The mini bus rattled on

As I made myself comfortable

On the seat next to

A slit of a window

Praying for a draught of fresh air

To chase away the muggy suffocation inside

Sat next to me a bearded man with

Hooded eyes who stole shy glances at me

My cheeks burnt as I returned his gaze

Through the corner of my eyes

A man with a handsome, rugged face

In whose arms women would give their lives to be

But such luxuries were not for me, I knew

So I turned towards the window

A dreary road whizzed past

Flanked by skeletal buildings whispering history

Centuries old or more

The deep dug trenches in the middle of the road

Tearing the heart of the asphalt

Stretched endlessly

I was told that the city was getting a face lift!


My carrier slowed at a traffic light

Amidst rubble and dirt piled high by the roadside

A little naked boy with a stray puppy beside

Played in the grime

Unfazed by the murk that life

Had callously bestowed on him

In awed silence I watched them both

The boy scavenged from the heap of rubbish

A dirty piece of bread half eaten

And broke it into two halves

One he offered the pup

The other half he kept for himself perhaps

The pup wagged its little fluffy tail in unkempt delight

Shocked, I shied away from the barren sight


Torn between dreams of ravishes of an inchoate romance

And rude, ragged reality

I oscillated like a ravaged pendulum

As time stood by…..


That is how I stumbled into the alien world of the ‘City of Joy’

Wondering whether the surprises that life sprang at us

Were manmade or God’s vitriolic ploy


14 responses »

  1. nadi says:

    write on, Geetashree

  2. Dear Geeta,

    It was beautiful. You have this knack of combining tragic and harmonious things together. Keep at it.

  3. gc1963 says:

    Thanks Eva for reading it.

  4. Eva Bell says:

    Yes, ‘City of Joy’ is a city of million dreams and frustrations. You’ve captured the many faces of Kolkata

  5. gc1963 says:

    Shernaz, I am much inspired by your lines as well. Thanks

  6. gc1963 says:

    Thanks Sunamu Sir for the note of appreciation!

  7. gc1963 says:


    The poem revives a few of the stark memories of my stormy struggling days in Kolkata more than a decade back. Thanks for reading it.

  8. gc1963 says:

    Dear Vimala,

    Life does present a few hard lessons for us to learn from and be grateful to God for the ample that we have already got.

  9. gc1963 says:

    Thanks Beyniaz

  10. Shernaz says:

    As always, Geeta, your words flow enchantingly…

  11. sunamu says:

    A lovely narrative … beautiful in design…content…and expression.

  12. Thanx Shree! Welcome to Kolkata! Its a lovely poem that echoes the sentiments of many hearts.

  13. vimalaramu says:

    Stark sentiments, Geeta.Pleasure to go through.

  14. Beyniaz says:

    Nice poem on Kolkata.

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