All About Poetry: Reading Session and Slam

Hi!

I recently moved to Pune and organised my first poetry event here. Here’s a clip of how the event went. Hope you guys enjoy! 🙂

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Love,

Antara

The Presence of an M

Light had a way of finding him.

The tree shadows from the glow of

The lamp on the other side of the street,

The oversleeping sun laying rectangular

Bloated lines on his back.

Eyes reflecting the image of a girl

Gently tucked in beneath

A room full of sleep.

 

The red shirt formed patterns of

Comfort on the floor beside the bed.

Three petals of bougainvillea

Twelve hours hence, noticed

The change of humming

Daily routine. Tic-tac-toe

Of fingerprints.

 

Mem

Someone turned on a tap.

Red dipped scars

Followed like ants on line

On translucent window panes.

The night of the fight I

Sat quietly under the bed

As Mem poured kerosene on the chair

On the red pashmina she bought

Recently, and lastly on herself

Taking time to dip each strand of hair

As if buttering a chicken before it

makes it to the plate.

“Mem, don’t.”

She looked at me and

Smiled her dry quarter smile;

Skin lifted just at the edge.

Her eyes gave nothing away

Just a black abyss with memories

Gliding in a whirl.

 

“Someone turned on a tap, Mam. I

Can hear it drip.”

It’s scarring when a word brings back

Years of dusty boxed-up nightmares

And faces you at one go.

Five accusations in one night;

You are going for a ride.

“Don’t Mem.” Mem, don’t.

Swimming in a Pool

When I’m writing about Kolkata, it’s difficult. Because I’m writing in English but the dialogues, the lines, the words come to me in Bangla. It’s different when I write a story in an English setting (or maybe even base it in other parts of India). Then automatically the thoughts are in English. But, where Kolkata is concerned, it is as if I’m simply sieving and translating. Two worlds on different sides of the wall. And that feels wrong. Very very wrong. That is the point where I feel helpless. I know my bangla isn’t strong enough such that I can write a novel in it. And English is what I’m best at. Kolkata is also what I know the best. Hence, it fits to be the setting of my novel. But it is frustrating when after writing two or three pages, I’m staring at the screen, not knowing where the story is going. Because god help me, but how can I expect a Nimai Kaka to address his Memsahib in fluent English. It just sounds so very wrong. At this point I’m extremely close to giving up. And I have, before. On more than a dozen stories I think.

I hate swimming in this frustration pool.

Seventy-six Minutes

What she looked for in every boy she encountered was a conversation. A proper soul-enriching conversation. Because she felt lonely otherwise. She sat at the cream-coloured table in class as her mind riveted back to the boy she smoked up with last week. He had big hands. They sat at the end of the rusted knocked down bridge and spoke of things people usually don’t speak about on their first dates. The bridge had several planks missing. Boltu, the university dog sat in the middle of it, resting under the afterglow of the evening sun. Their legs brushed against one another. Neither pulled away. He spoke of life in Rajasthan. How he didn’t get along with his Ma. It saddened her, but she didn’t let go of his hand.

“I need a smoke.”, she pulled away.

 

Keep your hands away

In the clouds deep – where they belong

Umm, up –

Seventy-six minutes

In the noontime of my eyes

Numb lover, come, sit,

Gaze into the pensive.