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"I have known music to be her timeless reverberation in a forlorn corner of my soul; just when life was closing down upon me with its pangs of haunting silence."
"Hope is the point the 'world within' comes to an equilibrium with the 'world around'."
"The cold that my body feels can be comforted by pullovers of our choices. It is the winter that comes back each year, inevitably; is how we are connected on the face of time. A sweet suffering of forever..."
"My poverty, I know, was glamorous because trading you, my love, for a better life is outright heinous."
"Love was the day when she drank and I felt quenched."
"Life, ever since, had been one gripping tale. Your happening gave it a genre."
"Want is the soul's desire. Need, the mind's crave. Love, thus, I believe, is a bit of both."
"Art is how you lie to the world without ever feeling sinned."
"Sorrow is true and beyond the powers of healing, when you can taste the oceans on your lips."

Traitor Tree

Traitor Tree
~ Sobhan Pramanik | Thursday, June 15, 2017 |
Traitor Tree: A Short Story

There is a Gulmohar growing at the fence. Its slender brown trunk though arising from the soft, grassy earth of my compound, has its crimson canopy, like a cloud stranded at dusk, floating low beyond on the other side.

While it wore my rains for years, lived my sunshine and slowly depleted my breast with its roots; now inadvertently sheds its blossoms over a different world, strewing its path in a flaming red.

A little girl ambling past the lawn, twirling a colourful umbrella on her back like a spinning wheel, stops amid the fallen flowers and picks one from her feet. She takes it to her face and feels its petals against her cheeks. Breathes its aura deep before giving in to a complacent smile. She then walks home, the flower aloft on her palm and bliss in her eyes.

I hold onto her smile in my mind and try to feel happy about it. But a strange feeling of loss whips me hard, and the tree I long cared for, now feels like strangulating my existence. I wish to get rid of this feeling, of its everything emanating from deep inside me. It won’t be an easy thing to do, I know. For pulling out a deep-rooted tree, some old feelings, often rips the ground open.
The light and the rain is for everyone to share. This earth is home to all. Perhaps it is the fence that must be pulled down. This feeling of possession in love is what is to be set on fire. There is no way we can let things go by killing them in our heart. It would be making a cemetery within, being haunted by ghosts of old lovers. Instead, let them live. And flourish. Reach out to the sky and dance in the rain. Every once in a while we are going to show up under the tree, I promise, pick up a flower from the ground and smile at each other, reminding us of the better ways to love. From a distance, devoutly and from the soul, without ever being one.

© Sobhan

Gautam Gambhir: An Underrated Prodigy

Gautam Gambhir: An Underrated Prodigy
~ Sobhan Pramanik | Saturday, May 20, 2017 | | |
No, we do not wish to see that face— the sadness in those handsome eyes and the evergreen glee drained from his smile, as SRK stands upfront at the Chinnaswamy balcony in a sleek black tee-shirt, clapping a gentleman’s consolation clap for all the hard work put in by the boys to reach to the semi-final, only to be outplayed by their long-term nemesis.

(For representational purpose only)

Despite a win against the Sun Risers in a rain curtailed eliminator, KKR clearly came into the match as underdogs against the high-flying Mumbai Indians with their momentum unsettled after a string of losses at the near end of the league stage. With wickets stumbling right from the start on a sluggish Bangalore pitch, KKR never seemed to be out of the doom that the Mumbai Indians had been to them in a decade of play. So, no, there won’t be any cartwheels this year, no charming kisses to be blown from the strands that set the crowds to a frenzy or little AbRam going around the ground with daddy darling waving his little palms to the exalting audience. All said and done, KKR this year with their experimentative game plan had left for us a lot to cherish: Lynn’s fury at the start and then coming back from an uprooted shoulder to provide all the entertainment, Robin’s consolidated cricket, Narine’s blistering cameos with the bat and the unfailing trap he always sets for the batters. 

While Pandya’s wide slash went past a diving Yadav on the third man boundary hauling Mumbai Indians to their third ever IPL final, and the camera quickly spans over to an ecstatic Rohit Sharma embracing all the player and support staffs in their dugout, my heart painfully goes out to the man who had been at the receiving end of everything bad and unfortunate despite his best efforts in this long tournament--Gautam Gambhir. Walking out of the park with his shoulders hung low, a grim shadow across his face, one of nation’s very best yet tragically underrated, I wonder if we could have done better to this man. With the team touring England for Champions Trophy in the coming month where they will be battling out on faster, bouncier pitches, this decision to pick Sharma ahead of Gambhir, despite his poor run in this IPL and even longer episodes of his inconsistency at the top of order, forever playing recklessly without a care in the world, feels in the heart like a stupid, unforgiveable comedy of errors.

For how long shall Sharma be backed for his once in blue moon carnage of 264 on a flat-as-highway Kolkata turf? For how long will the selectors wait before pulling the plugs on their beliefs of Sharma and Dhawan giving India a belting start, who like Rohit had also been a victim of inconsistency in the recently concluded England series and a strangely lucky cynosure to selector’s eyes? For how long shall GG be kept waiting on the lines, bearing the brunt of neglect and dubious choices, who at 35, from what I feel, like Sehwag, Zaheer and Dravid, is already at the brink of a hurtful retirement to a revered career?

