Stories by the Tea Stall
Each time I carry the bag
Each time I travel by that street
Leading to metro station
Each time I wait for my brother to return
After a long absence
Each time I cry aloud
When India loses a game
Each time I smile
When Ranchi’s golden boy hits a six.
He is a savour, great warrior
Each time I eat momos
And wait for the rain
Each time I’m wet
I stop by that tea stall
For a cup of sugar free tea.
Stiff jaws are opened
Day’s hard toils relieved
In a sip. Life takes a fresh guard.
Each time I stop
The stall is overcrowded.
People debating over hot themes.
Each time I stop for a cup of tea there
I watch the tea seller growing old
Minute by minute. Talking to an old pillar.
Each time I go there
I have a story to write.
Each one over there
Is a character. A protagonist, perhaps.
Who is My Master?
What language should I speak?
All possibilities are wide open
Like open market for trade.
I move between
The language of the poet
And the translator,
Reason and effect
As if one will die without the other.
Someone told me when I was a tinny boy
Forgotten her name
May be a shadow
“Language is a master.”
I didn’t understand
I was too small.
Now the sky is clear to me
I see things through its language
I read my master through his code.
A coat made on the banks of the river Thames
Is not that will be living for ever.
Small sprouts are visible on the banks of the Ganges
And near the banks of the Yellow river.
We are holding willow branches. My old master
Is to leave behind his earthly abode soon.
My Temple of Delight
Since the days
I heard stories from my grand mother
Events from the great Indian epics
I planted a sapling on the breasts of my mother,
Of my tradition. I ride on my family name.
I live with small rivers of the mind; my mother
Rivers for whom nobody has written anything
No pious mind offers puja
No state policy bother them.Only my mother.
Only people living on its shores know
Its importance, count the “pauses” of loss and death.
My land is my mother
To whom I return each day
In deep silence.
I’ve seen their faces
Heavenly smiles. Taking goats to the field.
Is a reservoir of my tears stored for years.
It has seen me growing up
It offered me a sword
To take the world on my side.
Its muddy water
Medicinal plants on both sides
Form a bridge. My forefathers look to each other
Waiting for me to perform.
I remember …
My father had a cow.
Lakshmi and I were friends.
She was my first friend.
I copied many subtle things.
I worked on them. Shaped my bionote.
My brother lives in me
Though I’ve forgotten his sweet face
His blood was polluted.
It was a cruel blow on me.
My white clad grand mother
Tried to tell me so many things
I was too small a child to follow her signs.
I remember them all; count them
One by one…
When night falls
Stars bell my days.
My diabetic bones ache.
I search for a pillow
And a shroud. Dulung flows near me.
Jaydeep Sarangi is a bilingual writer, editor, translator and author of a number of significant publications on Postcolonial issues, Indian Writing in English, Australian Literature, Marginal literatures and Creative Writing in reputed journals/magazines in India and abroad. He edits “New Fiction Journal” (ISSN 0978 – 6863) and one of the Editors of “Writers Editors Critics”,the Vice President of GIEWEC (Guild of Indian English Writers, Editors and Critics, head office at Kerala). Sarangi has delivered keynote addresses in several national and international seminars and conferences. Widely anthologised and reviewed as a poet,he authors five poetry collections in English and one in Bengali.His latest book is translations of Manohar Mouli Biswas’ autobiography Surviving in My World: Growing up Dalit in Bengal(Stree-Samya,2015).He teaches English at Jogesh Chandra Chaudhuri College,Kolkata.