Niladri Mahajan

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Jalebi of Mani’s Shop

These semi-precious ornaments
Of liquid golden hue, they filled it with the sweet sap
Of sugar—the very outlook causes watering in mouth
That melts and crackles under the tongue and dissolves
A forgetful evening. Home-bound passengers from local trains,
As they return, all in a hurry like with a puff of muri seldom,
The exchange of a 10 rupee note, I bag it every-time
Absently watching bright-scarlet clouds, as a bandish of Purvi darks,
Afterwards, taste of jalebis from Mani’s shop matures
The occasional flavor of a high tea in my home.

Mithuda’s Fuchka

All they gather around the glass-box, contains the timid appearances
Of these fragile creatures, the delicious fuchka-just like the youth of a
Tenderly teenage girl. Her lovely glances and faintly noticeable breasts
Visible from their very first looks that might are poured with tamarind
Water and tangy lemon juices or magic masalas, as Mithuda’s hand
Delivered promptly in circles, and rows: both boys and girls, college
Students, matured boudis around Barasat, retried school masters,
Audiences from evening shows of nearby cinema hall Chhyabani, all they
Come, have the newest gossips and complete short surveys of the town
By the shop-owner. You can frequently have there, any acquaintances from
Your batchmates to an old flame very aptly and easily as you are quickly
Galloping, munching your evening invariably here, if in Barasat
Happily, with a smile under the silvery moon.

Notes: I breathe in an unreal city, Barasat, which came into existence a thousand years ago. I feel its uncanny touch whenever life passes through dark phases of the moon. The Mani’s shop or Mithuda’s fuchka are integral parts of our day to day living.

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An award winning poet and a computational biologist, Niladri Mahajan lives in Kolkata with his mother. He is also a painter and musician with a strong inclination towards cinema and photography. In his past time he practices as a counseling psychologist.

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