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
that we are Gatsby's sharing our hollowness
across the rich mahogany table
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.
there were 784 girls in Presidency then at that moment
and yet there was just one.
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.