Saturday, August 18, 2012
Saturday, 18 August 2012

A Ballad of Blood

Riot against riot,
Retribution for eternal assassination in an alien land.
A flock of ousted canopies seeking a grain of sand,
An inch of belonging to lay down their listless bodies.
The body which sowed a sapling in the sleep,
The seed will bear forth flowers,
A stooping rhododendron of peace.
Chunks of red clay lie littered around the caravans of global geography,
Dead graves of faith, trust and hope.
When the nation was split by sweat and blood,
And soaked by shared rivers flowing amidst anguished territories.
Retreating folks carry an oblivious history, shattered by jolts of fanaticism,
A swooning stream of blue bile screams through mellow memories and shallow foliage.

©  Sutanuka Banerjee

Ethnic riots sweep Assam, at least 30 killed
Protest against Assam riots turns violent in Mumbai

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Dream Broker

Limping she walks
Blood on the couch grass
Tiger yawns with red teeth
Spider spins web.
Paws pounce on the body
Shaking shadows flicker in TV
Scotch-filled glasses
Relish the notched flesh
Weigh the bones
Ruptured rapture.
Ruby on her lips
Black veins under cloth.
Vase-shaped figures leaning with stilettos
Moistened and glistened
Coiling up the corridor.
Viewers, touts, directors
Stare at hips
Size the breasts
With tobacco teeth
Casting gaze.
Conspiring silhouette
Serpentine dance
Inebriated muse
Gluttonous glamour
Popular culture.

© Sutanuka Banerjee

Casting couch grabs bigger role in television world

Saturday, 5 May 2012

The Panacea

The girl desired to have a delightful sky

The boy wished he were the king of the clouds

The kite connects the hearts in the air

Reality pulls the thread.

The boy washes dishes in the shop

The girl sells flowers in the street

They live on fragments

in perishable forms.

Life is an immortal spectator

passes by the scattered sketches.

Time keeps on writing the prolonged essay

with a lullaby in the dim light of the hurricane.

A dragonfly flutters in the dream

The girl is decked with glowing stars in her zenith of joy

The boy bags a foamy mass of buttermilk sky

Sleep embroiders fulfilment.

© Sutanuka Banerjee

International Day for Street Children

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Hiatus : Identity and Society

At the outset I would like to state humbly that I am not a blogaholic, I rather prefer scribbling in my notebooks at times, but The I Stood Up Blogathon made me resort to this communication channel to  pour my heart out.

From childhood every little Bengali girl is made to memorize the rhyme “bor asbe ekhuni niye jabe takhuni” (The groom will come and take you away in a while) while the little boy is encouraged to explore an imaginative and intellectual ‘brave new world’ through careless expeditions and adventurous errands. The absurd discrimination is apparent in the rhymes taught by parents and teachers. The girl is preoccupied with protecting her ‘chastity’ and ‘honour’ by observing ‘proper’ dress code and performing a mute role in the tightrope of religion to maintain her ‘balance and calm’. The 'forever cautious' movements define her as a limp seeking a crutch to hang on some ‘perpetual guard’ at any cost -- the only condition which earns her the ‘good girl’ image. Or some considerate fellows among them announce "Save the girl child first because we need them ‘behind our bikes’, we can save tigers later".

It created a kind of fear-psychosis in my mind from childhood and I struggled to prepare myself for resisting this heart-wrecking situation. I thought much about the celebrated concept of loneliness of unmarried women who feel helpless if they are unable to find a partner. But it does not hold water. I used to ponder why it is necessary only for girls to get married and leave their parents, knocking off all ties. I started despising cooking as it is a way to please the prospective groom with culinary skills. I protested against correcting my dental flaw as the doctor insisted me with the assertion that it would not help me in hooking a good husband.

My uncle used to invite me on some occasions (as a privileged father of a male child) to help us out in some ‘crucial circumstances’ where a brother is unavoidably needed to fulfill ritualistic demands. I defied these traditions and tied Rakhi on my sister’s wrist, fought for wearing jeans, played cricket and carom for a long time in a male dominated zone, went for inter-school sports and yoga competitions. I reviewed all marital rites from  my uncle who is a 'purohit' and arranges marriage ceremony, but can only find to my amazement that it is full of nonsense like Kanyadan ( a property to be handed over to another family), lajahoma (offering puffed rice into the fire to confirm that the parental tie is broken) under the hegemony of ‘self-proclaimed upper caste’ Brahmins. Interestingly, on the other hand, no boy is ever asked to show some concern for his 'new family' (and responsibility towards the bride's parents) through these rituals as it is his ‘success story’ where he enters like a prince and snatches his 'rightful share' from the bride's parents who are her temporary guardian until she finds her permanent home (yet some men grumble that marriage terminates their freedom!). 

So, the idea of an 'equitable marriage' had a priority in my life as the harmonious partnership should not restrict our respective goals and dreams but complement our career and personal aspirations. I took initiative in the whole planning, meeting the registrar etc. and married my best friend simply by signing the legal document under the special marriage act without rituals or unreasonable expenditure and there was no question of changing my surname. Of course we respect our parents who agreed to the decision. 

This time when I visited India and went to Vrindavan during a Delhi-Agra tour my heart ached for the plight of the wrinkled, spectre-thin and rickety elderly women who were begging in the famous religious site under the 'care' of pot-bellied materialistic men, the 'closer allies of god' who claimed to feed these 'unfortunate' women and drew lump sum cash in this pretext. We refused to donate a single penny inside and gave the money to them instead. But I know it is not a sustainable  solution to their plight. 

I am radical, right? Let it be. If the society has no shame in systematically subjugating its women, why should I be shy?

One auntie used to tell me apprehensively "you appear so jolly but I wonder how long it will stay as every girl is fated to go through a very tough phase when all smiles disappear". I always laughed away the heaviness in her words ...