Badly bent

The photograph shows a pre-dusk long shot of a public park with a walkway gently curving around a lake. There is an ornamental blue and white iron railing running along the edge of the walkway on the side facing the water. On the other side of the walkway are tall trees. The water is covered with large lotus leaves and flowers floating on the edges of the lake. The gentle ripples in the water are complemented by a cloudy sky and the serene trees that line the walkway. The walkway is made up of tiles with arc like patterns. Everything in the photograph seems to convey a sense of circularity or non-linearity. Even the linear spokes of the railing have a spiral design that adds to the overall effect of the photograph. Photo credit: Pawan Dhall

Poetry, Jul '18
Rajib Chakrabarti on the twistedness implicit in straightening out the non-linear

Deprived of cakes we eat bread

and the drain inspector looks askance.

They believe we grow up on milk powder

invented in the West.

He’d faint if he knew a few hard facts –

a ubiquitous tenth of humanity;

black or white or anything in between;

even before women learnt to grow crops;

nature’s whims spare no age or clime.

Even sub-human species.

Emperor penguins abominably

bend in snow white bliss.

As feet go up and down on the pedals

the sunlight breaks on them –

a thousand priceless pieces;

the rocky ripples that clothe the bones

fuel conflict with revealed books.

The few sacrificed

for the good of the many.

Great souls with a flair for hallucinations

straighten the immutable

curvature of the universe,

and prescribe a life term of torment

to be followed by another

for eternity.

Photo credit: Pawan Dhall

Author Photo

Rajib Chakrabarti

Rajib Chakrabarti teaches English and hopes that scientific rationalism and secular ethics will one day replace religious dogma.

Comments So Far

  • Image Rajib Chakrabarti 12-07-2018 | Reply

    Thank you, Pawan, for the concise precision of the introductory sentence.

    • No Replies
  • Image Gangadharan Valiyapurayil 12-07-2018 | Reply

    We, the forerunners of humankind may heavily smoke, drink and overly indulge materially, all with sheer selfish motive without a smidgeon of thought in favour of others. Let us honestly spare the holy words of love and compassion. The very creation of the religions, castes, creed and stuffs organised conveniently by the megalomaniac humans on the name of God had been the end result of human selfishness, passively wreaking greed and power. The ‘Might’ is right attitude suddenly takes a U-turn when the mighty physique becomes incapacitated. Thus the frantic chase for survival begins with the counting of beads and chanting of invocations.

    • Image Rajib Chakrabarti 13-07-2018

      Some people do derive peace of mind from religion. Without it many might lose their sanity. But the hatred and violence it inspires is becoming more and more visible.

  • Image Biswaroop Chatterjee 13-07-2018 | Reply

    Great piece, Rajib! :)

    • Image Rajib Chakrabarti 14-07-2018

      Thank you so much for your encouragement.

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