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Quotes Box

"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."

Adolescent Summer

Adolescent Summer
~ Sobhan Pramanik | Sunday, March 18, 2018 | |
it's still some time
for summer, but the tropic
sun is already harsh.
a brisk walk causes
my head to perspire,
and the hibiscus too
on my window has
begun to wilt at dusk.
it's what one would call
an adolescent summer.
but i loathe adolescence.
i loathe adolescence for
the soft bristles of hair
that made my face patchy,
and bore my voice an impolite
androgenous lilt that made
me sound confident, but
never convincing. i loathe
it for i how i discovered
myself in the dark: feeling
places that i never knew
was part of me. of blood
pumping into my groins,
and blissful contractions
lived over and over again
in secret sanctity.
i loathe adolescence for how
internet became interesting.
how the thirteen something
who had to be reprimanded
to finish homeworks and tied
shoelaces, grows the wisdom
overnight of realizing the most
genuine of humane truths through
loud voyeurism on adult websites.
i loathe adolescence for the
aloneness it brought to my thoughts.
for the new feelings that though
being powerful and spontaneous,
was surmised as a fleeting emotion.
most of all, i loathe adolescence
for how seeing her would cause
my heart to start thudding in my
chest, and my palms would go sticky,
and i would helplessly harden
only to be adjudged as an infatuation.
because of course, she too has been
preached the same: to not believe in
the truth of her body, to disregard
growing up, to shun love.
i loathe adolescence for
how it was trying to grow
me up, make a natural
evolutionary difference to
who i was, and the world
dismissed it all as unreal.
no wonder how broken relations
are now an everyday reality, and
people move on with broken hearts,
like they had with scraped knees,
with an 'ouch' and a band-aid of
'chuck it' stuck across it.
easy, and without remorse.
aren't we, after all, reared
to not take feelings seriously,
from the time we begin
to feel it all?

Terrains of Truth

Terrains of Truth
~ Sobhan Pramanik | Sunday, March 18, 2018 | |
i remember being with a
trekkers tribe once at the
Shivalik in Himachal.
amongst a drunken,
singing ring of
backpackers around a
sputtering golden fire,
and four greasy whole chickens
sweating on the flames.
the stars hung low in
the night’s looming net:
like balled tea leaves in a
strainer, as we drank the dark
that filled the cup of our eyes,
over moist whispering and words
that became intangible
smoke leaving our mouth.
‘it's gonna get colder through
the night’, the instructor remarked
gulping from his hip flask.
that all tracks would be
snow laden tomorrow, and we
would have to shovel our ways
into the trek. but I wonder anyone
paid a heed. we were stranded at
a remote hilltop cut off from all
possible mode of communication -
from sustainability and comfort,
from sunshine and abundant oxygen.
and the only way out being the way ahead:
of wading through steep snowy terrains,
and unyielding pine forests
waving in the blizzard with ice in their veins.
i sensed a deja vu,
for it felt a lot like love.
of how it happens to us.
and when. amid the wilderness
of our hearts when we are
most unguarded, open,
vulnerable. when our feelings
are buds unopened, seeking
sunshine, and the sky denies
and darkens, raining in hails
to deny all blossoms of desire.
i have known people perish in
test, giving up, renouncing thereafter
the idea of courtship. but i have also
known souls who braves the
torment with arms crossed on their
wounded chest, half-smiling and
hopeful about gentle winds and clear
sunshine that lurks behind all devastations.
that night on the mountain i was
glad to be be amongst the tougher
bunch. the ones who looked ahead,
into the climb, on an airless,
snow-shielded morning on the Himalayas.
the ones who didn't consider calamities,
let alone fear, put up against
their ardent love for mountains.
and as it started to snow with flakes
floating into our faces, i saw men lift
their smiling gazes at each other,
opening their arms in welcoming
to their partners who nestled in their chest
with trembling jaws and purest joy.
i watched them retire to tents,
booze in hand and clammy chunks
of chicken on paper plates.
and surrounded by the medley of
feasting shadows on fluttering
tent walls, i felt no cold, no hunger.
but the profound reverberation of
hearts put together in hardship
caressing my conscience -
that love and only love is the
answer to this ailing world
fragmented by differences -
like forgotten songs awoken
in one’s heart and set on tune,
to a lost lover’s forgiving kiss.

