National Poem Writing Month 2020: Day 28: Camphor

on

in memory to my Dida…

The morning was the amphitheatre and the room was the stage.

I opened my eyes and alert to the voice clear and coming closer. It’s Sanskrit. She’s chanting the hundred eight names of Krishna. Her voice now can be heard outside the window.

Listen, Hush.

The window a rectangle with high height and medium appropriate breath with long circular bars; a wooden separation runs between. The doors of the window are not faded but dark in color–colored by the time.

Turn on your pillow and lie on your bosom. Look there she is.

With a long iron stick, curved at head, she is making the high out of reach flowers to reach her hand. Her head is covered with the mid of the sharee while the free end where rings of the house tied has been put around her neck.

The whole house scented of camphor and burning incense stick–selected by her inspecting a dozens of variety of smell.

A placid lake the morning used to be in the room. And it’s used to get rippled when Mama, my maternal uncle, used to enter the room after bath filling the room with enhanced smell of the bath soap and his heavy presence.

Now, change the light as it is noon.

The smell of the clay oven coal-smoke still linger in the air. A singular woodpecker pecking on some tree as some other bird singing with its voice at crescendo. Shroud of drowsiness engulfing me as I read some book. She chewing paan and reading the newspaper. A faint smell of zarda can be smelt.

The light of the sun peeping through the boughs and creating abstract pattern on the long-run balcony and on the bed and face. It’s soothing not disturbing or pinching one.

Hush, let me sleep.

Now it’s evening.

Dim the lights as it is powercut and the moon is half crescent; light is dirtied yellow. The breeze of summer evening flowing and she would sat there chanting hymn and calling out the name of the passerby. She could see in the darkness I don’t know how who was passing and asking them of their being…

Wait, what’s this

What’s that smell

And why the room is…dark…

Oh it’s the room where she had been in her last few days and it smell of medicines and her helplessness.

Hush, let me meditate now and get transported to those summer mornings.

No more evening or night for me. Only the morning. And if you can let Mama out. I want her voice chanting and the smell of the incense sticks with the camphor.

(No one can I though know)


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