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Recalling my Tagore on a rainy day

By Shouvik Banerjee

I could hear the drizzle, rhyming to an unknown, unseen melody. A light breeze disturbed the curtains from time to time. My mind longed to float beyond the concrete. The wind was not restive, but the mind…

The clock struck eight times, to break the unusual, against-the-routine enjoyment of a delayed engagement with the bed. I remembered it was a holiday that stood before me awaiting orders; and, the first orders could only be to lengthen – with acute professionalism – the process of yawning, lying among kind pillows…

My student conscience started functioning, only with the first sip at the morning cup. But a rainy sky has its own temptations, unpredictable. I had to offer excuses before reason; for, I wanted the laws to loosen the bridle a bit; for, I wanted my share of the falling drops, and the consequent rising sensations…

Once child Rabi decided upon getting drenched in the rains to avoid his studies for the next couple of days but, to his great disappointment, the next morning did not show enough promise of a much-expected high fever. Just my case! Just my luck! I could sense Tagore within me, indeed, and understood why the Bengalis feel his presence so dearly!

The winds had taken control; the pond and the cloud met, exchanging raindrops. Jayasingha was sitting beneath his thatched roof, torn between conflicts of faith and disbelief. The rain danced on the leaves like a chorus in ancient Greece. A leaf poured its green onto another and so on, till a little stream disappeared into the wet sod. Jayasingha sat watching, clueless of the consequences to come; awaiting a dungeon of darkness…

The blue umbrella demanded attention, or maybe the attention directed me onto it. I lost hold of the sea of green. Reality forced in, naturally, for dreams are of the poets to behold. As I gathered myself into the balcony, the pillows fostered empty dreams…

An afternoon sky sought refuge in the wet, pregnant landscape. Santiniketan must have conceived ‘Meghdut’ in such an afternoon; as it must have quenched the thirst of some weary lark; as it must have moved to the breeze of some magnanimous shade by the lonely path…

It was in the mood of such a time to be seeking solitude. Ratan did not want to believe in her orphaned existence as her dear Dadababu prepared to leave for Kolkata. The enclosure of walls echoed her cries back to her wet throat; but not the man she held so close. Feeble hearts about to give up their last strength bathed in the pouring rain to strive for lost life. Thirsts refused to be quenched, minds denied to be understood, as defied description…

I regained composure, because my parents had returned and assumed control. As my mother entered my room with the request for a poem on the rainy season, my words left me only with some sort of a nursery rhyme, which I believed had been long acquired when my grandfather recited to me from Tagore’s rhymes, in my childhood…

Sometimes these, sometimes those
They move and dance
To some unknown note
Like a chorus in an ancient ode;

Wet petals hide behind them
As do the homeless ant
They are shelters of peace
When heaven weeps rampant.

A treat to the eyes,
A dancer to the thunder
Let the leaves green
Grow in number…

[Photo credit: Shouvik Banerjee]

Author:
Shouvik Banerjee is currently a student at the Department of English, Jadavpur University, pursuing his postgraduate degree. He completed his graduation from Ramakrishna Mission Residential College, Narendrapur in 2015.

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For more stories, read Café Dissensus Everyday, the blog of Café Dissensus Magazine.

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