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Kalpana Press – Lightroom Poets

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The Prophet ! – Lightroom Poets.

 

 

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The Journey of Enrichment – Lightroom Poets

Subsequently smaller communities took to the festival more actively. Donations from eager participants meant a decent budget for every community to conduct a “local” Durga Puja. This gave rise to an increased demand for the “kumors” or potters, and their art. The migrating potters or “kumors” now settled by the northern banks of Hoogly river at the place which came to be known as “Kumortuli” (kumor – potter; tuli – quarters). By the turn of the century Kumartuli now flourished under the newfound patronage of community or “
With the first crimson sunset, you know that autumn has arrived. “Autumn” to people in India, is more than just a season. It is the concept of festivity. As the dark monsoon clouds are blown away and the canvas of ebullient blue skies usher in, a significant section of India’s population are immersed in bringing home their goddess, “Maa Durga”. Distant echoes of conch shells linger in the air a little longer and the very fragrance in the air calms every tortured soul.

 

The whole festivity of “Durga Puja” and the vibrancies accompanied with it however begin earlier, with giving a form to The Goddess. Clay, from the depths Ganges is brought to the shabby North Calcutta “ghaats” and then subsequently to Kumartuli, the potters’ quarters. The labour behind bringing the goddess to life lies in these narrow, visually insignificant lanes where ordinary people won’t often tread. The artisans here cast their magic to transform the rather dull looking clay into one of the most gorgeous images one could wish to see. A thousand minds spin and more than a million thoughts are woven to create what Kolkata has to present for these five days.

 

While ordinary men form queues outside shopping malls and market places, hidden aisles of Kumartuli expose a world that treasures the highest artistry in the simplest hands. Feverish fingers carve and paint swiftly to present to the thousand awaiting hearts, their goddess. Bare structures, made from bamboos are clad in hay and smeared with clay. These idols, in some time, would become the focus of undivided attention for everyone in the country. The potters of Kumartuli have carried on the legacy of “God – making” for about three hundred years now, battling through uncertainties brought by modernisation schemes. The first potters hailed from Krishnagarh, Nadia. They used to visit the homes of their patrons or “zamindars” and weave their magic in the “thakurdalans”, a few months before the occasion. In those days, Durga Puja was a privilege and restricted only to the wealthy and nouveau rich.

 

Durga Puja, in Calcutta was initiated by Raja Nabakrishna Deb Bahadur at his palace, still known as Rajbari, in the late 1700’s. By the turn of the century, Durga Puja became more common as more zamindars began celebrating the festival in a grand display of wealth. The “ekchala” idols were famous at these times. With time, wealth fade but traditions held strong

 

Subsequently smaller communities took to the festival more actively. Donations from eager participants meant a decent budget for every community to conduct a “local” Durga Puja. This gave rise to an increased demand for the “kumors” or potters, and their art. The migrating potters or “kumors” now settled by the northern banks of Hoogly river at the place which came to be known as “Kumortuli” (kumor – potter; tuli – quarters). By the turn of the century Kumartuli now flourished under the newfound patronage of community or “Sharbojonin Durga Puja”. The traditional “ekchalas” gave way to more glamorous idols.

 

 

 

 

The form of art changed over generations and the potters adapted, sentiments remaining same. The idols which were primarily made of hay and clay were now also made from fibre glass and paper pulp. However, there has been little change in the place where gods are made. One can still see more than a couple of generations of potters, or, lets say artists, striving hard to produce the perfect idol. Old, wrinkled fingers are seen moulding clay on the bare structures of bamboo and hay.

 

Faces are moulded and features are etched on the wet clay. It is something one wouldn’t believe if not seen with one’s own eyes. The crests of idols are sun dried in rows and their placing on the torso commences the final stages of completion.

 

As the festival approaches, Kumartuli becomes one of the busiest places in Calcutta. Migrants respond to the call of the conch shells and it is time for them to return to their roots. The habitat in the nest, breathe a sigh of relief to see their sons and daughters back home for whatever little period it maybe. Idols at Kumartuli are almost fashioned and are seen lining up the sidewalks to be delivered to the “pandals”. However, this time is more significant for the smiles one sees on the faces of every Calcuttan in anticipation of what is to come and the nostalgia of the years gone by.

 

Mahalaya announces the arrival of Mother Goddess a week before the festivals begin. At the beginning of “Devipakhsha”, at dawn, all the radios of the city tune to the voice of Birendrakrishna Bhadra’s recital of “Mahishasuramardini”. This is one of the most sentimental aspects that make Durga Puja what it is. Families gather together to welcome Maa Durga with songs like “Jaago Durga” playing on the radio. The belief is firmly planted that Mother Goddess would arrive and wipe off all evil from the face of Earth. 

