Theme: Kolkata

Kolkata: A Still-Image

by Aju Mukhopadhyay
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Passing by the hillock of garbage
he lifts the handkerchief mechanically
to his nose-
uneven broken footpath
sharp stonechips hit the ankles
coming out of the newly repaired disheveled road
resulting from yesterday’s two showers.
The contractor sniggers standing somewhere near-
“Out of a contract valued two paise
if one third of it is shared
how much is left out of it for the work?
What better way is there to use the stonechips?”
Broken roads overcrowded bus footpaths encroached
Hoodlums and youngsters raising donations-
passing all these by he enters the womb of
the stumbling city to easily cover a long distance
by Metro-Railway: “A remarkable system
to be preserved with pride.”
Reaching Park Street, the only road
to show the discipline by the men and police,
he finds a VIP car with red-alert on its head
followed by vehicles galore on its front and aft
speeds with the gun aimed at men
protruding from a corner;
if someone notices, most do not look at.
Courageous leaders- are the people their representatives
or they are of the people?
All around he finds them moving on the roads
with black hairs on their bodies,
he lifts the handkerchief again to his nose.
Walking mechanically through all these passing scenes
with lamenting thoughts and knitted brows
suddenly he halts-
light fragrance of the flowers!
This tree over the head, they too are there
favourites of the city, they too love it
like the conscience of men
with infinite patience
like many statues, reminiscent of the past, standing.


More By  :  Aju Mukhopadhyay

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