I’m 23 and I’m Wearing a White Kurta

I’m 23 and I’m Wearing a White Kurta

I’ve heard bleeding of grasses.
I’ve heard peeling of onions.

Drop by drop.
Skin by skin.

Emotions, slashed on the cutting board.

Please don’t splash that. Please don’t.
Tomato-blood;
I’m 23 and I’m wearing a white kurta.

Most days are bland. Most days are good.
Most days are days of dogs and kittens.

Most days are sure. Most days are true.
Most days are pages. Most days are chairs.
Most days,
I’m 23 and I wear a white kurta.

I’ve stepped on stones.
Stones have history.
History of marks.
Marks of water.
Water of ‘Me’.
‘Me’s of density
Smoked and bewildered.

Opening and not opening.
And not closing.
And not chasing.

Keys, hurling familiar sounds.
I know,
I’m 23 and I’m wearing a white kurta.

Somedays it’s the sun.
Somedays it’s the rebound.
Somedays it’s the hillside ground
Somedays it’s the hollow, hollow ground
Somedays it’s with a ballad, with a sweet ballad
Somedays it’s the sudden flushes of the landscape.

Lift me over human cravings,
Lift me over these ‘somedays’
Lift me, so that I can see,
I’m 23 and I’m wearing a white kurta.

The untruth of being
The shackled heart
The colossal loss
The intrepid woe
All circumvolve

Into nothingness.
Nothingness of sarees
Sarees of colour
Colour of consciousness
Consciousness of sea
Sea, the febrile sea.

When the zero hour closed in
Someone whispered,
‘Are you 23 and are you wearing a white kurta?’

I scarcely comprehend the words,
‘I’ve lived’ or ‘You’ve lived’
When I’ve made sense of,
‘I’m the thought of things’
When I’ve made sense of
Something less fleshed than time.

The time of the melancholic moon.
Alone, important and wise.
Darker than earth’s dark.

The first day after death,
When grief stopped being a purse,
I realised,
I’m 23 and I’m wearing a white kurta.

 

By Sreyash Sarkar

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