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Four Poems by Ihina Chakraborty

Four Poems by Ihina Chakraborty


Your ceiling discharges moisture

Sucked off your eyelashes

Every time you stare at it with bleak self-disruptive chants.

Something echoes.

Your silence, perhaps.

Your silence is loud.

Your silence is the socially despised rugged crayon that colours rebellions.

Crayons colouring the same ceiling and walls

Which captivated you all this while.

The solidified cement bounces off your silence back to you.

And when I tell you

There are tints and shades and hues

Beyond black and white,

The tiles shuffle on your floor.

And somehow,

You're silent as jigsaw, again.

You are the consequence of your silence.

You are the crayon captivated in your room.

You are the crafted Rebel.

Word Vomit

I want to finish that book lying dust-consumed on the shelf and I want to finish the other book too that my best friend gave. For once and only once, I want to feel the vibrancy of not leaving things incomplete.

I want to be complete. I want to feel complete. With myself. With others.

I don't want to chew on potato chips all evening and shower later half of the day not because I want to but because the iron-immersed water running through the tap, to my nasty hair, cheeks, bare naked skin, and to the drain hole might all combined in one sound temporarily anti-depressing for someone who has been chewing on a packet of potato chips all day long.

All damn day long.

Why can't nobody tell me, nobody,

What is so grossly unlovable about me that is not as half as unlovable about the people who get to experience the love they deserve?

Am I too not made of flesh and bones and hopes to have someone sit by the window sill peeling oranges for me while I tell them the stories behind each novel sylvia plath wrote?

Sometimes it's just so quiet. So quiet that I open my mouth wide to swallow even a quarter of this loud silence so that I don't have to breathe in it anymore. Sometimes I think a bag of potato chips swallows quietness too disguised as Nitrogen.

It's all too much to swallow, but mostly when I do, it feels like I'm choking on bland air. Sometimes whatever I consume refuses to pass through my oesophagus. The doctor tells me it's a chronic cough but I? I call it memories of my childhood that was so much more than just sulking in the balcony after every minor inconvenience.

When I didn't feel like the walls grew narrower every time I said something to my friends and I could visibly see my words dissolving in smoke.

That was also a time when I hadn't mastered the act of swallowing silence or pills.

Being this vulnerable with my words here right now gives me the same amount of relief that grief has to offer me.

Have I ever been synonymous with relief? To grief?

Have I ever been even close to offer someone something? Something. Anything. That is other than the engagingly undesirable love which oozes out of me like free pamphlets on dirty footpaths, the kind of love that makes one suffocate.

A Poem about Warmth is a Poem about your absence

The sandalwood agarbatti still chases me.

Sometimes I wonder if I heard your voice

Echoing my name —

to clean up my room,

to arrange the laundry,

to not create another mess,

And to not for lord's sake

Leave it all for you to clean up after me, yet again.

I reminisce

When your cotton aanchal used to stroke my

distressed face soaked in tears.


The yellow coat on these walls

Giggles your laughter whistling across

The living room

with every ounce of coating, it peels off.

I've stopped drinking water in between my meals

Ever since your chair had been sitting there

In corpse silence.

Why does the dust pile seem so depressing?

Where is the duster, maa?

I'll wipe it off and do the dishes tonight,

And we'll watch your stupid horror films till

Both of us doze off to sleep.

It's not too late maa, is it?

The house doesn't feel like home

And you're to be blamed.

Won't you call to check on me?

Nag me to stay up late?

I promise I won't slam the doors ever again.

In fact, they've remained wide open

Ever since you left me

with cold, unfulfilled void.

You used to say

"People are meant to come and go, babu."

But you're no "people", maa.

The void I'm left with is yours to be filled.

I seek for your radiance like warmth

In every other person's embrace now.

You've left me with-

An incomplete dream,

A lost fertile land,

And a body that is not mine.

How do I swallow my everyday

Knowing memories of you

Are memories of longing,


A poem about warmth

is a poem about your absence.

I miss you

Every eyelash wish that I chant

Is a scream from my subconsciousness that

I miss you.

In another life

I don't meet you in sweaty crowds

Exchanging notes,

Stamping feet

In hope to have talked to you a little longer.


I meet you at the edge of that dampy lane

By our school

And give you the last piece of my nimki chat

While you pluck those

Four petal white flowers

Which breathe of petrichor.

I tell you

how a handful of marzipan fruits tastes of a universe of cotton candies, and I also tell you how gooseberries are a perfect alternative to fulfil your sweet cravings.

(But where do I find an alternative to your absence?)

I meet you again and again

In the aisle of the cheapest supermarket,

At the printing studio and the softie parlour

And you still look like the kind to

Brag about the stock market,

Call yourself apolitical and get into the most gut-wrenching political debates,

The kind to wear t-shirts from Esplanade

And shoes from Nike,

The kind to text goodnight and blast

Local trains on your headphones past 4 am.

Do you still lock yourself up

In your room for consecutively four days

after every haircut?

Buy the most basic bracelets?

Call my favourite movies "boring" to the new people in your life

so that you don't end up a crying mess like I did?

Do you still hate the smell of mint?

And hate hate hate

The people who lock their pets at home

And leave for holidays?

The dim fairy lights contouring every

Mellow convex symmetry of your not-so-porcelain face has to be my favourite physics lesson.

Do you ever think about my eyes

As much as I think about your?

Think about how our gazes collided

And we stood there wanting to say it all out,

But instead, uttered "goodbye'.

Were our thoughts that stupid?

Were we that stupid?

Am I still stupid to be writing poems for you that you'll never read or hear of sitting miles away at your bourgeois flat watching the midnight match?

I ask my mother

'Can love ever make you nauseous, maa?'

While she sits there

drawing swastika from her sindur-dabba

on every Thursday afternoon.

Sometimes I think of that dampy lane by the school.

Maybe the paved stones have memorized our shadows, and

Maybe the white flowers sing our conversations in rhythm.

Or have they found new onlookers who dream of escaping but still fall in love with the city every morning like we did?

How do I squeeze in your absence and the polaroids of memories you left behind in less than a 4-inch heart?

The city will never sleep until

People finally stop leaving things unsaid.

I think the last piece of my nimki-chat has turned rotten.


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