Volume 4 Issue 2, June 2020
Special Issue for Indian Poetry

Neelima Chakraborty

Musings of a Fevered Brain


My mind wanders back and forth,

Back and forth like a ping pong ball,

Waiting to be caught by none,

That will slide right under the table

To be one

With the dirt and the grime,

Beyond the reach of any vacuum

To feel like a loner

Or the one already forgotten.

Locked inside my house,

I observe the cobwebs

Taking over the pink paint,

Interlocking the nostalgia

Within its wispy waves,

Only to be ripped apart

By the clumsy strokes of the wiper.

The pink remains marred

With the slightly chipped plaster.





March 19, 2020


As the call of the conch shells

Burns through the evening,

The orange light pours in,

Dissolving the listless longings

In the ferocity of its blinding light,

Pleading to turn its watchful gaze

On the sight both spectacular and strange.

Sparring mortals converging into one,

Overlapping shadows stand in unison.

The battle cry in clamours,

The uninterrupted strains

Of bold applauses

And clanking of plates.

Hoorah! The wonders of Man!

Triumph this crisis - together we can!

Five minutes in,

Time's up!

The gallery is locked again.

The applause dials down.

The plates back on the rack.

Silvery silences ransack

The lanes of the ghost town.





On Being Late

I was late...

Late to understand how life had passed by,

Caught in the disquiet inside,

An entangled mess,

Hard to cast aside.

I tried... tried very hard...

To order the chaos

I tried to set everything right...right as I saw it.

But I was late...

Late to realize how effortlessly

One moment passed onto another,

While I stood still, transfixed,

Touching up memories with sepia shades.

As the wise say- better late than never,

I tell myself

Never again will I be late to admire

This second that I have here...right here.

This second impregnated with a cupful of smiles

Tugging the corners of my heart

To abandon the cares, the bulls and bears,

The shoddy game of monikers.

Never again will the crescent shape

Colour the lonesome hours

With tales of erroneous times.

For I will learn to dig deep,

Hold up my head,

Chin up in the face of ordeals.

I will one day learn to live

With the storm brewing outside.

Oh yes, I will survive!





Those Scars…


The faded scars on the inside of your hand

Hold on to the recipes of generations.

Carefully passed on

From one arm to another,

Whispered into dreams,

Marinaded with care:

The hallmark of ingenuity,

Grinding spices with dexterity.

Concealing every fault

With a gentle sprinkle of salt.

The perfect antidote to every anger.

That serpentine rings of smoke

Coiling gently around the vessel,

Creeping into the corners, the room, the home,

Stealthily drenching the soul

With its strange familiarity.

With the sultry gravy

Dripping through the gaps

Of fingers licked clean,

And clean plates craving

For more and more and some more.

The scars, the burning scars finally smile,

Saying, "My work is done here."





About the poet

An alumnus of the University of Calcutta, Neelima Chakraborty shares a keen interest in writing as a medium to express and empower. She has worked as a teacher of English at the Senior Secondary level in Patha Bhavan, Kolkata and Gokhale Memorial Girls' School, Kolkata in the past. She shares her passion for theatre and creative writing with the students of Modern Delhi Public School, Faridabad at present. 

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Published by The Alternative.