Paper Boats

we never discussed the rain.
this monsoon when the water threatened
to swallow us whole, you curled
like a snail inside my rib-cage; Kolkata slept.

you are 6 and i your child-bride, quarter
mother held you to her sallow frame-

i dream i have let your fingers go in the onrush.

later i trawl out seaweed, sit
braiding strands of pastel disappointment into rugs as you
launch your umpteenth paper boat into our soggy lane.
i smile through my teeth; the
tea-laced morning has caught a flu.

©Mohana Das


21 thoughts on “Paper Boats

    • Thank you, Bjorn!
      The rains are here & finally we have a spell of relief from the scorching heat.
      You must visit Kolkata! This is a city where people have poetry for hearts. You will not get the glamour of Mumbai or the rush of Delhi or the perfection of B’lore but in those streets of old Calcutta, you will find stories, layers and layers of dusty stories. & nostalgia.

      Anirban da has wonderful photos on his blog. Have a look:

  1. First, love the title as we played with paper boats as a child, and though I have not been to India, I can relate there. You give some very cool textures to where you live which are intriguing. I hope to one day visit it. I will be near next summer, in Nepal.

  2. Bomb-diggity. Now THAT’S how you write a poem. Your words form the point of a sharp-witted needle.

    “braiding strands of pastel disappointment into rugs” … Love that line.

  3. This is just beautiful, Mohana. I am loving the atmosphere you produced in here. I love India & the people who are simple & very nice. I haven’t been in there but I have good Indian friends I always enjoy talking to via exchanging mails. Thanks for the poem!

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