Culture & Society

Three Poems About Transience, Suffering, And Spiritual Awakening

These poems spring from an unmistakable moral vein unspoiled by life’s unavoidable conflicts. The first two use metaphors of Dussehra’s Ravan, and an old, abandoned biscuit factory. The last one, a love poem, upholds the philosophy of living and losing while loving.


Three poems about transience, suffering, and spiritual awakening.


The ice-cream seller and buyer
stood by the wall of a hut.
Both were kids.

Both smiled,
a forced alliance erect
on either side of a border.

Dussehra’s Ravan
was burning in the background
of a throbbing countryside.

A doll in outmoded attire
looked through a peephole  
in wide-eyed rapture. 

The Biscuit Factory

The biscuit factory 
still bears a baked aroma
on its unwrapped metal. 

The leftovers are soil now
but it failed to engulf its breath.

The blurred slogans on its walls
are old bruises — still longing to heal.

It feeds on time to shed its colour
for the bricks to appear —

the way a tree longs to shed its leaves 
without our staring.


When Lovers Are Lost 

How easily people are lost —
even their thoughts —

and when they return as shadows
how we try to retreat from light

like air moving from one room to another
seeking to lose their whispers to the walls

like trees swaying in autumn winds
trying to drop their accounts on fallen leaves

like a funeral fire rising towards the sky 
looking to shed its tears on the ashes.

(Sonnet Mondal has authored seven books of poetry and is the director of Chair Poetry Evenings – Kolkata’s International Poetry Festival.)