 

With the painting of Maa Durga’s eyes on the day of Mahalaya, the clay idols are finally brought to life. The eyes that provide enchanting visions to the people are drawn with a single stroke of paintbrush. At Kumartuli, the most experienced of the artisans are seen standing high on pedestals, focused to get the final touch right. Amidst all the din and bustle, the “All Seeing Eye” is projected.

 

The idols now leave the dimly lit studios of Kumortuli and make their ways to the various “pandals” all over the country. The city dances to the beats of “Dhaak” and children and aged clamour the streets to catch the first glimpse of Mother Goddess, before she sets foot inside the “pandals”, where she would reside for the next five days and fill a million hearts with joy.

 

However, Durga Puja is not just about traditions, emotions or sentiments. The socio – economic impact it has is very notable. The five days of splendour brings in a flood of financial transactions that usually do not occur in any part of the world. Durga Puja sees a culmination of the various strata of the society. The festive mood allows even the not so fortunate to spend the extra buck to join in the celebration. It also provides the “not so fortunate” with a liberal market to earn some extra cash. People indulge in the small little things from their childhood; the ones they’d not generally notice in their everyday lives.

 

Serious commerce. That’s another side of Durga Puja. For some, they must earn so much, that they can live on it for a year till Durga Maa comes back again. Like the “dhaakis”. Their main source of income, playing the Dhaak, can earn them money mainly during Durga Puja. That’s their mainstay. Although, they do odd little jobs around the year to keep their families afloat. But Durga Puja, is when they make majority of their yearly income

 

With Maa Durga sitting pretty in every pandal, the hearts of every Calcuttan is filled with utmost joy. The tired old souls look at the younger ones with eyes filled with amazement. Nostalgia takes over as they remember the numerous pujos they have left behind. The things they used to do. The things that enthralled them. One can see them watching the merry – go – round, shooting balloons at the fair stalls or flaunting pink cotton candy smiles. Yes, puja is the time when every heart, young or old, beats to the same rhythm.

 

It may seem unfortunate but a reality of Calcutta is highlighted in the contrast of its relative poverty. Where the backbone of the Pujas is held steady by those who are mainly reliant on seasonal income, the main source of money flow, actually emerges from the higher end of Calcutta’s population. They spend freely on clothes, generously on food and openly on enjoyment. Price tags simply do not hold major significance during these five days for those who spend the other 360 days rigorously waiting especially in this heart warming city. Such people are more than ecstatic to indulge in buying happiness. The buzzing streets and the overflowing restaurants proudly reign in bundles of cash that gives the short term economy a boost in confidence. As they spend more, the suppliers sell more: a fact that is expected every year. Nevertheless while the entire world is busy bringing about change in their ways, Kolkata is perhaps one of the only cities that elegantly showcases that short term boosts in its economy can indeed affect the larger scheme of variables.

 

Durga puja is synonymous to Bengali which again is synonymous with food and adda. This is the time when both the street food stalls and gossiping genes of the average Bengali comes to life. With the plethora of delicacies around – right from rolls, “Chowmein”, cutlets to “Chaats” and the infamous fuchka – the Bengali appetite defies every rule in the book. Add to that the penchant to talk, laugh and stare at the good looking stranger – and you have the perfect recipe for a good old puja day…

 

Maha-ashtami is the most auspicious day during the pujas. Pushpanjali, or offering flowers at the feet of the goddess is the prime ritual of the day. People dress themselves in their best attires and go “pandal” hopping. The city is adorned with multi-coloured lights as the whole Bengali community comes to life on this day. At the end of the eigth lunar day comes Sandhi puja.

 

The cusp between Maha-astami and navami is called “sandhi puja”. This is the time when Mother Goddess is believed to have slain the devil and restored peace on Earth. The ritual is performed with absolute grandeur when The Mother is offered a hundred and eight lotuses and clay lamps. In folklore, this is the time when good prevails over the evil. Sandhi Puja requires 108 lotus flowers, a single fruit, dry rice grain for “noibiddo”, 108 earthen lamps, clothes, jewelry, hibiscus garlands and wood apple (bel) leaves. The almost non existent rituals which underwent changes with the changes in the society can still be seen in some of the 200-250 year old Pujas.

 

Vijaya Dashami, on the tenth lunar day announces the end of the five days long festival. This is the day when Maa Durga finally defeated Manishasura, thereby brining peace on earth. This day, Mother Goddess is at impressive best! Her eyes emanate a charm that people here in Calcutta wait ‘round the year to feel. The charm that gives them strength to carry on with their lives, removing all evil and wiping off all sorrow. However, this is the most emotional day for every Bengali, as Mother Goddess bids the final adieu for Kailash. This day, Mother Goddess is at impressive best! Her eyes emanate the sense of victory.

 

 

Dashami also encapsulates perfectly the significance of a married woman. Where the Indian culture stages a married woman as a “ghar lakshmi”, the last rituals of this day allows the common woman who is sometimes overlooked to relate themselves directly to Maa Durga. “Shindur khela” is not only a ritual which women are overjoyed to participate in as they make their ways to the local pandal, but an emotional relation with their “maa” that intertwines love with compassion.

