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Home

Poulami Sarkar

Aratrika,

What does a home look like? Does it have a face of a bereaved mother, long waiting on her balcony amid the thousands of nothing or does it look like your 21 year old beloved who stops smoking for your sake? Does it mean assigning your name with just an address or with a destination to return? The question mark stays, as always.

Home is where the heart is. This is all I have believed throughout my entire life. Home is built with each of our little belongings, in the language we cry and laugh and falter, brick by brick.

Home is never meant to define through a damned piece of paper. It never was.

Ever since my childhood a sense of insecurity, a reticence simultaneously grew up with me and had restrained me to a certain level that I used to shy away from expressing myself too much. I was made to think that I belong to a minority community and emerging out of all its limitations I should not dare be a part of a Hindu circle. Befriending a Hindu girl and moreover, falling in love with her were the far-fetched dreams. With you, I sensed that tangled fingers are much more vocal than mere words, for touches never lie. That, sharing the imperfections and underneath fragility through Dickinson's poetry is another name of home. That, under the skin there exists only one religion, humanism. It knows no bar, like love. Like revolution.

We might have wished to light up the city that has witnessed our fall for each other with the scent of our hand(or heart?)made candles. Little did I know that I am soon going to be exiled in a city that once was very much my own. Have you ever seen a sinking ship? Having known the destiny it lies with a calm acceptance that outgrows its dried up tears. Well, with each day passing by, I see Amma transforming in this. I see her fear stretches like a hollow darkness inside a deadly well. A fear of losing her remaining child, her last trace of motherhood. Her existence becomes more and more like a lonesome street lamp, like an island, with all possibility to drown. Abba and Bhai passed away eight years ago and yet I see them exist in the labyrinth of her ever increasing and deepening wrinkles. Like Prometheus, all my attempt has been to infuriate the fire of life in her dimming eyes to keep them alive. But my city does no longer afford to be that huge tree whose innumerous branches are always kept open for different species of birds to reside together. Thus, I will have to escape to a much lonelier city where I am yet allowed to build another nest once again and will make it home until it is broken, once again.

The big red mole on your left breast that you always wanted to hide, just adds charm on you, sets you free. May be someday I won't be able to remember the precise details of your face. I would, therefore, take hold of all my favourites and give them your name. Remember, we will meet in the most unlikely places, holding two different cities in ourselves. We will meet in laughter and tears and unfulfilled dreams.
~ Love,
Afrah.


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