Two Poems by Mitali Chakravarty

In this photograph taken on July 10, 200
Photo: foreignpolicy.com

By Mitali Chakravarty

Line of Actual Control 

A line drawn through rocks, hills and lakes
cracks the soldier’s life
on whichever side
of the manmade divide

A mother cries
Heart-rending tears
roll down her eyes

How will she survive
if her soldier son loses his life?

A wife stifles her sob –
What if her beloved
never returns alive?

A five-year-old daughter
trembles an aspen shaken

In these days of the coronal sun
while we stay hidden from its rays
why does her father have to stake his life
for an unforgiving line?

A line drawn to perpetrate greed and hate.
Are we all Manchester-slaves?

Why perpetrate borders drenched in blood
while Lalon only sings of Humanity and Love?

***

Refugee Crisis

The umbilical pull
of the land of birth

Writhes with hurt
Stretched away, Taut

Far across oceans
Ice-capped mountains
and trees, Canopied forests,
Grand hills

Why would they cross
The desert? The sand?
Why would they risk the Fence?

Blood drawn by gun syringes
from the heart of innocence
With machine-built strength
Honour flayed by repeated rapes

Do they anymore have a home if we close our gates?

Bio:
Mitali Chakravarty is the founding editor of Borderlessjournal.com. She has done her masters in English Literature from Delhi University, Journalism in Times Research Foundation of India and won a postgraduate fellowship from Oslo University for Economic Development Studies. She has worked in The Times of India and much later as the editor in kitaab.org (April 2019-April 2020). She has been published widely in anthologies such as In Reverie (poetry, 2016), That Bird Called Happiness (translation of a Bengali short story, 2018), full length books like Penumbra (translation of a verse novel by Dr. Uma Trilok from Hindi to English, 2019), in newspapers (Daily Star, Bangladesh, The Times of India, The Statesman and more) and on many online forums like Atunis, SETU and Countercurrents. She translates from Bengali and Hindi. She has written a book of essays on China, In the Land of Dragons (2014), where she spent eight years of her life.

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Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine, “Poetics and politics of the ‘everyday’: Engaging with India’s northeast”, edited by Bhumika R, IIT Jammu and Suranjana Choudhury, NEHU, India.

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