 

Traditionally, on Vijaya Dashami, “Durganaam” is penned down by most families. This is to seek blessing from Maa Durga, and in prayer of her return every year with new hope and happiness.

 

Bisarjan. The journey ends here. What was taken from the ganges, goes back to the ganges. They clay that was once the adobe of divinity for 5 days, is now clay once again. Perhaps, that’s Kolkata’s way of saying : ” Ashes to ashes”… Bisarjan. On vijaya dashmi, the idols are sent back to the depths of the river. Emotions fly high and tear drops are shed for our ‘maa’. ” Ashche bochor abar hobe”… means ‘next year, once again !’. And then, the lights go out. The temporary shops get closed. All the decorations, peeled off. Everyone goes back with one single heavy heart. But a solitary earthen lamp, refuses to let the hope die. It keeps the flame alive. Somehow its infectious optimism urges the local youth to dive into the river and bring out the bambu and hay structure made for the idols. Then they get reiconstructed at kumortuli. They wait for next year, when they will become idols once more. They are ‘The Water Phoenix” of Kolkata. They rise and fall and rise from water. They make the idols immortal.

 

Credits :

Sohini Banerjee
Saurabh Som
Muktobrinda Dash
Rahul Roychowdhury

Posthumous Waters by Lightroom Poets

Who says silver are the linings,
Of gold it was, in my case
No human, no soul, no ‘living’ for me
Flowing through my wayward ways

Let this story be,
For others to see

How an immortal dies..


Let me tell you my story today. Not like your usual stories. Strange it seems to me, that for you human beings, a story must always have human beings as characters. Not in my story!

Well, I’m Subarna. Subarnarekha. And yes, I’m a river. Not many of you have heard my name before, I take it. That’s why I’m to tell my story.


Set to motion,
Westward ho
Towards the ocean
As they go

Leaving behind, some
Moments to die
That they’ll never come
To buy

I lie here and watch people go by. No. Not ‘go by’. Actually go across! I, so close to the sea, yet so far. I yearn for my ‘someday’. Someday I’ll reach my destination. For now, all I can do is to carry people on my silver back and be the means to their ‘ends’. Boats aren’t there vessels. I am.


Mundane desires
Of unknown waters
To reach the ‘Promised land’

Mundane, uncertain
May well be curtains
Or may be a castle of sands

Overloaded with thoughts, emotions, expectations… and other day-to-day objects of desire, men and women hoard on to their boats and criss-cross across my blue blood
They stop in motion to use my momentum of thoughts. Ain’t my water… but my silver thoughts to carry them home. Or somewhere else, where the heart might be!


Hidden hues
Undercover, under fire
Cross-fire and cease

Paused for few moments
Time never amends
Lives lived on boat rides
And stories

Ah, emotions. Undercurrents of passion. Streaks of ambition to bind both together… and of course, the ‘maajhi’ to wrestle the flow and guide. On a boat ride, you become still and let the river do the talking. Within those few silent and still moments, I see hues of life that are complete little stories in their own rights. I hope, they proceed and reach their desired climax at the end of it all. I hope, one day, I might get infected and finally might get to meet MY end. Till then, I’ll just be the means to theirs !


Boats, people, journey
My wish to meet the sea
People moving dreams
And hoping to be …

So now you know, it’s not the boat. It’s the people in it, who make the journey. It’s not the water, but my ‘wish’ to meet my ‘end’ in sea, that helps the people to move their dreams. And I, along with the boat, keep looking at the people as they go home at the end of it all. Every day. And on nights.


Shunning life,
For its too shallow for you
Gunning for it
To see you through

Changing courses
Realigning, as needed
And taking shortcuts

Just to see get through ?

Sometimes, when I’m in a ‘shallow’ frame of mind, people build bridges to go around and shift the flow of their lives to suit their needs… They cut me right across. They cut me deep. But the show must go on… right ? And of course, their lives. Young and old, everybody needs their dreams, save me.


Can’t take me.
I’m free!

An empty bridge. It symbolises how you need my energy to flow through your lives and to take you home.

An empty bridge, can’t define… can’t enslave a river. Like life, I will always find a way out. But somehow, that theory still doesn’t apply when I try to reach my end. I guess, I’ll need a bridge to reach my end too!


Leaving my mark,
To prove that I lived
More than anyone
Ever believed…

Death, my alchemist
Touchstone, I die
Once a river, now… mist
Tombstones deny

The Golden thread was here
“Subarnarekha” , it reads
Written on the sand banks
With water reeds

And then one day, I’ll die. My blue blood will turn to gold dust. Proud and strong youth of yours, will maneuver through my dying veins.

