From the Dingy Apartment Everywhere – by Baisali Chatterjee Dutt

 

Between the space of your last grunt
                                                                      and first snore,
there is much to do.

I must first peel off
the layer
  of your daily humiliations
and the dust
of your road-rage
which you pound into me,
night
          after
                    night
mercilessly,
yet innocently,
for you don’t know
                                          any other way;
you don’t know
                                      any better.

Next,
I must grab
my soul
and pull her out of my body,
the way
babies are forcefully yanked
from their tired mothers’ wombs
by cold,
invasive hands.
I will shake the bones out
and leave them for later;
my soul must be attended to
first.
My wrinkled,
             crinkled skin
shall lie near your feet,
while I dunk my soul
in a bucket of Dettol water
and wring her out
to dry.
And then,
I shall hang her from our bedroom window
so that dogs can bark at it,
children throw stones at it
and poor passers-by
can guess its weight in gold.

But

what if a lizard eats it?

What unbearable truths
will it whisper into your ear at night
when you lie in bed,
grabbing for me
and I am not there?
When all you will be left with
is a bag of a body,
the bones ground into atta
for your daily meal?

Will you bang your fists
against the night sky
and scream
the swear words
meant for others
but which you gifted to me
instead?

Will you
too
allow yourself
to be eaten
by a lizard on the ledge
or sucked dry
by a horde of mosquitoes –

or have you already been pummelled
into the innards
of the city
by dirty soles,
cracked heels
and the weight of your crushed dreams?

 

 

 

Baisali Chatterjee Dutt, a former columnist and agony aunt for Mother & Baby magazine and contributor to Parent & Baby, has edited two volumes for the Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul series, namely ‘On Friendship’ and ‘Celebrating Brothers and Sisters’. She authored “Sharbari Datta: The Design Diva”, a biography. She now writes for online and print magazines, while pursuing her other passion, theatre.
Born in New York, schooled in Bangalore and Delhi, she now lives in Kolkata with her family.

7 thoughts on “From the Dingy Apartment Everywhere – by Baisali Chatterjee Dutt

  1. Pingback: From the Dingy Apartment Everywhere – by Baisali Chatterjee Dutt | chocoholicbookworm

  2. Pingback: Time to Vote for Readers’ Choice Winner | Algebra Of Owls

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