I sometimes think God might have done a
better job at the Sistine Chapel because I
catch sight of the sky every evening in my
hometown and it’s always so awe-inspiring.
Is it not this way elsewhere or do
I do not stop to look at enough sunsets when
I’m away from home. I could see the
silhouettes of birds flying home, in the
same direction, near the blood-red setting
sun, a view that I had captured in the
photoreceptors of my eyes.
Sometimes wheatish became the sun’s
favorite color and it would bounce off
the girl, whose wet hair would stick to her
shoulders, who took a beautiful spiral
staircase to reach the terrace of her
house that she would measure with her
footsteps with a book in her right hand
and her hips swaying from side to side.
the sky would blush lilac in her presence
and I would turn a bright oleander. In her
place now rested a bone brought by a crow.
The sparrows have left the city that
moves with a lethargic pace on
intersecting roads. The back of the
terrace is a sight for the desolate, supervising evacuated houses, bewitching the melancholic’s gaze. The front of the terrace showed swarms of people looking the same to crows from an
aerial view that now sat on abandoned
terraces of houses that belonged to them.
and, to the bats and dragonflies after a
Dried wounds don’t hurt do they
I had decided to be a non-believer so that
I would remain free of the clutches of
disappointment that gripped many that
lived lives of isolation in this city but what
was I going to do if I still felt like I was
losing my faith, even when I had none.
My grandmother narrates to me the
dream about her ancestral home in
Bangladesh. The lights at the nearby
mall are changing color.
The family moved to San Francisco
leaving behind the help, who has lived
among dark green hues for fifteen years.
I see stories of bygone days from the
north facing room of my apartment.
An orange cloak has befallen this city.
The skyscrapers are still far away,
markers of a civilization and a source of
discontentment for somebody like me who
still lived in a four-storeyed flat.
Would kids growing up in those
tall towers reaching for the sky ever learn
to fly kites?
Vacations had meant going off to far off
And yet, steadily vacations had come to mean Homecoming.
Homecoming, which at one time had been synonymous with the Durgapujas.
Last year, was first of the many durga pujas I would have to spend away
from home but I carry a memory of the
sacred land in my heart, regardless.