Inspired by … a twist on a prompt offered by Kay Gabriel during a meeting she facilitated at the Poetry Project last year. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a two-part poem, in the form of an exchange of letters. The first stanza (or part) should be in the form of a letter that you write either to yourself or to a famous fictional or historical person. The second part should be the letter you receive in response.
In the end of the 19th Century, in rural Bengal, dacoits used to send letter to the rich landlords letting them know of their arrival. The characters here are two of such historical figures.
I roleplay as the Dakaat or Dacoit…
To Zamindar Babu,
I heard you’re getting your son married two weeks from now. I and my gang will be coming to your heavenly haven to-night for the feast. Nothing much we asked for. Pulao and Mutton and sweetmeats will suffice our appease. Now don’t say no as the money for the occasion not yours. This is the loot that you looted from the poor and hungry farmers and villagers. On this draught and dry season you have levied taxes high and on non-payment have confiscated the lands. So when the night will be at mid and pack of wolves will howl, we’ll knock at your door. Keep it open for us.
From Your Well Wisher
P.S. If you think to let the daroga know, then be ready for larger consequence. Kali Ma have eyes everywhere.
To Haru Dakaat,
You are thinking I will be scared of you. Before you sent the letter, I have requested Thompson Sahib to appoint some of his men as the guards at the doors. Let me tell you one thing, a word man to man. Thompson Sahib as daroga is notorious and popular for arresting the rodents like you. As this letter being written a group of twelve policemen are taking their position. You’re welcome at the premise of my humble abode but not inside it. They will welcome you all with the rifles. And there will be my gang of lethels to entertain you. Come quickly. Don’t be late.
Your Well Wisher