© Sobhan

The History of Our Being

The History of Our Being
~ Sobhan Pramanik | Wednesday, May 17, 2017 |
This motionless Agra sky
like a chalky dust hat,
hangs from the finial of Taj.
Its enormous yellowing dome
roofs the mausoleum
like Time’s blessing palm
frozen over History’s head;
housing deep under
in sacred stone chambers,
the ivory remnants of star crossed lovers.
In its huge curvy shadows,
Yamuna passes like a muddy brook.
Dark and ash grey;
awash with the spirits of dead,
rolling on eternally with
sea dreams in its quotidian waves.
Coils of sunshine drip from the alcoves,
of soot wrapped minarets where
birds return for the night.
Behind, in the Shalimar,
Chrysanthemums have closed their eyes,
wilted under the sun;
and the sighing willows at the distance
brush the grin of admirers and
fog cameras, with the charred sulphurous
breeze of a bustling city.

Yet, on a full moon night
invariably the pavements fill up –
amazed laughs dribble
through gaping mouths,
watching the wonder reborn.
In the cascade of silver light
as the shadows slowly recede,
the heavens send down a million-stars blush
and lovers clutch hands in longing
watching their reflection in the pool,
for Taj redeems from the dark
draped in the blue of night, and dazzle –
like all the jewels of the universe
heaped at once by the banks of Yamuna;
of a painter’s luscious dream
conceived in the eyes of his muse;
and a poet’s beautiful thinking hand,
ink smelling, love-loss smelling, hope smelling
striding the pages in a lyrical delirium.
Fragrant wind pants through the
archways, honouring dead poets
whose verses float on the bejewelled walls,
engraved in sensuous calligraphy;
stopping at the foyer for a while,
beneath the echoing marble sky,
delving into an indecipherable hush-hush
with the ghosts of dead lovers,
before rushing headlong out to the gardens.

I look out at the wasted earth of our being.
Deserted meadows of fruits trampled to dust,
and thorny hedges growing in the alley
where I remember having pulled you aside
to kiss your lips, to touch
your smooth midriff.
In the clearing of trees where
in a hammock we splayed out,
lowering our eyes to the blemishes of sun
and napped—my chin to your nape,
your waist to my stomach,
two human commas, pausing
their life sentences to be each other’s;
now lies a deep abyss, filled with burnt out
suns of solitary days.

I wonder if you will ever return
with a full moon in your thoughts,
and replace the fallen crown of our legacy.
Trust me for once, if you do, no heath will be too
arid for flowers to bloom again,
no sky too morose to cast a blessing rain.
And in the clearing we shall lie all over again,
chasing gold deers and swimming in rivers,
inspiring this new generation with our old, eternal love.
In this deep ravine of longing,
will you not seek to redeem our pride
by restoring our history with your forgiveness,
for the world to swoon, like Taj Mahal on moonlit nights?

© Sobhan

Forest Fire | Day 11 | #NaPoWriMo

Forest Fire | Day 11 | #NaPoWriMo
~ Sobhan Pramanik | Monday, April 24, 2017 | |
Forest Fire

Some loves
arrive as quietly
as mornings
in a forest.
Jets of daylight
burst through the
foliage and trickle
down branches,
gulping along
their way the
minty night from
cold leaf-tips.
It then sips into
the ferny bed,
caressing our
fallen leaves with
a rekindled hope.

Now when such
love sets on us,
it is obviously no
regular dusk.
For the receding
light of our
wounded souls,
scatters the sky
with scarlet grief,
as the diving winds
brush our unrequited
ends to stoke a
gouging fire.

© Sobhan

Absolved in Jhelum | Day 10 | #NaPoWriMo

Absolved in Jhelum | Day 10 | #NaPoWriMo
~ Sobhan Pramanik | Saturday, April 22, 2017 | |

It had been a year
my eyes last met
your wounded glee
in the windy murmur
of thawing snows.

This April sun
wilting the plains,
there tints the
white rivulets of
Jhelum in gold.
As they sigh
down valleys and
jingle past forests,
like the ankled feet
of a gliding woman.

Apple yards of Pahalgam
must be back to flowers.
White buds lacing
shiny green canopies,
gearing for the
September harvest,
when the sweet aroma
of ripened apples
shall mask the acrid
gunpowder odour.

Cable cars like the
oval backs of ladybirds,
sure are treading the
frosty Gulmarg sky.
Taking visitors and skiiers
to Aparwath from Kungdoor,
to sprawling white acres
of frozen sea that was
crimson the last spring.

Winding alleys of Downtown
that flares up Friday noons,
with Tehreek raining stones
at the forces and their
retaliation with toxic bursts
of fire and gases;
all of it culminating in quiet
once the moon stealthily surfaces,
gleaming atop the night's still lake.

Normalcy is somehow always
imposed, restored post a furrore.
It is in the middle of a summer
that I wish to return, when you
won't have snow shawls
to hide your scars.
And unclad we will lie
between the waves of Jhelum,
our sliced backs to the Earth,
seeking luminescence
to our dreaming eyes
beneath the merciful Heaven,
against the blinding pellets
that has become our fate.

© Sobhan

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