Wednesday, December 19, 2007

An Ode to New York - My Trip to Calcutta part 2

Dear reader, I am surprised if you have returned to this blog – but pleasantly so. This is the second of my posts about my Calcutta trip. This one was inspired while trudging along the streets of New York City right before I left but the writing was finished in the flight from JFK to Mumbai.
I must admit upfront that although this looks like a poem, you will soon realize that it is nothing close to that. My linguistic skills would not permit me to write a poem even if a gun was held to my head. However these are fragmented thoughts and it occurred to me that it might be worthwhile to arrange it the way I have done here rather than make it into a long paragraph. Your comments, criticisms, and of course warnings against attempting any such thing in the future in the blog are very very welcome.

An Ode to New York

If I ever fell in love with you
‘Tis cause you remind me of the wrinkled, aged face
I once had in my mind, sharp and clear.

She begged me to go away
And never come back in a long long time.
I wonder if she ever wept secretly
She always seemed such a deceiver.

On an autumn evening I descend on Greenwich Village
And I get her smell here and there
Amongst hookah joints and cheap Mexican jewelry shops,
They beat her, molested her, raped her, disfigured her
But in a rustic long dimly lit Tibetan shop
I found the ring that once adorned her fingers
It cost only fifteen dollars !

In the deep still of the night
The Christmas lit trees on streets and alleys
Are all but a soft murmur
And the odd late-night couple walks along York Avenue hand in hand
I see her with barren pandals and empty cartons on Dashami night
After all had gone to the ghats.

Standing in the middle of Times Square ,
The all familiar feeling of emptiness returns to me
Like it once did at Gariahat Mor,
Drowned in the chaos all around me -
Cold, lonely and starkly alien - like the Boston winter

On a still slate grey Sunday morning,
As I jump out of the twenty-fifth floor window
Flying low on the East River,
The grey engulfs everything around me -
The dull metallic cluster of Queensboro Bridge, the tall towers, the steel colored water
It could almost be her waiting for the first rain of the monsoon,
The wind carries me away like the first leaves blown away before the first storm of the year

Yet right before my head crashes thud against the cold cement of the pavement,
And the bones of my neck jut out like an irregular sculpture
I sense a drop of tear against my cheeks
Is it you crying, or is it her ?