In an early morning in late September I made a visit to Kunjnagar haat. The street from Falakata to Kunjnagar was almost deserted. A few peasants in lungi and napkin sat on haunches on the both sides of the street and smoked bidis and began day’s gossip. The village was all silent. Rows of betel nut trees guarded the tin-roofed huts. I passed the neighbourhood and came soon to the open ploughed fields and drove straight to the haat. Some dogs lied at one corner of the haat like logs of wood. The haat was littered with plastic cups, bottles,
One winter afternoon I went to Galakata haat. It was on the western side of Jaldapara forest. On a clear noon one could eye the treetops of the forest, swaying and singing, from the haat. And in the evening one could see the line of men and women carrying homes loads of lakri and pieces of timber on their heads from the forest. They were all set towards their huts. Of course there were some patches of greenery and some acres of tea foliage, and some peasant huts stood at the extreme outskirts of the forest. But the tall trees
Between the Jaldapara forest and the village lay an acre of land, cultivated, furrowed, unweeded. Yards had patches of all sorts of vegetables, maize, and tall lean betel nut trees. Men and women still working on their fields. Children were all barefoot and some of them had running nose. Elderly men and women sat on their haunches on the dusty path, and gossiped. It was winter. The day was chill and icy. The sun for the whole day hid his face under the veil of smoky clouds. And a mild breeze blew. It added more bitterness to the cold. Still
At Kunjanagar beside the potholed street stood I at blazing sunset lone. The orange cloudlets scattered the western horizon. Slowly evening descended, and tiny dew droplets began falling. The birds went home and stopped their songs and fell soon asleep. But a wayward parrot flicked in the air still. Later a full moon bathed the harvested field, and crickets sang incessant, and eyes feasted on fireflies’ dance round the bogs. Frogs croaked, and the clusters of stars hung heavy over me. The silence broken by the occasional barking of the dogs and motorcycles’ whiz. The air was heavy with scent
A gifted versetile writer who writes excellent stories and poems on the invisibles, pariahs, margins, aged, weaklings of our society. A rising star on the literary firmament.
“Your story Undersell left me with a lump in my throat, so did your poem, He also lights candles.”
"A finely honed observational piece recording the minutiae of everyday life. Rendered with the author’s customary poetic aplomb suffused with a Borges like quality of the mythic."