Saturday, April 28, 2007

Shohojatri (The co-passenger)

Aaj, aekhon, theek ei mohoorte nijer upore khoob hansi pachche. Kano? Ta theek bole bojhate parbo na. Hoyeto kende-kende ei baar hansar pala. Ke jaane. Amake khoma korte parbe? Khoma chaichi bole kichu mone koro na jano. Tomar kache khoma na pele je aar kichoo kora cholbena.

Ki je boli aar ki je na boli ta jodi boohjte partam, tahale aajge eta likhte hoto na. Eta maane ei chithi ta. Tomake shei je prothom tram theke nabte dekhe chilam Lawrence Road'er stop ta te, she din theke je jibone shob chola chol bondho hoi gache. Kada bhora rasta paar kore tumi footpath ta te uthe podle. Ek baar amar dike takiyo dekhle na. Kintu aami dekhlam. Tomar chotir strap ta aar kichu diner mehman. Maane ei galo bole. Somoye thakte palte nebe.

Bodhai thakte dilei bhalo hoe, tobe thakte dile je aar bancha cholbena. Taar maane ta boojhle. Taar maane banchte na holei bhalo hobe hoyeto. Aami kintu amon chilam na. Maane tomar lal chata ta je shob brishti aatke debe, sheta theek bhabte parini. Dekhte besh chotto-khatto chilo je.

Kalboishakhir jonno she din theke shudhu jokhon tokhon load-shedding hochche. Bodhai shob power line gulo jole dube gache. Aar dube gache shob aalo.

Khoma che niyechi ageyi, nahole ei chiti lekhar shahosh jogate partam na. Er theke bhalo bhabe kichoo bojhabar khomota je aamar nei ta na bolleyi noe. Jodi paro to tram e jawar shomoye ta paltiyo na.

tomar ek shohojatri


Translation in English

Today, now, in this instant I feel like laughing out loud on myself. Why? That is something I will not be able to explain in words. Perhaps after crying again and again, now it's my turn to laugh. Who knows. Can you forgive me? Please do not mind that I ask for forgiveness. But sans this forgiveness I cannot proceed with anything else.

If I could ever understand what to say and what not to say, then I would not have had to write this today. By this, I mean this letter. The first time I had seen you getting down from that tram at the Lawrence Road stop; since that day all the gears in my life have stopped turning. You had deftly crossed over the mud crusted road onto the footpath. You did not even notice me. But I noticed. The strap of your slipper does not have very many days left to live. I mean that it's about to go. Get it changed in time.

Perhaps it would be better if I let it go, but if I let it go then I cannot survive. Do you understand what that means? That perhaps it would be better if I do not survive. I was not always like this. I mean that I had not quite expected your red umbrella to totally blanket out all the rain. It seemed quite ordinary when I saw it.

Since that day there has been rampant load-shedding because of the Kalboshakhi rains. Perhaps all the power lines in the city have been submerged. As has been all light.

I have already asked your forgiveness, otherwise I would not have been able to muster up the courage to write this letter. Let me not make this any worse by admitting that I cannot express myself any better than this, If possible then do not change the time at which you take the tram.

I'll end here for now,
your co-passenger

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Orange frescos

Armani. Louis Vuitton. Valentino. Gucci. Getting this apartment on Via dei Condotti had not been easy. It had taken her two years. Two years of no questions. No work timings. No disagreements. No life.

I must not forget the pills.She glanced at the Spanish Stairs. It was as crowded as ever. The Trinità dei Monti towered over the inconsequential mob teeming underneath. She turned right. Oh no! The Blahnik Mary Janes! Must not forget to get the Blahniks tomorrow.

Via dei Condotti

Her flower sequined boat neck dress bloomed in the Roman spring sun. Aphrodite had been kind to her, for she had the goddess' gift for turning heads wherever she went. Born the seventh of eight children had made her grow up being very aware of the economics of being able to control testosterone. The first movie offer came when she was nineteen.
Piazza dei Spagna

By now, she was a master of the mechanics of moaning, on cue. He should be home by now. She had quickly grown weary of the Adonis like bodies. Even the novelty of her own sex had worn off soon. Of course, many had wanted to continue after the arc-lights went off.
On the sidewalk
Wonder what he painted today? I must get that set of conté he has been eyeing. If only he would let me.. She had wanted it too, many times. The moans had never come on cue then. Till one day she had turned the corner on Via del Corso and crashed in on him, sketching on the bare, asphalt lined sidewalk.

It was the half bent-down, half sitting down, half amazed group of onlookers who first caught her attention. She had stepped on his ragged Borsalino and the coins had spilled out. He had looked up suddenly and those green eyes had drowned her in their melancholy.