The ‘blood’ of the ‘vessel’ will leave its mark. Or rather, a scar on your face.

My last stand. My signature…

‘The golden thread was here…. ‘Subarnarekha’.

No epitaph for me. A wasted river who ended it all, as it couldn’t ‘meet’ its end.


Lightroom Poets Creative Team :-

Kinjal Bhattacharyya
Kalipada Sen
Saurabh Som

Soul Chronicles

The lines I wrote, they speak of you,
Through the voices of my reckoning fate;
In its source, my creation is true,
The words they wait for something great
You’re the source I created for you …

I write to you now, like I wrote before
I wrote for you then, I could write some more.
I thought I knew, what I had to do,
But I lost my queue when I lost you.

The blasted reality stares me down as I sit down to write to you… The broken faces of cherished past, gape at me like some deviant rush. Remember when I wrote for you? The frenzied words that made you laugh? You got them right, you always did. Now the words, they search for you… And I search for you like some madman looking for his booze. Will I never find you then? Won’t you ever come back again?

The muse she was,
My impelling start;
Of beauty, of rhythm,
And her soul, my art.

I remember the time when we first met… I will always remember it… Your look had said it all. Now the promises come haunt me every night. The memories of your smile indulge me to lose myself, this time forever.

 

“I write in rhyme, please be my verse”
Please lend me your curves, to shape up my words,
My rhythm, my song, my poesy …
You smiled at me and shook your head
Then, looked away and rightfully said,
“The artiste has his very own muse
So find your own and pen your tune.”

When I told you all my thoughts and I showed you my songs, the words had danced above our heads… And now they are gone and I will never search for them and I want to never look back again. And all the misery and all the pain that had once been mine and mine alone; the walk away from me just like you did. They leave me nothing… your remembrance is the only mark I bear, it stays on with me.

I pleaded and cried and held her in vain,
Only she knows, about my pain.
“Be my source, my masterful start;
You be the reason, the result, and my art.”
You smiled again and answered same:
“I am your love, but YOU win your claim.”

 

When I struggled with the tunes, I could hear your voice. My brush wouldn’t move my words wouldn’t come. I tried so hard my voice went hush. The silent was loud but it didn’t help me. Will my art not come back?? What am I going to do without it? My life? My soul? My all?

 

“Please be my music, why won’t you be?
I am going through hell, now can’t you see?”
“You have your art, I will stay true;
You’ll find your song, I believe in you.”

And then I thought I had you… The only hope which could guide me home… Lead me back to where I began. I thought I was lost forever but then I found you. Be my music, my soul beckons. You are the perfect muse. Every artiste is in love with his muse, so am I… Its just meant to be.. can’t you see? You always were, you’ll always be.

 

Now I wish,
I hadn’t searched at all,
I found my note,
Which brought my fall.
I looked out so much,
I sought my own song,
Then you left me,
But I played along..
You looked at me
And all you could see
Was my phantom pain…

You loved me so,
But you only couldn’t tell
I remember the night,
You wished me well,
Walked out the door…, and my life

The smile you gave, it said it all… It hurt me so, I couldn’t say… I searched for you for so long… Aren’t you going to answer my call? Be my source, my voice, my tune. I’ll write about you. You’ll see when I do. But you said “no” … the word, it shattered my world and wrecked my soul… “If you’re true to your art, you’ll find your own muse…”

Never did I guess, you were never to return
It blanked my mind, my heart it burned.
My head, it throbbed, I thought I would sink;
That night I wrote, with memories for ink.

Those words you said, it made me mad. Of course I was true and I had found you. You are my love and you are my guide… its surreal, how perfect this is. But you stuck to your word and made me cry. You were true to yourself and I lost my way.

The words they came through the wretched gate,
They came for me and answered my elongated wait.
I cried out that night, knocked out with gloom:
For how could I rest, when I’m lost … in my own room

The following days were like a blur… The only thing I saw was the smoke.. It was thick almost like the fog. I guess it made sense; there was no more light left anywhere. There was poison, there was hope, and there was agony without any hope… My tears had come out like sweat… the pain was numb but it troubled me… Something’s amiss, it was not pure bliss. My inner demon tried to look; I’ve searched enough, its time to sleep.

The sunken darkness all over again;
My wait now, has its own character;
It’s still as the silence that speaks;
Not so much life as much it’s said.
When I’m alone, I wish you stayed, ..
Just a wee bit longer.

I keep looking for you in the weary sea;
And I look up then, to find your voice;

You woke me up then, like the sun… there was too much light and it hurt my eyes. Light’s good and light is life, but the light I saw I knew was trouble. Is something wrong? Is something gone? But I had thought I didn’t have anything to lose. But I had you… If only I saw it then… You wanted to say so much but your silence got in the way…  Your eyes, they always spoke for you, this time too, they did it well.

