Thursday, January 22, 2015

Meeting you the other day

Meeting you the other day
Was a scented wet wipe 
Over the bridge of my nose
In Calcutta June.

Meeting you the other day
Was us at eighteen
Walking fingers interlaced 
To Kamlanagar, for ice cream.

We'd sung Annie's song
In a sweet hum hum.
As the kid winter tickled our armpits
And ran, till we caught it the other day.

Meeting you the other day
I spoke to others in chit chat,
Avoiding your eye
Till you laughed at my jokes again. 

Meeting you the other day
Was sharing cigarettes on a terrace,
And out of nowhere
You asked,"How's life?"

"Horrible", I said.
And you said, "Oh, I see."
We would talk a lot about agency,
And that's where we picked it up, the other day. 

Meeting you the other day
Was your boundless beauty, again.
Your second best asset,
Missed consistently by Instagram and men. 

Meeting you the other day
Was the joy of conversation,
And boomerang intimacy.
My ill timed hug had got you thinking one day. 

You'd thought and thought 
With your Lit crit mind,
And decided not to stay.

Till we met again, the other day.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Jhuggi Buddy



Today the vine creeped up to me.
The dark pit swallowed 
And shat me out like a childhood marble.
Loss, like love, is prone to cliches. 

A black shiny marble 
Shot out of his tiny fingers,
I go rolling on the earth
Till I spiral down the sewer. Lost. 

Maybe he is, in some part of someplace, 
Making better use of his fingers 
And still planning on buying a bicycle.
He doesn't swim in sewers anymore. 

Today the vine creeped up on me 
As I was just about to come out
Of my office Mercedes Benz 
And I thought of our days.

Where are you my jhuggi buddy? 
Between the cracks of my macroeconomic research 
Migrants, women, the urban poor.
Your shadow chases me wherever I go.

Conference rooms and night clubs,
Where I make a sales pitch for poverty,
Smell of the essence of your fate.
You are out there.

And in all my life of skipping meals, studying,
Sitting on my soapbox, I will feel you lurking
around my autowalla’s lower back
My rickshawalla’s balls. 

Telephones


Hello this is PK Banerjee speaking
I'd pick up the phone and say.
At a critical juncture between toys and cognition,
Dad installed the landline. 

I loved how I never knew 
who's on the other end 
And presumed I was unrecognisable too. 
And at 4, I always wanted to be dad. 

Many little chits of paper were left in the school bus at 13
With the 033 in front for effect.
The numbers of my number, and then
my own name. 

At 16, I called her once 
From the PCO across the road from tuitions,
She said she loved me too. 
I said I loved her three. 
And then we went on till infinity. 

Phone booths in the winter 
Would fog up from the inside
As we spoke that year before boards.
Timeless icicles of promises,
Now frozen. 

Adulthood, mobility and mobile
Came all at once. 
New city new girl new phone,
And a caller tune too. 
Besides, the right to know who's calling. 

There were two buttons 
Colour coded. Red and green, 
I could choose to reject calls.
But never did. 
Mostly because I didn't know what to do with the dialtone. 

Till one day she showed me 
The silent button. 
Neither accept nor reject. 
And no annoyance too. 
And I became telephone mature

The silent button is now my closest confidante
It knows how much I lie. 
And when the real PK Banerjee calls 
There is no child on the other side.
Just a stubborn glow, and an alibi. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Love, Lingua Franca


You recline on my bed like an Urdu letter
Pristine, polite, unfathomable.
As I struggle to read, I struggle to speak
Of my love for you.

Drawing lines, crisscrossing boxes.
In my Mandarin mind,
I am caged
In impenetrable profitability.

I look for the tilted triangles
Rooted in my Bangla earth,
Soaking the shocks of extra electricity,
Of chasing dreams like a mother, a child.

My bed however, is fluid Anglo-Saxon
It sways like a ship at sea.
On board the Lingua Franca:
Sometimes you, sometimes me.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Poem

This poem
is a bunch of words
on paper.
There are no links,
no hyperlinks,
no multimedia digital economy.

No videos will stream
on any of the corners,
and no woman
will offer sex
via webcam
on the side.

This poem
is not $0.66
by the word.
Its just a poem
that will stop by
to say hi.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Saturday Morning Love Story


There, at a distance,
A river fades.
Its cherry-red shine waning.
This girl doesn’t cry.

There, at a distance,
A tree withers.
It’s scarred, strong bark cracking.
This boy doesn’t try.

The girl, a river, the boy, a tree.
Feminists clap in glee.
So conventional.
So conventional, indeed.

And a separation happens, all sigh.
She goes away, he doesn’t smile.
Lusty hugs in front of nasty embassies.
The new world order came in-between.

The river runs dry, snuffed out by desert sand,
But it was waning as it is, when it left this land.
I miss you too much, she hears him say.
Back off motherfucker, love doesn’t stay.

Office space, corporate tower.
A small coupe, legs entangled in wires,
Fitted between metal boxes and the musty smell of business.
They didn’t stop clinical trials. They stopped a USD 300 million industry.


Flatmates


Three boys in an endless loop.
Work, play, introspect like a bitch.
Walk on broken roads,
Roll into five-stars.
What sense?

Its not the rat and cat picture.
No one’s even chasing anything.
Or getting chased.
But its there somewhere, in between.
And a hope that things can change.

All in a circle of haze.
The marijuana proclaims,
Something will happen.
The sun, the clock, the falling leaves,
All disagree.

Three boys in three different rooms.
All thoroughly scathed,
By a strange heat-wave.
Its not hate, because its not too late.
To play with the maid’s kid in the morning,
And get drunk at night again.