That strange Bengali lyrical English accent of yours
Which I claimed to have hated, to my friends
But fell in love with, the first time I heard
And literature became the motto of my life and everything else
You even introduced me to Mrs Mukherjee , your wife
And still I knew that it was me always
Because the next day you read out loudly, Garcia Marquez
“Always remember that the most important thing in a good marriage is not happiness, but stability.”
And then looked straight at me
And I know that it is always like that a cliché as they say
That a man who was early middle aged
Yet could fill whole lives into few words
When his odd writings were published in dailies here and there
Who could never let go off his stubble as if it was permanent
Who taught literature
Shall be cause of a lot of first loves
And so you were
But then most of them haven’t seen the cliché that is you.
You had the longest fingers I ever saw even by your tall standards.
Long-ish hairs and an ovoid face with a little bald patch easily hidden and you said aloud-
“ I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.”
And you were Yeats.
Poetry was almost porn for you as I knew. Like your voice for me.
I saw you as a twenty eight year old too, Framed
You still had that five day old beard
And reminded me of Che even Rob-Di-Nero.
It was your college office
And then you left without even letting me know
I wasn’t important enough when I think of it now
And months and years and a life went.
I read your obit in the statesman today
And exactly as only you can do
It had one of your unread poems
“If I could offer my love as the fee
Or even as my heart; my naked plea
But my heart and love even breathe you dear
How can I present you to unjust mockery?
Hold it close it’s the my last recourse
My thoughts my words and all my dreams
I offer them to you these are all I have
Leave me claimed with sane insanity.”
Kolkata in late December could be described as marginally hot by your European standards
But it still gave me shivers to see you
And when you passed by me through rows
I could smell that thing you had as perfume it smelled of winter twilight's in Kent or Cantia as you said.
You know I spent my honeymoon in south England
And my husband was flabbergasted at my choice
I read Yeats at times even now
Just when the world gets too much to bear
I do not read much these days
And that day after five years of not seeing me, you did see me but comfortably ignored
I know this too
It was early May and I can still see you drenched in rains with a smile
Tall, slender you were a poem alive
You stood by my door
And then I realized that it is a hallucination
That you are gone
That am married have my kids
That it was an infatuation to a man who lived poetry
That summer’s day shall not be Shakespeare anymore to me
That we would’ve never got along (age difference)
And moreover I can never be a mistress
That you did call me three years from Delhi on my birthdays
That you did get the love letter I wrote you in the second year of your DU faculty days
And that you said it is not love dearest
And that afterall you would still believe that today-
It is not love dearest
it is not..