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Dear Calcutta

June 27, 2020 | By

If you are away from your loved ones, write a letter. Write a letter as long as you have someone to deliver it to. Write a letter if you have an address to reach.

calcutta artwork

Dear Calcutta, artwork by Piu Mahapatra

Dear ‘Calcutta’,

I know ‘You’ are not doing great. There are so many articles, live and loud which keep informing me, changing the color of my dreams, that you are breathing shallowly. But I know, ‘You’ are breathing alright!

We have satellite visions on our blue screens, which zoom close to ‘You’ and I can almost see ‘Your’ chest heaving up and down softly in the moist darkness.

It is night there when the sun shines here.

I can see my dad sitting in the verandah, half awake in the humid darkness. His friends visit him, his brother as well, who had always beat him in the race of life and death. They come in the darkness of the night whispering to him the tales of a bygone time, their time spent with ‘You’. In between he cautiously jerks the tiny medicine bottle in his open mouth and few sugary globules land on his limp tongue, almost dry and few moonlit globules roll out to fall from the railing. They shine like tiny white lights of a sorcerer’s stone.

‘You’ never sleep! ‘You’ stay up with him religiously, every night! I stay up with ‘You’ as well, just across the ocean with a skyfull of sunshine.

It is daytime here when the darkness settles there!

They say that ‘You’ are never cautious and keep on committing mistakes. There are so many TV channels today with their wise hosts with their authoritative tones that almost convince me every day, never to return to ‘You’. But in spite of all that, ‘You’ are so forgiving at the very same time!

From the verandah, in the darkness choking around, I can see my dad looking down at the city, lying still. The green has vanished almost like a bat of an eyelash. Even from the satellite I can see the ugly network-towers standing tall, looming still.

At night, they march softly towards him, coming closer and tightening the circle. His forehead shines with the thin layer of sweat that softly drips along the brow moistening his eyes. Then all of a sudden, as if like a magic, ‘You’ flow in a river wind from somewhere, far away. The sweat doesn’t dry up easily but the eyes do.

Letter to Myself During the Days of Corona

Letter to Myself During the Days of Corona – LnC Series by Piu Mahapatra

I know my friend, ‘You’ also whimper for those deep rooted mates of ‘You’ whom we have chopped, tugged, uprooted. We have meticulously covered the wounds with bricks and stones. Yet ‘You’ bring monsoon every year for my dad and all those who sweat alone and stay up at night in their tiny verandahs.

I also feel the cool draft sweeping and tugging my skirt as I walk down the trail flooded by sunbeam.

It is still dry here when it is almost monsoon there.

Promise me, ‘You’ will take care of them and keep on breathing and making more mistakes till I come back to ‘You’. Or, even if I don’t.

Warmly,
Yours

(Artwork: Piu Mahapatra)

Click here to read more Letters to Myself During the Days of Corona every Saturday.😊

A painter, facilitator, and art consultant by profession, Piu never let go the opportunity to work around and along with the ‘Curious little George’ of different schools in India and abroad. Her articles on art education and awareness have been published in different contemporary art journals of India and Virginia for more than a decade. She loves to let her hair go down and often makes pathetic attempts to write poetry and short stories for children. The only thing she has ever done good is letting her son soar high and low with his wings open wide and fear-free.
All Posts of Piu Mahapatra

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We may see certain things that attract our eyes but we should follow our heart because when we listen to and trust our heart, it is usually right and we are happier as a result.