Contemporary Literary Review India | Print ISSN 2250-3366 | Online ISSN 2394-6075 | Impact Factor 8.1458 | Vol. 9, No. 2: CLRI May 2022

Chaitali Sengupta

Lost Freedom

When a triangle piece of sunlight

peeped out of the tall building

draping our city,

on a cold winter morning,

they trampled on it,

pinning it under their heavy boots.

Freedom bled

in the tattered field

and blacked out the sun,

while bondage, like a bird

rattled in the cage.

Measuring the moment

with a spoon, I watched

as no one seemed to mind.

Watching silently the crumbling of a society...

it's last stitch undone.

In the hour of annihilation

my hair stands on end,

words drip

and then fade.

Mute land

In the scrapbook of memories,

I see those red pebbles

collected beside a river once...

that flew past, in the map of dreams.

There, I suffered with my people

and left in a hurry,

closing the eyes of the dead

those whom I could not save.

I left...

on the back of my coatless father

with fire raging in my belly

clutching those red pebbles....

while the mute land stared back at me.

Seeking asylum

The queue is long

like a train serpentine,

crawling in silence

at the borders;

the faces, all vacant

like scraps of humanity

littered away,

forgotten by destiny.

Whiplashed by laws,

life is but a crime scene

tracing detailed fingerprints

of pain.

Scanning an entire life

bending it with

whimsical pressure of

the bureaucratic thumb.

And all the while

the blue digits on the arm

scream: You're only a number.

Seeking asylum.

Chaitali Sengupta is a published writer, translator, journalist from the Netherlands. A regular contributor to the Dutch online newspaper Eindhoven News, she writes and translates for other Dutch media platforms too. Her poems, short stories and articles have appeared in many literary platforms in India too, like Muse India, Indian Periodical, Borderless Journal, Setu Bilingual, The Asian Age, The Statesman, Different Truths. Her translated work “Quiet Whispers of our Heart” (Orange Publishers, 2020) received good reviews at the International Book Fair, Kolkata, India. Her poems are part of acclaimed anthologies, published from both the USA and India.

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