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The City of Joy
by Kumud Biswas
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  Reclined against the despondent doorframe
Of your tumbledown shack
In a blind alley in gathering darkness
Cleopatra Calcutta!
Do you dream of the days of your glories
When your exotic lover from beyond the seas
Salvaged you from the premature pyre
On the bank of the sacred river
And built a palace to please you
And to commemorate his conquest?
How your virile lover
Kept away the vulgar rabble
Who in impotent infatuation
Cast their covetous eyes
From their shabby thresholds?

Your lover is gone
Gone are your glories and glamour too.
Your lips are not luscious
And your heavy hips are no more wavy
Your eyes have lost their lure and lustre
Yet eternal enchantress that you are
You still retain your strong toil of grace
And finding no barricade
The crowds come scampering
And throng in their thousands in a maddening din
To defile and despoil your disintegrating body
Forgetting you are past your prime
And you have a soul.
Those emasculate upstarts, randy as they are
And thoroughly lacking in grace,
Mercilessly scratch your scarred wrinkled face
With their wanton and lustful nails
Till you are in a shambles and a puddle of their piss.
Most of your bastard sons
Making their ugly walls uglier for others’ liberation
Huddle up in a corner of cosmopolitan cowardice
While their own home is under a relentless siege;
And the rest, a bunch of shameless pimps,
Callously collect a paltry pittance
From the drunken rapists in a carnal exchange
And embalmed by the scum of this brawling brothel
All of them seem to enjoy a supreme bliss
In an infernal euphoria
O Calcutta! O Cleopatra!

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June 22, 2003
More By: Kumud Biswas
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