Saturday, June 19, 2010

Living Through 1989


Precidency in the middle of the eighties
She almost never found
when she fell in love
and she knew
That he never did..
A dark blue denim kurta
and a light faded Jeans
with the upper half of the handkerchief
flung outside the pocket.
This is how she remembered him,
Trying to convince evrybody in the hall
that communism was still the need of the hour.
Even though Reagan,Osho & George michael ruled minds then.
But he like always knew what he was saying.

Perhaps it was then
when she fell in love with him
even though he lost the debate
and human capitalism won hands down
or maybe when
she saw him talking to
the tea vendor outside prescidency
detailing what Gorbachov is doing
and the vendor asked, who was Gorbachov dada
Or when she saw him playing football
at calcutta maidan with all the kids.
Somehow somewhere she knew it was love.


He was Heathcliff Mukherjee to her
a name dedicated to his antics
and the way he smiled at her
in a strange contorted but angry way
Heathcliff personified for her
Once told her,
'You belong to tollygunge neither Prescidency nor me'
and she said
'And you Heath belong to me, not Glazkov.'
He just smiled, contorted.
She knew then that he didn't.
Being and belonging was out of his reach.

Love for him was always
an abstract notion
and he disliked things more than he loved them,
like bourgeoisie people,
people like her
The idea that he was in love with
was Communistic utopia
and Russian writers, but her perhaps no
and may be she loved him a lot more for this.

It was this devotion to his ideals
that she loved and hated
and yet it was the seed
that let her love grow.


For him it was
how she always had a poem in mind
for his thoughts
and the way she said,
"Alturas de Machu pichu."
Though it was never she
but the things she did that he loved.

Yet ninteen eighty nine broke him
the wall broke
and Russia made
carved out of his utopic USSR
his thoughts had failed him.
His ideals betrayed
a lost man he was

He decided to leave prescidency
for a govt. school in Mednipur,
never to be back.
He left her an edition of "Canto-General"
few photographs and his memories.

The bourgeoisie in her
had to move on in life.
Though she read Peoples democracy every week
and a few times found his articles too,
Once he wrote

'Our struggle against Neocolonialism is like
Heathcliffs love for Catherine
we can never attain it perhaps
but the fight gives us
the strength to breath.'

And she knew he loved her as well.
Perhaps for moments but he did.

It has been two decades,
two fallen empires
and twenty seven articles in Peoples democracy
but she still hasn't forgotten
the dark blue denim kurta
and a light faded Jeans
with the upper half of the handkerchief outside.

She prays perhaps in some village in midnapur
a man stuck in 1989 and communism hasn't as well.

1 comment:

pringles said...

Loved it!
One of your getting-increasingly-better narratives, that touch the brain very soulfully.
Sensitive depiction of human emotions yet contemporary has become your USP now. Strong personality of a man, women’s vulnerability... Reminded me of somehow of Sudhir mishra directed & Chitrangada Singh's debut movie:

Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (2003)