Submissions open for Beetle Magazine's November Issue

The Summer of 2020

Neelima Chakraborty

'How's summer?'
You chuckle and ask,
Peeling off that organic mask,
Drying those shapely manicured nails
(Who’ve been raised well, one can tell)
Pepped up and polished in fluorescent green,
They clamour for attention- the ‘oohs’ and the ‘ahs’!
While the languid lipstick stains
The worn and weary perspiring glass.
‘How’s your summer?’
You ask on the phone
Bored and exhausted,
Working from home.
Checking the feeds, counting the views
Of the latest fad on the yoga mat.
Slurping the mangoes bought online,
Ensconced in the modesty of the air-conditioned flat.
You say you miss
Nature’s bounty, rippling streams,
Oh! The summer of your dreams,
Marauding the malls for bric-a-brac,
Savouring the ice-creams on the rack.
Fresh fruits and vegetables once flooded the store,
Now all look shrunken than ever before.
‘How’s summer?’
You repeatedly question me
While I wait for the storm to end,
As the dark clouds huddle and go sullen
To witness the tantrums of the omniscient.
If this crushing blow wasn’t enough,
The locusts swarm in to fill up the turf.
Broken and barefoot under the sun,
I watch the silhouettes on the run.
Drooping shoulders, vacant eyes,
Wizened faces mask no surprise.
Blindfolded heels blindly tread
The path that's homeward bound.
Bare bodies melting in the mire,
Translucent hopes in opaque desire,
Silent cries vent out the fire,
Of hungry bellies laid out on pyre
Of syllables and promises gossamer.
Slowly and gradually
Dissolving in a puddle
Their frail existence-
Oh, so brittle!
While the TV says so little.
It continues to holler the empty banter
While the pallid faces lose its colour.
My friend, that's how it is this summer.


2 comments

  • Oh lovely! The play of words!!! “Translucent hopes in opaque desire” – I just can’t get over it! Too good! :) Way to go girl.

    Jayeeta Biswas
  • Oh lovely! The play of words!!! “Translucent hopes in opaque desire” – I just can’t get over it! Too good! :) Way to go girl.

    Jayeeta Biswas

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