Two Poems by Adrija Chatterjee

Painting: Gerhard Richter

By Adrija Chatterjee

Falling out in 29

You see, there will be footprints around;
Noisier than silence
That wraps them in comfort
To see the brightest star engulf itself
In the scream of blackened nothingness.

You see, the footprints would assure you
Papers and noted imprints of promises
Loud and baritone
Stepping up the signals of surveillance
Every little hour
Of threats and making love the wrong way.

You hear, the footprints talking to themselves
Hushing up in confirmed vagueness
Upon the glorious podium
One that was rented from you
The day your soul would be set free
From conscience of love’s misery.

You hear, the footprints never forgetting
How you’d revel the days blood lay free
The serpent’s tongue in you
Choosing the outcast in dingy lanes
Flogging till your laugh would become
The footprint’s rent.

Do you see?! The footprints coming your way
Peeping across your haloed reverence
Corpse lined pavements
Signals that found your worth
Waning far too much
At last you! You become the rent.


You Give Me Names

Could you tell me then?
Addresses that were never meant
To be the same again?
Mothers who would let go
Umbilical chords bellowing grisly tears
Empty paperheads speaking of other borders.
The cradle taken and shaken off
Little socks trailing up to the cage
Fathers who’d never return home
Waiting forever to find a name.

No smoke nor fire in the kitchen
Paper piling up the stove every day
Rats to ants obliging to feasts
Leftover sugarballs and cheap candies
Tucked away would whisper back.

Into the night that hoot across the iron bars,
little lashes not knowing for once
Where to wipe all those drops
Sometimes for blaming themselves for the prank
That’d once pull the fat officer’s chair
In others they’d flow for the one
When they had the sweet
Before they would revere the altar.

Yet Pranav was also there
In pulling the chair or hiding the sweet
Now that the night gets deep
Perhaps now he’d be in his sleep
Did he tuck himself in
Deep into the warmth of the mother’s breasts
Like Akbar did?
In a home he’d once be
Washed up within the mother’s heartbeat.

Would he tell Abba
On the day they’d finally meet…
Of callouses and his wet pants
Which the uncle in khaki laughed at…
Or when he’d long for a bed
That did not smell of urine or garlic
Or maybe he’d just wait
Till Maa came.

Adrija Chatterjee has done her Research in Foreign Policy Studies. From being a teacher to a researcher and a content manager she finally found her instinctive calling in the world of fiction and poetry. She finds love in the world of words and imagination. Her fiction pieces have been published in Telegraph’s short story, Active Muse, Parabaas. She writes both in English and her native language Bengali.


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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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