Karnani Estates (Calcutta) by R. D. Ashby SignUp
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Karnani Estates (Calcutta)
by R. D. Ashby
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  You can Google anything, get a result, so
I typed in Karnani Estates: bright as a fish
it surfaced: touched its blue pulse, opening
to a sepia tinted record of WW2 Calcutta:
scrolled down with the speed of a mine-shaft lift
to the photo: unmistakable, the five-story edifice;
after all these years, my eye nimble as a monkey,
up and down its stuccoed walls, resting
on a fretted balcony front, on to the edge
of the flat roof, where as a boy I had watched clouds.

The photo pre-dated my stay, when the Yanks
were there, who left, as Yanks do, the flats
let out; number eksowatara, 'thene thala,'
the liftman closed the lift cage, pulled the lever:
in the photo, I struggled for an inward glimpse of that
corridor entry to our home; how perennial
the glide over its checkered stone floor; how
inexorably this day a world away has come.

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February 24, 2008
More By: R. D. Ashby
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