Souradeep is from Calcutta. He is currently in Delhi trying to figure things out. Apart from doing that, he also edits ‘damn you‘ brought out by the performance/ writing/ art collective Notice Board.
On reading Sukanta and Jibanananda in the library
The experience, if I am asked to describe it, is
simply difficult : imagining the moon as a glowing
white roti, or reading about poets who were hit by
a passing tramcar, coolly, in the stillness of the
library. To romanticise this is easy enough, writing
this poem down too is easy enough. What is difficult
is to make that choice – the choice of writing down
another one, and another one, and another one,
until trams too feel a little bit of pity for poets.
To Nikhilesh, on shifting
“Why don’t you come and see Nikhilesh, how I live here.”
– Sunil Gangopadyay
She is back in Calcutta. Home. I am back here in this writing table of dust as settlers with semicircle remnants of teacups which slipped out of drunken fingers. Loneliness blooms into a tree that can be seen from the hostel window. Strange that it had appeared poetic a few days ago and that the tree grew outside the hostel. Strange that it grows inside now. Inside me. Far from poetic or beautiful; in fact, quite ugly. Given a choice I would have chopped it off.
Struggling with an intense desire to burn the entire campus as if it is responsible for this state called loneliness. It is. But shifting in a few days anyway. Shifting into rooms that are solitary cells where sunlight and some air is not allowed to enter. Okay if you bring in girlfriend (said with a smirk). Just don’t make too much noise (euphemism for don’t moan too much). Two passport photos for police verification. Delhi Police. And their sweet nursery rhymed jingle plays on my mind –
Dilli Po/lice-Dilli-Po/lice-Dilli Po/lice
Nothing much. Just want to verify if I’m a terrorist. Surveillance everywhere, all the time. Secure neighbourhood, secure campus. Rosencrantz, Guildenstern and Polonius are not dead. But am I a Hamlet? Oh no, not at all. I am Souradeep, a wretched Souradeep who in fact likes being wretched now. And she back in Calcutta (home), instructing me on a set of new things to buy: phenyl, broom, bucket, moping stick, washing detergent; and to all of these I add my own: bed, mattress, small folding table, as if that ten by six room can fit these in. Amusing creatures amusing themselves with lists.
Nikhilesh, when I go back to Calcutta you ask me how have I been doing. Why don’t you come and see Nikhilesh, how I live here.
Sealdah Up/ Sealdah Down : Three Similes
The passengers hang out of the doors
waiting to fall off the branches
straight into the tracks.
The steel handholders takes
in an empty compartment
freed from the hands of prisoners.
The old bulb stubbornly builds
its own circumference of halogen yellow
in the midst of those
power-saving white tube lights
like those stupid tradition
versus modernity debates.
In the Kolkata Metro after a year
The sun unfurled in waves
of orange defying the force
of gravity, still hanging up
there in the sky. In the little
run above ground level after
the metro blasts through the
Dum Dum station, before
plunging into the canal that
took it under ground, the
apartments rose from the
ground like bamboo stalks.
It remained how it was, when
I had last seen it. It did not
touch the sky.