Poems by Aju Mukhopadhyay

Solace in Nature

a poem by Aju Mukhopadhyay

Like sparks of fire
Float in the air
Plastic pouches
Carried by slouches,
Orts and crumbs of bread
Chinky sambhar pokes
Like dugs of bitches,
Broken egg shells
Filthy linens
Scattered all around
The overflowing waste-bin
Shared by strays and croaks:
I cross them carefully
Avoiding the excreta
Negotiating through parked vehicles
To find in the middle of the town
Sweeper maids like soldiers
March on the street with besoms on shoulders
Where tourists set feet
Where the VIPs cops greet:
Clever people serve the people
And share the exploits.

Entering the home
For peaceful shelter
I look at the sky
To forget the roads thereby
Look at the sun moon or star
Trees and birds
To get solace in Nature.

Kolkata: A Still Image

a poem by Aju Mukhopadhyay

Passing by the hillock of garbage
He lifts the handkerchief mechanically
To his nose-
Uneven broken footpath
Sharp stonechips hit the ankles
Coming out of the newly repaired dishevelled road
Resulting from yesterday’s two showers.
The contractor sniggers standing somewhere near-
“Out of a contract valued two pice
If one and three quarters are shared
How much is left out of it for the work?
What better way is there to use the stonechips?”
Broken roads overcrowded bus footpaths encroached
Hoodlums and youngsters raising donations-
Passing all these by he enters the womb of
The stumbling city to easily cover a long distance
By Metro-Railway: A remarkable system
To be preserved with pride.
Reaching Park Street, the only road
To show the discipline by the men and police,
He finds a VIP car with red-alert on its head
Followed by vehicles galore on its front and aft
Speeds with the gun aimed at men
Protruding from a corner;
If someone notices, most do not look at.
Courageous leaders- are the people their representatives
Or they are of the people?
All around he finds them moving on the roads
With black hairs on their bodies,
He lifts the handkerchief again to his nose.
Walking mechanically through all these passing scenes
With lamenting thoughts and knitted brows
Suddenly he halts-
Light fragrance of the flowers!
This tree over the head, they too are there
Favourites of the city, they too love it
Like the conscience of men
With infinite patience
Like many statues, reminiscent of the past, standing.