Remembrace: A Musing | Aindrila Banerjee

Remembrace: A Musing | Aindrila Banerjee

In a worn out cottage amidst lush greenery a battered mother is scrubbing dishes

She is scrubbing as though her life depends on it 

Scrubbing to forget the poignant memories of a lost family

Scrubbing hard as if that would put the pain out that is burning her body

Her face- meek and austere

Her once foreboding eyes, now distant and lost

In the dimly lit theatre this French film is being played

I watch you watch it from the corner of my left eye

I watch a single tear slither down your baby soft cheek

Child-like wonder in your glistening eyes

I know I can’t keep up this masquerade for long

“Time,” they say “is transient”,

Often heavy, flowing and strange 

I am yet to find out how deceitful she is

Two years later, however, I’ll return here, to this very empty theatre 

On a grim December morning when the harsh winds blow

Barefoot and numb and blue 

My heart will throb with painful, washed out memories when I will gradually recollect this day 

How my left arm is soaking up your warmth as my eyes trace the course of the single teardrop

Embarrassed at being caught you smile ruefully, 

I shake my head ,

An indulgent smile playing on my pursed lips 

Here I can delve into the needless intricacies of the rest of the evening 

How we take a walk around the neighbourhood decked in lights

How the Christmas festivities became a warm patch in an otherwise somber memory 

How the steam from the mud tea cups fogs up my glasses as I watched your face gradually disappear from my dwindling vision 

But let’s leave that there 

Two years later on that eventful morning 

I’ll will walk back home from this neighbourhood 

My body – an abyss of broken questions all unanswered 

The city tired and sleeping after last night’s festivities 

Now the film will continue in my dimly lit room

The same woman will scrub,the same melancholy music will play

And on that day I will not get distracted from the rest of it

I will remember how she scrubbed with anger and mock vivacity 

How she dusted her apron with a steady gleam in her eyes,

How her children won’t come back 

But she will set the plates anyway

On that day two years later I’ll realise why that tear had slipped down your face distracting my train of thoughts 

Today however I don’t know

But you are so beautiful now,

Subtitles and foreign films be damned 

I’ll be looking at you anyway.


Written by Aindrila Banerjee

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