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Hometown tales

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English Poetry

An eight month stay

huddled in the center

of rakta garva[1]

strikes drawn against rallies

flower and grasses bully

the hammer and sickle.

wooden palanquain, rasagolla[2] and mishti doi[3]

politics boiled in corners absurd

with not a single wall left white

powwow in every little corner the sole delight.

Earthen pots, few idols too scampered here and there

while worn out monuments brook still,

balloters stand sleeves up for affray.

The algae bedded ponds, the tall betel nut trees

the dhaak[4] and shankha[5], shaankhaa pola[6]

Oh! how I missed the shonar[7]Bangla!

galloping through lanes now spit smacked

Tagore flippantly sifted out.

You and I, my dear are the lotuseaters

watching the Ghats sold down its water

emotion ferried, sleep poached.

the oarsman continues telling aloud,

his never ending

hometown tales, to the earless crowd.

************************************************************************************

[1] bloody womb

[2] Sweetmeats

[3] sweet curd

[4] drum

[5] conch

[6] white&red bangles, mark of fertility, positivity, a quintessential mark of married Bengali women 

[7] Golden

 Most words are not translated to retain the linguistic flavor…

 (N.B: returning to ones homeland is always a delight. when transfer order came to us, we were more than excited. wow! going back to the east! on landing, we realized it was a late return. Still a tourists’& a photographers’ delight, the city Kolkata had lost its classical sheen. Culture vulture hovers around. Bollywood <Sheila, munni, lsd> rules. The only firm aspect of Bengal which did not fail to hold on to our attention: politics. It brews everywhere, strictly means everywhere! Nothing moves, practically. It was a revolution time too, the downfall of a 34 years old regime &we were there! Strangulated!

 Sitting now 1196 miles away from Bengal, we regret losing our hometown. It has walked out on us.

The poetry carries no intention to hurt anyone’s sentiments but expresses genuine love&concern for the place& I am sure many of us living away from our hometown feel not much different. The differences become crystal clear from a third eye perspective, doesn’t it?)

 

11 Comments

  1. Hi
    could relate to the sentiment . There are two states in India where people think and think , ruled by communists ,yet the local flavour was not killed , monuments and history retained . Today ,nothing is sacred to carpetbaggers. I fear both these states will become the U.P.& Bihar of the future.The states are Kerala & Bengal. God save these states ..( No offence meant to anybody) This is written in good faith and without malice to anyone
    sarala.

    • purabi says:

      Pulling the string from your comment,Sarala, these two places are witnessing what they have sowed yesterday. Today, I and million others like me are away, away from our land.We regret when a mishap happens and painfully shed a tear or two when popular festival is earmarked in the calender. that’s all we do.After all our hometown failed to retain us.
      Thanks anyway, for stopping by.
      Love.

  2. Parespeare says:

    our hometown will always be dear to us and the memories that we carry of it are always special ones

    • purabi says:

      Hi Parespeare,
      Hope you are doing well.
      indeed, our hometown has its cute little nest in our little corner called heart.
      thanks for your comment.

  3. medhini says:

    Nostalgia prevails everywhere.
    Very good poem,Purabi.

  4. Vishvnand says:

    Beautiful poem of nostagia
    whatever was loving, dear & revered
    seems to be getting completely whitewashed by things newer
    The old gracefulness in life has disappeared in modern rat race for ever….
    Liked the poem and the feel of what is conveyed immensely
    Hearty commends

    I remembered my so many visits to Calcutta and posting there during 1983 & 84; staying at office flat at Stephen Court, Park street with family; (a massive building which very sadly & unfortunately caught fire in March 2010). I and my family had a beautiful time in the city.
    When at Calcutta( Now Kolkata) I composed a song on the city which had become a hit at our Saturday Club. I have posted the song ” कलकत्ता मेरी जान ….!” with its podcast here at p4poetry and is my tribute to Calcutta then ….
    https://www.p4poetry.com/2010/10/23/%E0%A4%95%E0%A4%B2%E0%A4%95%E0%A4%A4%E0%A5%8D%E0%A4%A4%E0%A4%BE-%E0%A4%AE%E0%A5%87%E0%A4%B0%E0%A5%80-%E0%A4%9C%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%A8-%E2%80%A6-of-198283/

    • purabi says:

      My My Sir!
      you lived in a lovely locality in Kolkata!it would cost us fortune now!of course the Stephen court fire caught the headlines round the globe.saddened by it.it still stands tall with its burnt down edges.Sad!
      thank you for the appreciation,lovely encouraging words showered, (you have always been kind) upon a toddler writer!
      Sir, new era ushers in new issues,positive, negative. i am in particular angered at the way the mothers let their offsprings degenerate through songs like munni,sheila etc. while reading books, creating a line or two have just taken a back seat. a state with rich cultural heritage and the birth place of Tagore just betrayed my belief. Trust me, Sir, survived a real jolt…still breathing…going to the link now…STAY WELL Sir!

  5. Gion Gion says:

    Purabi,
    fine work. The elaboration helped me with the reading. The final lines are very emotive.
    Coincidentally, the subject of the returned migrant came up in my recent conversations with some family and a Polish friend.
    The place one leaves usually ceases to exist at the point one leaves – return all the years later and the place and people are different. Rarely do I go to my home town – if I drive I may get lost in the suburbs, even in the city centre I misjudge distances and many land mark buildings are gone. The place we left behind is mostly in our memories.
    Fergus

  6. purabi says:

    Greetings Fergus,
    After months exchanging words!
    Was eagerly looking forward to your words. Thank you so much for gracing me with appreciation for the poetry followed by the subject.
    Well, Friend moving in and out for work in most cases are acceptable. A positive change, a welcome always. But when a place is seen going through identity crisis, for an alert onlooker lamenting is inevitable.This is a subject most discussed worldwide& there cannot be a solution as we are all in the rat race to become a ‘global citizen’.we all want growth, we all want change…but what happens to the place we migrate to? Fergus, the change is black smacked on us. i only wish it was for better. Kolkata betrayed my hope, my believe.
    yes, when it rains now, i still hope to be standing by the Ganga ghats and watch the bountiful river. i wish she could shelter the little me.

  7. saurabh says:

    You and I, my dear are the lotus-eaters
    watching the Ghats sold down its water
    emotion ferried, sleep poached.
    the oarsman continues telling aloud,
    his never ending
    hometown tales, to the earless crowd.

    Ohhhh!

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