To Ghalib, With Love
Written by Tathagata Banerjee
There’s still some rainwater, lingering on my window-pane
Like a scent that has still not faded from the air,
Some stories just keep on being alive…
Deeply buried hushed emotions did, as always, fail to find a language.
Ghalib, I’ve always been fascinated by the stories that I gather
What do I have to do with poems, after all…
These half-hearted could’ve-beens are just like old novels
It’s been ages since I last turned a page or two
Ghalib, my pen’s getting older by the century in every passing hour
I’m barely alive, my voice and breath getting choked every now and then…
Humanity has a price in the stock market now,
And we’ve only condemned the society and avoided shadows
Which take us, back to us…
Like a harrowing silence, it becomes a practice slowly
To try to find darkness in the brightest of days
I’ve spent a few lifetimes in the search of my own name
In old, forgotten black and white papers and documents.
Ghalib, when will I ever have a moment of peace
To look at the mirror, like you did…
And when all was said and done
And I’ve taken roads which led me to nowhere,
Ghalib, I too have felt the heaviness in my steps,
All those voices that were known once in another life
I can’t seem to distinguish them now from the railroad crowds.
Ghalib, I too have known a thing or two about melancholia and pain;
It’s only that, I’m no poet.