 

You ignited the spark, to fire my pen
Burning the memories of us, when
As sudden as the spark, I lost…
The urge to tell,

Why bother to tell tales
When your compass fails
To point towards the end
And trust me on this one,
Not knowing if you’d return

Is enough for me to put off the light…
Without a fight.

The distance hurt, the agony burnt. I had no clue if you would come back. I stared at blank, couldn’t lift the
pen. The verse didn’t call and I didn’t go. I waited midway for you to come. My hopes were dashed and I
know its sad. I had nowhere to go, my way gone bad.

Are you really back? Or is it some dream?
Which would wake me up, from the drunken stupor;
Or it seems
You’ve come to end this and sing my song;
And I know it’s you, my mind just knows
For how could you stay,
Away for so long?

Amidst this grief, I heard a whisper. Must be the pain, it often spoke to me. When I got up and reached the gates, one figure I saw, along the lines of hope. It was all smiles and it shone so bright, it made me squirm; that can’t be right? It was you on the other side, dressed as love and hope and light. I’d let you enter, but I was awed, the door flew ajar by itself.

Lots of noises in my head,
Which one of them is true?
The drunkenness now loosens its grip
You’ve come back to see me through …

I’ve come back… I’m your art because I can be muse for only you. That wretched pain that you’ve been through, they’ll come no more… Its only me. Write your music, paint your wall and I’ll be waiting for your call. I had been so wrong about our love, when I thought it wasn’t meant to be.

As I make my way to the wretched door;
But through my misery I could hear;
Half expecting, you waiting for me
Beyond the haze your tearful glee

There’s dilemma no more and there’s just hope. Our souls entwined now, by the words. The music’s heard around here somewhere, it comes close and your song echoes. The skies are now downcast no more, those purple lights at the end of road. They make me smile, yes, just like you and now I am here, yes, here for you.

So here I sit, with you in sight;
And I paint my music, it feels so right

The canvas was so white just then and now it’s changed.. The red, so bright. The burn that was, is there no more. Just your face now staring out. My painting’s you, my art, now true. Now I can claim, it has come real. The beckoning artiste, I always was and now for me, you are the muse.

The dreary dreams silently diffuse;
Now it’s just us, me and my muse.

So, come lets paint the morning sun, like we used to do in those days. My pages filled, the song is sung, my muse with me, the spirit to create.

 

Credits

Lightroom Poets Creative Team
Semanti Roy
Anustup Saha
Ujjainee Roy
Shamvabee Chakraborty
Somdev Paul
Saurabh Som
Rahul Roychowdhury

The Joker and The Crystal Maiden – by Lightroom Poets

One fairytale too real
This story I weave
Don’t know if you’ll feel
Or if you’ll even believe
That a joker can actually love…


I used to get dreams
About a joker and his tears
The smile covered screams
And the mask covered fears

Let me tell you a story. Being a story, it’s all truly fictional. It’s about a joker. He had a funny on and had a funny little walk and just like all jokers, he wasn’t allowed to cry!Well anyways, enough from me. I’ll let the joker talk now. After all, it’s HIS story!


The Crystal maiden, well what can I say
She loved my dreams, so took them away
I loved her though, may be I still do
But love, was an emotion that she never knew

You know, as in every story, there’s a girl in this too. The girl who made the joker laugh… Crystal, let that be her name. The girl, for whom I became a joker. She was the reason… she was the result.


I’ve got best friends who remain nameless
And I’ve got foes inside my head
I thought of dreams that I’ll have in white
But when they came, they were all red

I made her believe that ‘we’ are real! But shaky, was her faith.  The practical world was too strong for her to ignore.  What followed was a “mutual understanding” as she called it. Not even an ‘end’ to things. Only a dotted line to prolong the misery …


I’m yet to fathom, who owes a favour?
Did I set you free?
Or was it you, who set me free
And did the honours for me?

Now I sometimes wonder who should be credited for this new found freedom. Was it I who gave you wings, by walking away? Or as it you who gave me the strength to walk away and be free? But forgot how to be free really… entrapped by the memories of the crystal maiden…


Doesn’t matter, whatever I start
I always end with you
Between the feelings, happy and sad
I find my end in you

Actually, the corner stone of my life so far, has always been my cage. My crystal maiden.. She’s been in my pictures of celebration all this while. Now that she’s gone, when I see those pictures of my moments of celebrations, all I see is her face…. And my failure being celebrated.


Cruel, how we pretend nothing happened
It’s funny how we still are “friends”
Funny, how I feel the same way still
Even with this dividing fence

Something fragile, can also be the hardest to break you know. Hard, it is for me to emulate her. To re-name her as “friend”. On the other side of the fence, I still cling on to the railing, looking at the footsteps she left as she walked away. And when I try? I start and end with her …


The joker and the crystal maiden lived
Two separate secluded lives
The crystal maiden takes it all and leaves
The joker never got, for what he strives

It’s always been like that you know. I applauded when she won the world over with her charm as she celebrated my failure. Even I loved being a failure, to give her little reasons to feel good about herself. I wanted her to win. I wanted her to see that she has won me over,…. And over and over and over … And now, I wonder if she ever took note of that.


