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Sohagni Roy

Drama Tragedy

4  

Sohagni Roy

Drama Tragedy

A FADING PORTRAIT OF MARRIAGE

A FADING PORTRAIT OF MARRIAGE

5 mins
267


"I often picture myself living on a mountain top, in the most stormy country (not the coldest) in the world. Is there such a place? If there is I shall go to it someday and turn my heart into pictures and poems." 


This excerpt is from one of Kahlil Gibran's letters, dated 1st March 1914. I have always hunted for a reason for three things in this world: how in the same world, in the same year, here was Gibran writing this and there was the First World War about to begin; how my grandparents loved each other like they were seventeen; and how I find the will to send you good-morning messages on WhatsApp at exactly nine every day with images of unknown children.


I'm not good at hellos so I'll stick to what I do best, write long letters where you and I can sit under the mighty banyan tree and eat a slice of watermelon.


My almirah is a place

for all things, broken, lost, and forgotten.

There are torn gift wrappers,

old invitations that I stole

from my Baba's cabinet.

For its shining paper

when I was fifteen,

a chocolate box filled with

single studs when the other

goes mussing and cursive handwritten letters that are buried inside.


Dear Webonita, 


I write you this letter as you water the plants on the balcony, sipping chai. You're squinting your eyes through the glasses to read a Whatsapp forward. Suddenly, you turn to me and ask "Is this true? Article 377 has been abolished " with a sea of innocence in your eyes spilling out through the crowfeet and I just realise how much I love you, all over again.


Right from I -  hate - rajma to Taarak Mehta ka Oolta Chashma afternoons, from your-phone-will-rot-your-eyes, to catching that movie we were eagerly waiting to watch using discount coupons, without ordering any snacks to save money. We've come a long way. Our relationship is so beautiful because it has been through everything. I remember the nights I stayed up to study when you'd peek through the door to check if the lights were on. How you'd be more worried about my sleep, than I about my paper. How you still caress my head in the middle of online business meetings. When I think of you, I think of an ocean, that is so full of love it can never run out. In watching you love unconditionally somewhere along the way I have learned to love, too.


As I remember it, every morning, it began with the doorbell shrieking to tell us the milkman is here. He measured the snow-white milk and out it gushed into the

container that you held, while your sleep-clogged eyes struggled to open. Followed by cries for breakfast; adding leftover seasoning from home deliveries to Maggi and calling it "experimental" cooking. Wiping the dust off the old transistor and dancing to songs playing on the FM Radio

system, while we share a bath.


I miss how you would shield my body from the crowd or from falling off the 9:10 am bus for more than an hour while going to Barrackpore. Because none caress me the same in overpacked Delhi metros. I miss how Baba would oil my scruffy hair and braid them with periwinkle, basking in the December's afterglow on the terrace. 


I've still hidden

" Eleanor & Park" was gifted by someone on the maximal heights of the shelf because my hands shouldn't touch it

on a random past midnight

to read the words, the written ones beneath the prologue,

words that would engulf me

in a stream of grief,

like tides of melancholy,

words that would bring a commotion inside me,

words that would bring 

silent chaos.


You asked me why do I ⁣

Give my poems names ⁣

Like a wheelchair, a crutch, ⁣

an inhaler⁣

A one-bedroom beating heart⁣

Why can’t I call them ⁣

something prettier, softer, ⁣

less sick and more ⁣

alive;


in my home, we never repair things

the flickering light bulbs,

the bathroom tiles,

the squeaky doors

in my home, we believe

that nothing is really broken

as long as it is functional. 


just as the ceiling is boring

but the blades of that pygmy

windmill. the patriarch in the

room. just above my head

is something one can look

at, for eternities just to say. 


or you may

think of the flowers dead on

the streets. trampled by the

heavy showers;


in my home, we never mend

things until they’re dragged to give up. 


like an overflowing jar of metaphors

and imageries not my own

writes and writes and writes 

following what Rilke said – 

write,

because you must

because if it is denied

you would die. 

and thus I write. 


I write tonight

of how the towels wet

swiftly rests on the armchair

the towels care less about the skin


I write tonight

of theories, my curriculum comprises of 


how they save my time in finding

proses in life I have no interest in 

how they save me from just

breathing, in short. 

how they kill, to put it

shorter. 


I write tonight

of upset stomach, upside-down head

upfront nose, upgraded redness in eyes 

all divides

in half 

the partition is real, just as it was before;

1947;

1969.


I write tonight

of insecurities implanted genuinely

for privileged ones 

but for third world ( gender) us. 


all of it running on a belief

that it’s okay as long as

no one sees it

our photo frame hanging

on a loose nail. 


the glass is broken, 

water departed under the table, 

the diary half-burnt, 

the color palette turning black,

the Reynolds Trimax uncapped, 

a black pencil sharpened,

a page floating 

behind the curtain in isolation. 


but shush. 

have realized love⁣⁣

does not come ⁣⁣

with a barter tag⁣⁣

nothing of that makes sense either

just as the suicide.


You and I,

were victims of love,

tragic yet romantic isn't it?


I will always care for you as you did for me and I hope I were a good lover to you. 


Somewhere else, another radio antenna was fixed, as I post these letters; agla gaana, "Bade Acche Lagte Hain".


Yours,

Mira. 



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