Because some cities are absolute poetry

And yes I am missing Melbourne like a lover, the kind of missing that creates an ache right next to your heart, and all you want to do is fly back, wrap yourself in that unfamiliar drizzle, search out the gravity pulling you back and let it hold you inside its Soul, like a secret, like an old love story. (At Changi Airport, 4th August ’13)

Since August last year, I’ve always thought of Melbourne with a wishful sigh. My four days of wintry whirlwind didn’t quench my thirst – it left me wanting more. When I sat at the airport watching an infant sun run her tongue on the metal aircrafts, my throat burnt. I wanted to run back into the speckled shadowy arms of the Victorian buildings under the sweet smelling star-lit shawl of the Yarra. I discovered the city on the my last night, a little tipsy from all the wine at my first tasting at the Yarra – Continue reading

Moments II

Everyday I travel 40 km up/down in crowded suburban locals. College and back home. Outside the window of the beige and green Eastern Railway locals, Bengal unfolds her saga of pleated greenery. Fields blend into each other. Deep greens and pale greens. Sap greens. Moss greens. Greens of devious algal delight. I don’t count telegraph poles anymore, or watch with wonder how the wires dip and rise, dip and rise. These days life calls their little dance, sinusoids. I watch, like everyday, and my eye are balls of fatigued marbled glass. Continue reading

Of long lost summer vacations

Dear Maa,

I am spending the summer with Dadu-Thamma in Begambari. Dadu talks of you all the time. You know, finally we have electricity here! And the roads are no more mud tracks. And Dadu has planted a new mango sapling called Amrapali and Thamma’s knitting me a new sweater, red with pompoms. God! There is so much I want to tell you about.

Summer is blooming and Dadu’s orchards are graciously ripe. The wind whispers and waltzes all day inbetween the trees. And sweet, wet rain comes pelting down at will, tapping the tin-roof, beating music out of the silence and suddenly the scent of earth and wood permeates everything. There are caterpillars everywhere, munching fresh leaves- half of them dying beneath feet of careless men, half curling into the chrysalis, metamorphosing into bright yellow butterflies. The sojhne trees are their favorite! Tall crowds of grass beckon you, waving their arms, from every direction. The sky is usually a perfect blue, with clumps of fat white and grey clouds lazing around. The atmosphere is scrubbed clean. Mimosas crowd the aisles inbetween fields, their fuzzy purple heads held high. I watch with delight as their pinnate leaves shy away at my tender touch. Today baba took me around the village, to see our fields and the village school. The palash trees are still in bloom- fiery red flowers blaze the naked branches. The ponds are full with hyacinths, their iridescent peacock plumed petal mesmerise me. You know maa, they have replanted the paddy and I slipped and fell into the thick mud. Had to claw out my sandal! My legs and arms were nicely splayed and baba said let it be and laughed! He laughs so little these days. Life is suddenly so empty without you.

Continue reading

A little more closer

Outside the little square window, there is a fetal moon hanging by an invisible thread. It floats over billows of silver clouds. Everything else is black, save a few pinpricks called stars.

I rest my head on his shoulder. Flight BA 256 glides smoothly across infinity. We have been together (atleast on paper) for exactly three years now. Our jobs keep us busy, often apart across the country, and holidays are either visiting my loud in-laws or my louder family. Those rare weekends we are together, exhaustion closes in. Bills to be paid, grocery to be bought, laundry to be done and before I know, I am at my desk again, coding. Between us, there are just a few emails. I write epics. He answers in smileys and “hmmm-s.” My husband, Mr.No-frilly-silly-Romance who has never read a novel, let alone a piece of poetry! (His favorite book probably concerns Quantum mechanics. Yes, I could literally cry!) Continue reading

The Happiest Trip *ever*!

For the happiest trip ever?

Melbourne!

Yes, I would like to take my family to this sleek, chic, part-Victorian cosmopolis on a holiday. And why not? Melbourne is Australia’s most romantic city, the continent’s throbbing vibrant culture capital!

Melbourne::Magic! Exploring the hidden cobblestone laneways, the arcades, the little boutiques or lazily sipping a rich café latte over those numerous unfinished conversations that get clouded by work at one of the many cafés, Melbourne has all the options. We will see the city riding a Harley Davidson, the neon sparkling in the Yarra, the breeze caressing our faces. *sigh* Or just walking along Southbank, holding hands, re-living those first days of falling in love, whispering sweet nothings, re-living those date nights of gazing into each other’s eyes at the very Italian Guiseppe Arnoldi & sons and later a kiss on the Crown Promenade as the golden fireballs go off! Continue reading

Remembering maa

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There happened to be certain scent.

These days I search it in fading photographs, in her forgotten wardrobe unfolding along creases- silks and chiffons- in pages of yellowed books, family gossips and loneliness.

Mom had her own scent, something as distinctly her, perhaps a mix of individuality, or thoughts or emotions. I never asked. After she was gone, I could smell it on myself. Teddy was discarded, I fell asleep curled fetal, relishing her existence off my own skin. It tricked my 5 year old brain into believing she was close, believing that I could hear her heart beating right into my ear. The ache was forgotten for a while, and in the milky warmth that emanates from security I would fall asleep.

17 years later, life is exactly same. But time has deftly unsewed her sweetness from my skin.

Every morning I wake up, sniff in reels of purplish incense smoke and try remembering if she smelt similar. When the first droplets of monsoon kiss the earth, I ask again, and again. But petrichor is different. And so is the sting of freshly mowed grass. And old love letters. And moonlight, or the scent of a concoction of stars and salt waves of phosphor seas. Or the piercing nirvana of eucalyptus oil. Or what hits you when you crush kaffir leaves. Or the pale blue mist floating upwards from the bosom of the Ganges. They are different, I tell myself.

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It lives in the lining of Nostalgia, inert ether-like but always so peculiarly alive, so palpable.

Sometimes she feels unreal. I roam through dusty bylanes of my brain, trying to pick up her tender scent, bottle and label it “maa”. I fail. Always. It is as if it has suddenly volatised, and fused seamlessly with the atmosphere. Perhaps if I can ever distill love, I will find it again- that scent lingering on mom’s skin. Perhaps I will be able to remove the cobwebs and relive her presence once again, feel my heart filling up with the peace that regaining every loved-and-lost fills you up with.

Published for the AmbiPur Smelly to Smiley Contest on Indiblogger.
Official link: https://www.facebook.com/AmbiPurIndia

Petrichor

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Petrichor-

your anklets sing.

the present is blur
we lace fingertips
together- call us mayflies
this sweetness

rushing through my chest
you fill me up.

of yesteryears-
we converse, swingsets
free; feet on wet earth
courting dark trees,
you in molten curls rise
play hide-N-seek, i-

thread flashbacks.
against coffee (with half-a
sleep) fragile clouds
drop a line

or two. you leave
stains of poetry on my cheeks

hearts weeping, old lovers,
we kiss.

©Mohana Das

Published for the AmbiPur Smelly to Smiley Contest on Indiblogger.
Official link: https://www.facebook.com/AmbiPurIndia

Image Courtesy: Google Images