Sunday, Nov 27, 2022

Poem: Of Durga Puja, Fasting And Feasting

The poet puts his memories of pandal hopping, eating and celebrating Durga Puja with his friends in verse.

Memories of Durga Puja
Memories of Durga Puja

I remember fasting all day, all night 

In the festival month-

My unlettered body, smeared with turmeric talc, was aroused with 

Excited warbles of Peacocks and sparrows in Jamdani saree  

Flirting with bald alligators in Burrabazar Pujapandals.  

I was dismayed by the betrayal of old friends-

Leo Tolstoy was busy revising his War and Peace,

Mozart was repairing his Jalsa Ghar,

And James Rennell was distracted by the frequent

raids of Casado pirates in Hooghly.

I am certain I felt I was absolutely transparent when

Strange men and women in plastic masks of Goddess 

Interviewed me for the post of librarian in Kalibari. 

Now, I work in the fish market-

Cleaning and cutting hilsa for dead dolls 

Riding bicycles on the bauxite streets…