She had found his unkempt stubble adorable. His nose had the indelible marks of a dozen street fights. He refused to wear the Valentino shirts she had bought for him preferring his tattered Greenpeace t-shirt. With no formal training in art, all he painted was born of his obstinate will to make pictures talk. He was always home before her.
A quick shower and then the glass of cool orange juice. He had spread into her life as Carbonara spreads over a plate full of fresh Rigatoni. He had shared her cigarette smoke and wet towels, her lace nightgown and Tuscan wines, her chesterfield leather sofa and her Carrara marble kitchen countertop.
Rigatoni in Carbonara Sauce

He had not wanted to posses her. He had not given up the Borsalino and the sidewalk. He always knows when I am about to get home. How does he do it? The orange juice is never too warm or cold. He had been the one constant in her celluloid life, for the past five and a half months.

I must spend more time with him. He never complains... but his eyes. That night...The door was ajar. She closed it gently as she walked inside. The dying sunlight streaking in though baroque grill of the west window caught her eye. An undisturbed, thin layer of dust shimmered on the glazed teak wood table top. The glass of orange juice was not there.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Good business

He stood languidly against the lamp post, facing the Colosseo Metropolitana Stazione. Looking at the early morning crowd of tourists that poured out of the station every few minutes. Today will be a good day for business. Dressed in his red Totti jersey and splayed denim slacks, he was just another dweller of the Eternal City.

He was not interested in the motley crowd, which poured out by the hundreds. The smartly dressed Armani suit, the braided hair, the ambling feet, the leftovers from last night, were all mediocre business. C'mon, c'mon. His nimble fingers were anxiously playing on each other. Worn heels of black leather shoes gently tapping the sidewalk to the beat of some lost melody playing in his head. The shoes need mending. Walking this beat daily is taxing. Oh, for a day off!

He was gazing at the drab grey pavement, when the glint of the sun caught his eyes. Ferrari red stilettos. The distinct click of the heels on stone. The skin of her legs was the colour of cappuccino creme. He looked up. A flowing, black, halter dress. It stopped just below her knees, lightly stirring in the wind. A red leather Gucci purse hung lightly on her arm. Did she smile? At me? Definitely good business. He admonished himself soon after for being decidedly naive. Of course, it was the Colosseum behind him. That look of wonder had always tormented him.
The Colosseum
The Colosseum
What is so wonderful about this ancient ruin of stone blocks? The lush rice fields of his village had looked so much more prettier. Nice hair. It bled the colour of red wine in the morning sun. She was fleshy. He said the word out loud just to taste it on his tongue. Fleshy. She stood about two hands taller than him. Ten years more, at least. She had walked past him, towards the Forum Magnum.

The Roman Forum

He instinctively followed her, inconspicuously but accurately. He should have been observing the flow of people around her, looking for that perfect moment to strike. Instead he found his gaze caught by the hypnotic pendulum of her hips. She looks like the one from "Midnight Heat." Perhaps better. He shook his head vigourously, as if to shake the thought out into oblivion. Concentrate! She suddenly turned and looked at him. He knew when a woman looked at him. It was always the same look of disgust he got from them.

He turned his gaze away, because he did not want to read that expression again. Not from someone so angelic.

Excuse me? Do you have a light?"

The Temple of Vesta loomed large behind her. Her expression was... neutral. He fumbled in his pockets and held his old Zippo lighter to her Marlboro Silver. A puff of smoke enveloped her lightly said, "grazie." All this while, the crowd had flowed past them like the never ending streaks of light in a long exposure photographs.
The Temple of Vesta

He turned around and smiled to himself. A Louis Vuitton Pochette. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Los Besos (The Kisses)

A simple thing of beauty,
gentle lips. So gentle.
Supple and pink, waiting
in parted, charming innocence.

Parting more and calling
in silent want, beckoning in
another dawn for the luscious
night to begin. Anew. Afresh.

Salt to taste, tongues dripping
in salivary haste, teasing
and twisting, in celebration
of the exotic recipe to come.

The sound. Oh! The sound.
Of that breath drawn in.
So near and so far amiss.
Continuous, invited, demanded.

Restless hands writhe
on familiar ground, reactions
uncanny, lost and alone.
Murmurs of incoherent bliss.

Imagination grinds to a halt
by force of senses overwhelmed
to think anymore. Rising breath
surrendering to burning whims.

Exhaustion far, but distance
wins. Inanimate responses tire
magical zest, rising desires burn
silently awaiting, in blessed turn.