrated each day 
waiting in wait 


Her wait weighed on her 
always elusive 
just round the corner
prayers spells incantations
lost their edge
she drowned in her ocean 
she snuffed her loving heart 
making it stone heavy 
yet she felt light 

the wait was forever...

they dressed her up 
like a bride 
a huge red bindi 
her parting smeared 
with red sindoor
carrying her to the 
burning ghat

...while he now grown 
as old  looked 
his mind revealing 
re-lived lamentations
revelations celebrations 
while the tonsured 
pandit chanted incantations
smoke rose upwards spiralling
before diffusing ...


the poet scribbles profound notes

the white winged dove flaps its wings 

the child plays 
with guns
air guns 

He has a cache 
of other weapons too
he learns how to play

He aims and fires
his parents cower 
the child giggles
in pleasure
chuckling gleefully

The parents are happy
the child is happy
the mock confrontation
portends to bigger things 

Teenage years he practices
over the gaming consoles 
they are his killing fields 
perfecting the art 

The strapping young man
evolves into an emotionless
killing machine

The poet continues to scribble profound notes

the white winged dove bleeds 
unable to sustain
dying a slow painful death.

You Are Always Being Watched

Watch your steps women
you are being watched
Your red lipstick is a call of the slut 
Your short dress invites trouble
Oh! You dare to go out alone at night 
then you are asking for it .
Your sass and your chutzpah is flagrant
you dare to question 
why you want to get slapped
and pulled by your hair 
And at night when you are ravaged
that defines your purpose
you are born only to serve
Do you dare to say NO 
why then have yourself disfigured
Do you still want to show your preferences
That would be your deliverance
into another realm 
Remember you are a package 
neatly trafficked 
in neat tutored bundles.

I Wonder…

I wonder who their God is
For birds that fly 
Up above the azure sky 
Good it is they have no war 
Blood rain to shower from afar !

I wonder who is their God 
For creepy crawlies  critters 
Often consumed as nutritious fritters 
Working at their micro level 
Behind the scene workers in gravel !

I wonder who is their God 
For wild animals that roam 
Restricted in their territory lone 
They kill to assuage their hunger 
Part of the food chain they pose no danger! 

I wonder who their God is
For the animals we keep 
Taming to fulfil our various needs 
Silently doing what they know best 
Exploited to the extreme without any rest ! 

I wonder who Our God is
For we are so self absorbed 
Milking grabbing to further our cause 
Not giving back what we get 
Greedy for control whatever is let !