Living in denial, now I
I do not buy that fact that you are gone
My life has been full of lows, no highs
All yours to decide, for me there is none

Sometime, it gets hard to believe that she’s gone. I still make a fool of myself, half expecting her to ridicule me and giggle like a little girl. From what I see, my life is full of highs, for I could make her laugh with the absolute lows of my life.


The first and last laughs you had
I always loved to see you smile
I just failed to imagine a time
When your laughter will kill me for a while

She had a smile to die for… Just didn’t know that she’ll kill me with it, this way.  She didn’t let me touch her, as she bade goodbye. She said she didn’t want to shed crystal tears. My fragile crystal maiden. But why did she smile when I turned away?


“You knew, this would happen
Now, don’t stir a scene”
Crystal stole ‘life’
From the joker and his grin


Credits
Lightroom Poets Creative Team :

Ankana Chaudhuri
Roudra Mitra
Anustup Saha
Suvanjan Banerjee
Somdeb Paul
Saurabh Som
Rahul Roychowdhury

Morpheus Abagnale – Welcome to Disturbia by The Lightroom Poets

Morpheus
Nothing like the name suggests
Actually, a bit … yes
My dreams, for you are nightmares
A raped mind with a human face

 

 

 

The moods of some people appear to be in two shades at all point of time- black and white. As for color, the only sense of color filters through when they slit their hands. Deep blotches of red drops mingle with the nightmarishly grey sobriety and you see them slowly turn colorful but not something beautiful. It changes them to something more hideous than they previously were.

 

 

Fuming inside
Annoyed with self
I refused to be helped
The poison of smoke
On which I choke
And the cigarette lit
Ending myself, bit by bit …

 

 

 

 

You however cannot even bother to care for they are not a part of your life. I am like one of these people. Yours one and truly; Morpheus Abagnale. The person, who lives next door, never says hello when he brushes past you and is probably the first one to pay the rent. It is not strange that a person like this would choose to end it all and just vanish in the thin air, because living is not a big thing to people like him.

 

 

 

From the cross to ashes
From glasses to smoke
Enraged by red
Black nights I soak

 

 

I have these mood shifts. These passing shifts of insomnia, where I look at the cob webs of my ceiling as the sweat slowly trickles down my throat. It is very uncomfortable. I try to move on to happy things, things that will finally let me sleep. If I could just hang on to one of them, I just might fall into sleep.  Like this one time I killed a dog. I was 15 years old then. It was the neighbors’. It yelped a lot as I choked him over with the barbed wire.

 

 

Ash, ash and white
My sorry plight
A homeless road
And roadless I
Oggling at you
As you die …

 

 

The barbed wire cut through my skin and went right in. but I held on to his throat, I just wouldn’t let him go. I held onto him until the blighters tongue rolled over. I remember digging its grave. I can see that part of the garden where the dog’s body I hid in the cold damp earth. The neighbor- Mrs. Dinkins must have really loved that dog. She cried as if her heart would break when she realized her dog was lost forever. What a silly thing really!

 

 

Insomaniac rants
Scribbles on a page
The inner maniac screams
In a muffled rage

Still no sleep for me…

 

I slowly came up to realizing that I liked to dominate and have control over things. I was a weakling and the bullies would make it a point to beat me up if I did not listen to them. One day I followed one in their group, someone who gave me a black eye and a missing tooth. I held that against him. Now all anger in my body was waiting to see his blood. A taste, of his fear, of his body cowering in front of me.  A ‘Red letter day’ for me ! My first human pray ! So say’s my Diary entry, dated : 31/08/1997.

 

 

Eye for an eye
A scream for a cry
Revenge in a jar
To heal my old scar…

 

 

It was a beautiful day, one of my happiest days. Shaun Matthews’s body was found trashed in a recycle bin with his eyes gauged out. I still have those eyes hidden in a jar. I sometimes look at them. It brings back smile in my face.

 

 

And then she walked in
With the mocking grin
In place
Scared of her, was I
As was in love, with her face ..

 

 

 

There was love too in my life. Angela was a nice girl, she had those lips; those mocking lips. I just loved her but those lips would mock me all the time. She just wouldn’t get me that I loved her so much. That I just wanted to give her freedom from this bad mean world. Nobody does you know. I just wanted her every bit, every bit to be mine. She wouldn’t get any of it.

 

Pain as mistress, is pretty bold
Although she would
Never let me hold
Her hair, and I
To lose myself in her
Would die …

 

 

So I had to resort to my special skills. Tried killing her … Tried my best to make it as painless as possible. But for some strange reason, even though she didn’t feel a thing, it pained ME for the first time… and like any other ‘feeling’, it enraged me.  For the first time in my life, I failed to take a life….. may be because it was my own!

