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Thwarted Escape: Poem Inspired By A Book

May 22, 2017 | By

Maya Khandelwal’s evocative review of Lopamudra Banerjee’s memoir ‘Thwarted Escape: An Immigrant’s Wayward Journey’, written in a poetic, lyrical form. Her first attempt at a poetic review of a book.


Thwarted Escape

Thwarted Escape – the non-fiction memoir by Lopa Banerjee

The seed was sown
when both her body
and mind
underwent pregnancy.
The nooks and crannies of
her consciousness,
she scratched,
shutting the world out,
shutting herself in.
There begins,
her journey,
in retrospect,
the kettle of her girlhood,
sharp, shrill, inviting.
Sepia days!
One chasing another !
How like a soothing breeze,
how like a balm!
Her lungs!
They can suck the whole earth!
That’s what her aunt said,
when she was born.
When neglected,
or abused,
she would,
right away,
sashe into the arms,
of Dreams,
of Poetry,
of Love.
She grew up,
to understand
the story of growing up,
the voices shrill,
or coarse,
the Adam’s apple,
the stinking,
sweating, armpits
the acne,
the hormones,
kicking into high gear,
the heat of desires,
the bosoms blossoming!
How she loved rains,
to fill herself,
the waters divine,
suck in the moist air,
the damp earth,
the joys celestial!
Her grandpa died
leaving her young mind
utterly clueless!
why shouldn’t he be there anymore around?
why this touching of his COLD feet,
why everyone moving, round and round?

Her father and she,
were drifting poles apart

It left her lips parched,
with some remnants of gall,
clinging at the tips.
Pleasures and sensations,
she tasted next,
there LOVE took birth,
PASSION aflame,
in the heaves of her ripe chest.
The first kiss,
and the thousands
that followed,
held her captive,
wanting for more!
She was over head and heels
in love,
with books,
Rabindra Sangeet
these fathomed,
the deep most recesses of her soul!
Watching with rapt attention,

a butterfly trying to burst free,
she gasped,
her heart missed a beat!
How her love lorn heart,
longed for the freedom same!
An ultra sensitive soul,
she has died,
a thousand deaths,
time and again,
a Nymph has been ravaged.
Is ‘honour’ just another word?
Her father and she,
were drifting poles apart.
He never made her,
nestle by him,
or allow her,
to slip in,
the cocoon,
of his fatherly arms,
told her not,
the fairy tales,
even once,
late nights,
when all her hungry heart,
would have yearned for ,
to be caressed,
out of love!
Lo! There came
the man of her dreams!
They tied soon,
the wedding lock.
The marriage vows spoken,
the two,
consumed in want.
She could now latch on to,
the series of crashes, thuds of heartbreaks,
the abuses undergone.
The nest was to be built,
in the realms new.
Look! There she stood,
rooted to the ground!
For, there gurgled the Niagara Falls.
She watched and watched,
as if, under a spell,
was that real?
She couldn’t tell.
Something she still missed,
she couldn’t name it though.
Perhaps the annual trips to India,
to parents,
to the world,
she had left behind
the outbursts of anger,
the words, untold.
Her father,
who never spoke his love
was a nervous wreck,
why did she have to leave him behind?
Why did she invite amputation the
from the trunk?
A rotten trunk,
was he going to be ,
he somehow knew.
Her mother would stand forlorn,
shedding the tears of wistful longings.
While, the daughter’s heart,
was forever cursed as though,
to keep aching,
to revisit her mother’s arms,
the havens of her childhood.
She herself knows,
she has to return,
again and again,
a traveller in time,
to pick up,
her scattered pieces.
If God has to be,
the soothing charm,
to her, He dwells not in idols painted,
in hues enchanting,
in rituals elaborate,
in scriptures,
in four walls of the temple.
She beholds her little Gods,
as the messenger in her arms,
sent from the Father Above.
Her daughters.
She nurses her Gods night and day!
Dances with them,
when they flutter their angel wings.
They rock in her arms!
The new world,
that comprises of love,
and gratitude,
has done its best,
to rescue her hungry heart,
from the clutches of guilt,
long harboured regrets,
the shame
of wrong doings.
Alas! Here comes the news
of her world tearing apart!
Her mother’s soft demeanour,
her lilting tunes,
she is to find no more!
She moves around like insane,
inhaling and exhaling pain.
Odd whirr of wings in her head,
she walks in,
as if,
in trance,
where, there lies,
her mother’s COLD body,
clad in white.
The bloody death!
Dancing again!
How to pocket this slap,
burning hot?
How to accept
her mother is no more!
The tanpura!
Her mother so much loved!
It stands as forlorn and overlooked,
as her bereaved daughter does.
She feels like a ghost,
all by herself, in the grip of despair!
Since then,
she has been,
house after house.
But where is the HOME?
She keeps chewing,
the cud,
the cud,
of memories,
the fruity chunks of past.
Craving to touch her roots again!
Will her father,
another lonely ghost,
in the deserted old home,
take her in?
Tell her one first and last a time
how he loved her?
Will he,
amid his way word mumblings,
if she told him,
‘Baba I love you!???’

Author Lopa Banerjee

Author Lopa Banerjee speaking about her book and giving away author-signed copies

More to read about Thwarted Escape

Thwarted Escape: A Cathartic Memoir – Book Review

Bon Voyage: Excerpt from Thwarted Escape: An Immigrant’s Wayward 

Author Lopa Banerjee Launches her Debut Memoir Thwarted Escape: An Immigrant’s Wayward Journey

Fireflies: A Mirror In Which Teenagers Can See Their Images – a review of the fiction written  by Maya Khanedelwal

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Maya Khandelwal is a free-lancer and a language teacher by profession. Rest she is a mother of two children and can be their best pal when the fun cap is on. She is a passionate lover of nature and can commune with it for hours at a stretch. She loves rains and can't resist the sacred drops drench her entire being. Nature, in its various guises, soothes her best in pensive mood. A romantic person at heart, she would often cuddle around her hubby and snatch a 'yes' for a long drive and a 'dhaba' tea whenever it drizzles. She loves soft numbers sung especially by Jagjit Singh. She derives her wells of strength from her husband who has been the proverbial rock in her life. A practical man with business running in his veins like blood, he too has been coloured in the hues of romance after the conjugal bliss of ten years with her. She doesn't hold God in awe. She rather loves Him like she would love her Dad who always understands and listens.
All Posts of Maya Khandelwal

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Today’s Motivation

Restricted patterns of thoughts penetrate our efforts and constrain our existence which stops our development. Phases in our life are like the plateaus (highlands), the steps towards success.  We should not remain on the steps; to progress, we must go beyond them.<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
Restricted patterns of thoughts penetrate our efforts and constrain our existence which stops our development. Phases in our life are like the plateaus (highlands), the steps towards success. We should not remain on the steps; to progress, we must go beyond them.