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…