 

My Trophie room, this is
And my future aims
My ‘dear departed’ kills
My ‘would be’s and their names …

 

 

There were several others I had wasted. My old boss, the delivery guy, that fat Mr. T. Ruth. They were all different ‘reasons’ for me. But they all failed to understand how they wronged me. But now, I have Angela.

 

 

Taking a back seat
Although still in dark
Dreaming of reality
Reality is stark

As she prevails …

 

 

 

Like a creature of the dark, I stare at her white flesh. Not caring if she knows how it all will end. But knowing how it will end, never made a difference it me. This is something I had to do. I’m an addict,.. and my addiction draws me closer as I cry and try to run away… She came to take my darkness, but I, am taking her lights away.

 

 

I wonder why
She cried, when she smiled
Like the sky
She sighed and rained
She just smiled, and cried
And wained …

 

 

She knows. She knows how this ends… and it kills me !  Trying to make out, if she cried knowing how it ends for her , or how it ends for me ? The sticky darkness has finally crept into my blood and it won’t let me believe that she cried knowing how things end for me.

 

 

And still the angel prayed
As the pain weighed
Down on her chest
When Morpheus finally rests

Her lips parted to say
“Rest in Peace, you may..”

 

 

When all these memories flock around in my mind and not so strangely only Angela remains in the end. As the first rays of the sun shimmered on a single dangling thread from a cob web that was …. I felt my eye lids turning to stone and I ….

 

Lightroom Poets Creative Team:-


Poulami Bhattacharya

Keya Mukherjee

Anish Chakraborty

Anustup Saha

Roudra Mitra

Muktobrinda Dash

Saurabh Som

Rahul Roychowdhury

 

The Rendezvous / Le Liaison by Lightroom Poets

Let the spirit burn
And let me have
For what I yearn

Let me quench my desire
Like a fly
And the fire…
In you

He kept his gaze on the flickering light of the matchstick. The ice in his drink had begun to form little drops of water, like the sweat dripping from his feverish body. The desire for her visited him like a fever that he cooled down one sip at a time. It was time.


Dangling from a silver line
The sign of bondage so divine,
We shed our masks, to find once more
Unison, union and who we are

The candle light illuminated the room and she secured the hook of her silver anklet. Her long bare legs adorned by a single strand of silver. Her cool gaze followed his movements across the room. Her lips curled into a barely visible smile. Yes, it had begun.


Aah … intoxicated !!
As if I waited
For you to kill me like this
So that I can live again, with your kiss …

The candle threw light on the drink he had left for her on the table. He heard a rustle and looked up from his book, only to find her leaning against the door. He stubbed out his cigarette and looked at her intently – taking in the sight in front of him.


Ashes to ashes
And traitor to trust
Am starting to give in
To love and my lust

The night had brought them together in this lonely apartment. Their gazes burnt each other with anticipation but neither rushed the moment of surrender. He sat where he was, patient. She stood where she was, deliberate. Both took their time, resisting the charm of the other. This was one game to be played well.


Coy with flames
And such games
She’s playing
With my mind

Like shadows and light
In and out of sight
She’s losing herself
For me to find

She prowled across the room in small, deliberate steps. He understood that a woman like her knew how to build desire so subtly that it would dawn upon a man without a warning. She paused by the candles and in one deft move, knocked the candle on the floor. Its heat warmed her toes for a second. A shiver ran up his spines.


And you leave me
To douse the fire
Just to toy
With my desire

To burn you with my lust

He liked her silent provocation. He collected the drops of flame that had scattered from the candle while catching sight of her anklet glimmering in the light. He liked her sultry ways but he would never lower his guards around her. Not this time. And as he played with the fire, he knew neither would she succumb that easy.


With each sip she took,
She knocked me off my base
And held my hand helped me look
For pleasure in places

She hid her smile behind her glass. He sat back and watched her, as her eyes devoured him over the whiskey, her hair bunched in a careless assemble on her naked skin where his shirt had slipped from her shoulder. Her hair strands threw playful shadows across her face. He knew that look too well to realize that she had already made her move.


The burnt out end
Of the last cigarette
Not really knowing what fate
Had in store for me

In form of you…

He liked games and heaven knows he played them well. He smoked calmly unfolding the beauty in front of him with slow, lingering gaze. The shroud of indifference being his only defense – and attack. He watched her eyes narrow, her lips tighten. And he allowed himself a smirk. Would the next move be his, or hers?


Sudden upward swing
The desire to hold
The loose end of the string
And untangle your world
From this meaningless maze
Of second thoughts…

Not touching her but burning her skin, he trailed the cold silver, and teased her closer. She didn’t resist. Neither did she give in. She sat there with her head tilted, looking at him with an infuriating nonchalance. His jaws hardened as he twisted the anklet harder around his finger, letting it cut on her skin.


