by Kousik Adhikari
Salt, Apple and the Cat
even in rain, when I step Mrs. Sen’s two bedroom flat
she offers an apple, after some easy snacks
or salted biscuits.
for snacks I don’t disagree
but salt is very another thing,
it’s a bond, binding, abiding and even mischievously proverbial
like throwing salt over one’s wound
that my grandmother used to say often
after our family partition, utensils hurled
on all sides of border, even to no man’s land
and my uncle’s looking nonsense at the neighbor’s daughter
whose old cow eats our saplings without interval,
it’s for the salt that we can even kill one,
so after appreciating her snacks
and also clean-shaved flat, bed and cushions
I would perhaps like to utter a ‘NO’
for the apple also,
sometimes her pet cat Monkey
jumps over the tray and catch the apple,
placing his paws over it, posing like Hercules
and I sometimes feel scorn and like salted island,
how ruthlessly it can chew the apple
and devour it, as if it was not there-
and nothing was there!
I would like to whisper, “Dear cat, you know?
after the rain, I shall be a man again”.
Myths of Sand
Years have fallen in disuse after dark winds of October
Forget to chill,
My hands grew pale, adhering to the rules named season,
Who shall now believe the alphabets of moon?
Shining dumb in my ancient bed for so many years!
I pat them a little and touching their chins sing lullaby
And a little adoringly say,
“You lazy naughty beings
Why lead me to deserts through ocean, vast, dumb and shiny
And I cannot touch the camels!”
None answers as the midnight rushes to another little dawn
And their sleeping eyes still speechless, looking at me
I knew the girls with the pitchers on their hips
Walk miles through deserts for water,
I know the camels turn cold in the sugar-chilled desert nights!
Till from one tent the gypsies
Run wild with their guitars, shouting abuses at moon,
Break the myth of sands and sand turns to water!
On one fine Sunday morning
I let loose the fishes taste the splendor of dawn
Breaking the aquarium, colored water
Gushing quite fashionably through the floor,
Fishes made my drawing room another bible,
Titanic ocean ceased in front of my table,
Still, not to touch Noah’s ark,
My cat looking dejected, licking its paws
For another magic event of stuffing abdomen
Perhaps cursing Noah for breaking the glass
That set apart water and wind,
Water made little waves
Scudding across, fishes running
Smartly in their empire, newly found
As the October wind makes the room
Little chilly, stood friendly in front of the table,
Not to call the magic ocean
Not to call the water’s beings
Noah found them running upstream
Pair to pair, trying to hark at the call of wind
On one fine October morning,
And the ark will be flowered soon
With new members, breaking gap between water and wind.
News of Rain
you told me the news of rain, dying at peace
on the attic of our roof. you told how to smell a flower
until, it lowers its head and is crushed, looking at the swelling clouds
Over the hilltops, I know your hands, truant, truant
like the rain soaked earth, hard to smell, easy to taste.
stone rolls down always from the cliff
I never know how I become Sisyphus
nor when I believe your news of rain.