The city of joy
She wakes up before dawn,
Dips herself into the holy Hoogli river.
Her mane, dripping wet.
Droplets from her hair leaving trails
On the steps of Babughat.
She cooks in the morning.
The tang of her macher jhol
And Alu posto,
Fills the air of her para.
At midday, she can be seen,
At the academy,
In the strokes of an underrated artist's brush.
From the rap cyphers at Nandan
to the cacophony of Esplanade.
The bustling noise of the traffic
Narrating stories that are left untold.
Stories of her life.
The crowd of office goers on the train,
A metro ride to Uttam Kumar,
Bargaining with the yellow taxi driver,
Kathi rolls at park street,
Watching young love on the benches of Sarobar,
The artistry at Kumortuli.
She has ample stories
To fill up all the pages, the world could provide
When the sun goes down
She can be seen under the red lights.
Dressed in glitters that will blind your eyes.
Layers of makeup to hide her pain.
She sells herself,
To satisfy your greed and lust.
Sometimes she lights up a joint at the green zone
Sometimes overburdened by expectations and responsibilities,
she collapses at Majherhat or Ganesh talkies.
At the end of the day
She returns home to her daughter.
With just enough money to buy her books
No new clothes for her this Durga puja.
She laughs, she cries
She is innocent yet wise
She is crowded, still lonely
Filled with art, but no one to buy.
The city of joy has teary eyes.