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The Dance of Smoke

ANANYA CHATTERJEE

Lay I, my aching body has fallen,
Old, withered and soul less.
The thick black smoke dances
To the death tune, just outside the window.
This window that held countless memories,
Of our tea-talks in rainy evenings- Him and me.

The smoke blackish Grey,
rises sharply and sways,
like a beautiful dancer’s waist.
to which an auditorium fully packed,
had once erupted into a thunderous clap.
Mrignayani, that was my stage name.
“His Mrignayani”, he would say.

Screams of people, I hear far away,
My saree has soaked in all water.
Oh, there goes a part of terrace,
my memory wall crumbles.
A loud bang, the hung Glass frame shatters,
Pictures-memories lay strewn,
My little son, drinks water from the hose.

The water on the floor, limps my husband’s sweet smile,
My old man was young once, a clever wizard
Split my soul in two, him and our son.
The black smoke has filled the room,
My lungs struggle to take little breaths of air.
I close my eyes, my lover’s smile
is not limp in my memories,

Our home, as you now turn to ash.
Your messenger, the smoke’s slow dance
chokes, clouds my memories.
No, death don’t torture me
For I am soul less, living.
I have seen you twice before.
I see him smiling and the laughter of my son
has filled up that serene, quiet space
They are waiting for me.
Old friend, take me. End this.

Somebody lifts me, am I leaving?
Oh death, is it you?
Fear grips me, is it time, must I open my eyes?
“Nurse, here quickly. I think she is alive.”
Alive? Why no! death you- deceiver,
cheater, liar.
No, this must be a bad dream.
“A mild concussion, she had hit the floor hard.”
“Madam, open your eyes, you are safe now.”
A weak rueful smile broke my face.
“Dear, I didn’t want to be saved.”


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