Saturday, November 30, 2013

Before Midnight-



1
You tell me that you wish we move back to Calcutta 
if only our kids can adjust to the humidity 

that weekends after weekends you pick up books, 
buy them and never get back to reading

that the boundless imagination of literature scares you

that men unlike novels live in their cages, as Tagore would say

that the October rains in Chicago 
make you miss the warmth of a different October back home

you tell me that the crisis is not existential 
just some melancholy 

that our lives are nothing but the story we tell to others
but mostly to us

I see you, 
I see how the unutterable dreams 
that you and I had 
have perished 

that we are Gatsby's sharing our hollowness 
across the rich mahogany table

2
That you were so enamored 
that it almost frightened you 
that you and I were in the same room, 

you told me, you wrote down all my poems 
that I spoke at the college festival, 
and you intrigued me, 

you the woman of Lewis Carroll and Abby road, 
that sometimes you wrote too, 
lines which resembled strangely Emily Bronte, 

'Of late I’m no longer in your vicinity, 
we do not share the same oblivion'. 

Did I tell you, you inspired me. 

That when we kissed 
I could taste not just the faint lipstick but your soul. 

Later, you told me
that you and I and all of us are pretentious,
but that is what youth is for
and we giggled

and that you loved looking at me 
with nothing but my glasses on and this five 'o clock shadow. 

You know, 
there were 784 girls in Presidency then at that moment 
and yet there was just one.

3
I see you 
walking through our kids bedroom, 
I wish to tell you that I feel your pain too,

that I wish 
our children felt the perspiration 
of a warm October and an electric fan in a Pujo Pandal in park circus, 

that I wish I could buy 
a tattered second hand copy of a Salinger or Miller 
with a message on first page 
exchanged between two strangers years ago. 

I want to walk along the football grounds 
across the silhouettes of Victoria. 

To talk Kafka with you on a tram. 
That I want to live more
like you do too

I see you over the sink of our kitchen
with an open tap and unwashed plates 
and I wish all that.

But tonight let me just help you with these darn plates, I say.

And you smile.

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