An intimate moment
As fragile as the smell
Of your perfume …
Forever spent ..
As you consume
My mind…  my body
My soul …

She inched closer to him, her eyes never leaving his. He felt the warmth of her body as her legs twined around him, slow but sure. He watched her lean closer, her warm breath burning his skin. He felt a searing pain as her nails scratched his back while she impatiently pulled down his shirt – and he couldn’t care less. With his eyes on those moist lips inching closer by the second, he knew how to get back at her.


Maybe there’s a God above
But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
It’s not a cry you can hear at night
It’s not somebody who has seen the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Satiated, he lies down and closes his eye. The candles cast a flickering shadow on his bare back. He senses the gentle caress of her fingers down his spine – and his nerves become taut. Without even looking, he could see her hair, damp and messy, hanging loose on her bare shoulders. He could feel the bead of sweat trickling all the way down to her navel. He could see the slow curving of the corners of her mouth into a lazy smile. And the cold glint of the knife in her eyes – the one she held in her hand, barely touching his back. And, with a smile, he realized that she knew.


Just wait for me
To get back at you
With pleasured pain
You never knew
Another night awaits in dark
I’ll leave it to you with a question mark …

About the six inches of cold, lethal steel that he held in his hand right now.


Lightroom Poets Creative Team:

Chandrika Acharya
Saurabh Som
Muktobrinda Dash
Rahul Roychowdhury

Freedom : Faces & Faceds

People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share…

“I had a problem. I stammered when I talked to them – my parents, friends, neighbors and strangers. My words would falter and break into incomprehensible bits. My thoughts would hide away from social contact. And so would I. “


And she chose to bloom, in hiding

I’d hide away with myself- because with myself my thoughts and words were at home. They felt happy and accepted. They never faltered during my endless monologues with me. I could talk about my day, my dreams, my fights, my follies, my heartbreaks – and not run out of breath, words or courage.


Leaving her impression for the world,
To let them know ‘what could have been’
To let them see how the dice rolled

What could’ve been
And should’ve been

Yes, this was my little secret. I loved to look myself in the eye. I loved that my thoughts didn’t need to edit themselves. I loved my messy tress, my silly antics and my solitude. I loved that I didn’t have to fit the mould.


Rebuke is the word, she spelt out with her face
I died a thousand times per minute
Freedom, not a reason for a dirty dress…

And then, they found out. Their resolute, disdainful eyes pried open my secret hideout. Even then, the look of triumph on their faces seemed to be too much for this minor victory. What I didn’t know was that they had a secret too.


Washing my hands off this sin
Of being free as a child
Let me be a Lady now
A painted face, with a smile mild…

They knew I’d have to grow up.


Transforming freedom,
And molding a cage
My mind was a book
Now, only a page

The ‘cover’ page …

So I did. And with that, I stopped stammering. I had come out of my hiding. I couldn’t recognize myself at first. But their approving eyes were a pleasant surprise – and I didn’t mind playing along.


Socializing much
Now, it’s my cup

Learned to paint a smile
To use a lady’s guile

To be the damsel
You’d love to save

Erasing the ‘me’
Learning to behave

I was getting better at it, actually. I could talk aloud about my day, dreams, plans and beliefs – tailored to fit their viewpoints. I knew the social graces now. I knew how to small talk. I knew how to say what I don’t mean. I knew how to tell people exactly what they want to hear. And I knew how to be visible and yet be very much invisible.


Alone as I cry
With dry eyes
And tears of rain

With me wept too, the sky
As I felt shy of myself
And may be a bit too sane …

Yes, I knew a lot. My thoughts wouldn’t come in a rush now. They’d be very, very careful so as to not tread on anything unacceptable. Or immoral. Or original. And my words? They’d be pleasing, clever and spoken just the right way. This was me. A grown up. A lady. And I couldn’t remember being any different.


 

Learning to forget what I was
And becoming what, I wanted to be
It’s like changing inside out
Aborting my past, that’s inside me …

And then one day, I came to find
My soul that I left behind
Never perished, or wither it dint
Still I refused to take the hint …

Until the day I bumped into her. She looked starkly different – yet vaguely familiar. I hadn’t been with myself for quite some time now. We had a lot of catching up to do. I wanted to talk about how perfect I had become. And that they approve of it too. But, on looking myself in the eye I realized that it’s going to be difficult.


And now, as I see
The ‘shadow’ me
The little girl,
I used to be

I long for loneliness as I
Am now too scared of facing me …

I had another problem now. I stammered, when I talked to myself.

 


 

Lightroom Poets creative team :

  • Rahul Roychowdhury
  • Muktobrinda Dash
  • Sohini Banerjee
  • Roudra Mitra
  • Mohor Basak
  • Saurabh Som
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