So You Know

So You Know
~ Sobhan Pramanik | Sunday, March 18, 2018 |
i am not used
to the water.
and at the gentlest
dash of waves
i stiffen and 
stumble; falling over
breathless, as broken sheets
of sea empty my toes
of muddy sand,
and i claw at the
seabed with all
my might to hold
up against the current.
once the
waves are gone,
and the new ones
swell at a distance,
i sit embedded on
the shore like a
washed-up water
weed, as my hands
form determined roots
into the yielding brown mud,
and a cluster of shells
in chalky hues
gather in my
clenched palm.
the new wave is a
frail one; it breaks
a long way from the
shore, and eddies of salt
rupture sunshine into
liquid rainbows under
my heels. i nonetheless
grip the beach harder,
digging my fingers deeper
into the bed, as a dozen
more shells press into my fist.
i vouch to bring them
home for you; something
from my marine odyssey.
so you know nothing
can shell your life, as long
as you wish to blossom.
so you know that life
can thrive in worst
captivations, as long
as you dare to endure.
so you know you aren't
ever powerless,
or inferior than any,
when a handful of
dead crustaceans
stuck between fingers,
can keep a human
from losing to the sea.

Season of Void

Season of Void
~ Sobhan Pramanik | Sunday, March 18, 2018 |

days have started to die late.
the dusk grieves along the
skyline in wails of red, soaked
by the uncaring monotony
of this city. i already miss
the early stars blushing in
masks of fog; the cold tremor
of leaves; and the winter breeze
that cracked my lips and flaked my scalp.
the onset of summer annoys me,
just as the unwarranted departure
of winter upsets my heart. did I
not love you enough? i wonder.
beaten blankets strung in empty
balconies flutter lightly
on nylon ropes: as if they were all
prepared to bid adieu;
to let go, and espouse the spring.
this frail January heat wounds
my memories, and i remember
the moisture between your fingers
on exhausted evenings: their soft
saline taste while you caressed
my face between your palms, like an
ocean wave lapping against my cheeks
as I napped tired on the shore.
but i have come to hate summers
for that one sultry evening
you left in my study your goodbye.
a transformer had blown off
down the street, and the blackened
night had men huddling outside
their homes with torches in their hands,
and salted peanuts in paper cones.
i passed out in the dark
with your note on my perspiring chest,
crumpled by fingers in disbelief. and i
had woken up to a similar, defunct reality:
of people having moved on with life,
as if there were no disruptions,
as if they were always prepared,
as if they all slept sound the night before:
on lavish mattresses, and in the
supple skin of their wives.
not grieving is no strength, but betrayal -
to the love you wove with pearls of tears,
and the puffing truth of your breathing.
being prepared for departures is no valor
but weak roots of love. i shall weep this
winter’s going, and be cold to the spring
flowers in my backyard. i shall loathe the
summer thereafter for the way it would
reignite her smell in my heart.
but then seasons return to our tired longings,
unlike loves that wash clear our imprints on
their bodies beneath tender touches of
juvenile passion. you see, goodbyes are not
meant for those who return. and those who
wouldn’t, never loved enough to pay for parting.

Fly Away

Fly Away
~ Sobhan Pramanik | Sunday, March 18, 2018 |

the pavements have swelled
with the thicket of boys. and the
rustic clamour of their lives drift into
my room coloured in January sunshine.
i watch them in vibrant apparels
huddled across the street: their faces
lifted to the sunlit sky, and
a legion of fluttering kites
swim in and out of their squinting eyes.
there's Mustaq at the promenade –
an oversized flimsy maroon sunglass
rests on his firm cheek bones,
with his sister behind him. a reeling
spool of glittering manza in her hands
while he stands upright like a mast
in sea-songs, his fingers wound around
the string, at the far end of which soaring
loosely in the blue was his kite. he tugs at
the chord as the kite dips against the wind,
passing close to another kite flying in
from the smoky northern sky. the spool
whirls faster in the girl’s grip and Mustaq’s
arms row in sync, as the strings
invisibly lock in the firmament.
as his kite starts to float away owned by
the wind, Mustaq stands sucking the blood
on his finger with a smirk in his eyes. a
boisterous cheer from the adjacent colony
rides the wind to them. and even before his
lilting kite vanished from the sky –
fading like a speck of fly ash in the face of light –
in a fall to earth or torn by a stray tree wing;
i watch him on his knees on the dust mattered pavement,
stringing a new kite, for a new flight.
it’s better that way, i assume. to not know if love
returned home or got wasted midway; and
instead set out for a new meaning. i recount
myself on the pavement beside Mustaq, flying
away with my aspirations till she joined me
under the sun, and i let the manza loose on my
fingers, surrendering to the romance that sliced
my skin and spilled my blood.
only that i never flew a second kite again.
not wanting to be wounded;
not wishing to wound her.
© sobhan
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