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Shakti Chattopadhay

Abani, Are You Home?

Abani, are you home?

The neighbourhood lies in sleep with doors closed
But I keep hearing the night knocking at my door,
'Abani, are you home? '

Here it rains all the twelve months
Here the clouds roam like cows
Here the eager green grass
closes in on the door,
'Abani, are you home? '

In my heart, half-dissolved, long-traveled
I fall asleep within pain
Suddenly I hear the night knocking at my door,
'Abani, are you home? '

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Otherwise Why Should You Be Human

A group of mud-smeared dark boys

Their loin-clothes raised above their knees
Excitedly catching fish, as they plunge into the water
Beside the ankle-high ridge in the middle of the pool.
Over on the other side
Their loin-cloth pouches fill with little jiyal
Their hollow hampers full already
Draining away water from one side of the pool
Into the other half
So they can grab the fish with bare hands.
Before the rains
The earth dry and parched
The naked backs of the boys burning in the sun
Like the outside of earthen pots darkened
In the smoke of burning sawdust
While they desperately pat themselves on the back
With wet mud to bring down the summer heat
Trying hard --
And later

[...] Read more

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