Yellow lights were giggling
at the dead of night
There’re no buses, trams,
rickshaws or taxis now. All had deserted
the city, sans a lonely man,
possessed by gentle breeze and
glowing lights in a summer night.
Suddenly he heard whispers
He heard whispers …
Parallel tramlines, happy under the bright lights,
were talking, about their days in the sun,
their ecstasies and agonies.
As history unfolded, the man came to know
about Asia’s first tram-city, and
a wonderful metamorphosis from horse driven
tram cars to electric tram cars.
And when the breeze was stronger,
he saw a violent procession approaching tramlines;
and he felt scared initially, but soon realized that
thousands were protesting the partition of their beloved
All of a sudden a big fire appeared and
announced, with pride, the burning of foreign clothes.
Later at night, the man saw a tall figure
with snow white beard
walking along the tramlines.
Look at him, he was also
the first in Asia to get that coveted prize in literature.
Parallel tramlines raised their heads and bowed down.
Have you seen bright young men running over our bodies
for survival, criss crossing our existence?
But we never felt any pain, as they vowed to build a society
without discrimination, a society we also dreamed.
But we were absolutely pained when an
fell on us sometimes back
The parallel tramlines were engrossed
in their tales all through the night.
And gradually the man saw another
21st century sun rising slowly
and painting the horizon.
And the whispers had stopped.
All whispers had suddenly stopped …
A deadly Silence
greeted a new dawn
It’s the time of uncertainty,
for the tramlines and for us.
(This poem is dedicated to my city Kolkata, earlier known as Calcutta)
Aneek Chatterjee is a poet and academic from Kolkata, India. He has been published in reputed literary magazines and poetry anthologies across the globe. His recent credits are: Chiron Review, Shot Glass Journal, The Stray Branch, Dissident Voice, Café Dissensus, Ann Arbor Review, Chicago Record, Setu, Ethos Literary Journal, New Asian Writing, Montreal Writes, Scarlet Leaf Review, Pangolin Review, Mark Literary Review etc. He authored two poetry collections named “Seaside Myopia” & “Unborn Poems and Yellow Prison” (Cyberwit.net). Chatterjee has a ph.d. in International Relations; and has been teaching in leading Indian universities. He was a Fulbright Visiting Fellow at the University of Virginia (USA), and a recipient of the prestigious ICCR Chair to teach at reputed foreign universities.