My City—Malda

Last night my redolent dream destined me to one of those Malda lanes
Where I traced myself in front of a tea stall in Rath Bari Sarani,
Famous for the elaichi chai
For which people gather here
And go back to home to tell others for a visit
To satiate their taste buds with divine taste
Or, even some come up with their YouTube channel which gets a thousand views per day.
I kept on walking, now halted before a pandal;
This one was a Durga Puja, of the kind that I grew up around
A traditional idol of Maa Durga neighboured by her children;
A bejeweled club pandal with shimmering light,
Jostled with crowd, yet a very calmed surrounding of
Ashtami morning where I could easily hear the holy chants of Ashtami Anjali, beckoning my peace of mind.
My Malda brewed magic in the air just like this in my dream.

As I kept on strolling, I felt hunger squeezing my stomach
When I pass by the famous road side food stalls at English Bazar Police Station Road.
A glimmering hoarding of a budding fast food shop ‘Mahamaya Roll Corner’ gaped at me from the corner of a shop, almost seducing me with the essence of frying eggs,
But my heart and my feet collaborated to take me to a sweet shop nearby,
A full plate of ‘Luchi’, ‘Cholar dal’, ‘Aloor Dum’ and a couple of ‘Chum Chum’ and ‘Rosogolla’ did wonders.
Bliss was nowhere in the entire world but here!
Just a few feets away, in the corner of a medicine shop,
There sat a Phuchka Uncle with his pantry of ‘Phuchka’,
Looking at me, he smiled and asked to taste some,
My mind couldn’t resist and After finishing almost twenty in a go, I stopped with a contented heart.
My Malda brewed magic in the air just like this in my dream.

Now my dream took me to the mango gardens,
My city, widely famous for its palpable mangoes,
The redolent smell ran magic in my nostrils
Leaving me in a complete state of intoxication.
With the pulps of mango, I reached straight
To the pervaded place of Chittaranjan Market.
Numerous heads, numerous demands
Grabbling on their favourite store,
And among them, I reached to my favourite store
To fulfill my needs.
Amidst the fascinating malls shimmering
Bright lights and looked glamorous
I still found my comfort in my small store
Where I found everything I needed, handy.
With the generosity, comfort and heartiness,
My Malda brewed magic in the air just like this in my dream.

Suddenly my soul craved for some good music,
Not the ones, bursting with screeching raps,
Cacophonous melodies and trendy dissonance,
But the ones where the culture of my city
Lies deep to touch souls with serene.
The “Gambhira” might be a little backward,
Still resonates with the peace of my mind,
Carrying the eon-old elegance in its bosom.
I saw two singers stirred their souls in playing “Gambhira” in front of a spellbound audience
As if they bestowed their heartfelt prayers to Lord Shiva.
People didn’t forget the greatness of its culture.
A dreamy evening spent in reminiscing ethnicity.
My Malda brewed magic in the air just like this in my dream.

My dream had already reduced the burdens of my soul,
And now taking me to the “boimela” on the
Famous ground of Malda College.
Might not be glittery and grand
Like the ones in a metro city
Or, not cramming with the endless books of
Kolkata boipara that you would name one
That the seller would serve you a various options,
But still it was close to my heart.
I could feel myself lost in the world of books,
Loitering from one stall to another stall.
The elating smell of the books,
The euphoria of taking them in between my small palms,
And the love dripping from my eyes while flipping
The pages were fun, unmatchable in the entire world.
I would have spent my entire life in the zig-zagged
Crevices of the books.
I crossed a group of college-goers,
Their faces brightened with the glossy youth
Having fun in the middle of a book stall.
Through books, nostalgia and adda of “boimela”,
My Malda brewed magic in the air just like this in my dream.

From the famous “Nabin” to the crowded “Rupkatha”,
Cinema halls in my city was carved
In the bright graffiti of dreamy movies.
There are no hikes of multiplexes, inox-es or pvrs,
And still my city relishes its dreams in the old cinema halls.
I heaved a sigh of relief, witnessing my city hadn’t changed a bit.
One by one, everything rowed in my dream.
When the darkness hailed in my city,
And my city chose to sleep, siding away all the pain,
I was standing in the footpath of a blank road
To pray for those dwellers shivering in a torn blanket,
And wishing for a knight to come as their saviours.
Suddenly an angel came and wrapped
All the needies in new blankets.
I couldn’t see his face as he faded away too early.
Was he from another world or, lived in between us
Disguising as a common man in the broad daylight?
I didn’t know, even I didn’t wish too,
All I did was I uttered some good words in the name of him.
This is how my city didn’t forget the lessons
Of lost humanity and still remained disguised.
There was no greed for publicity or fame,
It was all about serving for the mankind.
Saluting the notions of kindness,
And following the roles of humanity,
My Malda brewed magic in the air just like this in my dream.

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