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0.10 Expressions :
The Home and The World

Photographs by Ronald Tuhin D'Rozario

Take some time to observe these prompts and let your thoughts flow. Try to create a poem, short story or any form of written expression that your thoughts inspire. Whether it's a few lines or a few pages, there are no limits to your creativity. Share your draft with us at mysticetimagazine@gmail.com to get featured in our Expressions space.

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I captured a series of seven photographs of a pigeon searching for twigs and gathering them to build a home. I call it 'Ghare-Baire' / 'The Home and The World,' a title from Satyajit Ray's film.

Ronald Tuhin D'Rozario

The Home and The World by Ronald Tuhin D'Rozario

create

The Home and The World by Ronald Tuhin D'Rozario

solitude

The Home and The World by Ronald Tuhin D'Rozario
The Home and The World by Ronald Tuhin D'Rozario

nurture

search

The Home and The World by Ronald Tuhin D'Rozario

journey

sanctuary

The Home and The World by Ronald Tuhin D'Rozario

home

The Home and The World by Ronald Tuhin D'Rozario

The pinch of household grief

/ under-expressed, over felt /

 by Sanjana Mukund

Three hundred-odd books

 

Oddly chosen, mindlessly arranged

In gliding shelves of a rosewood case

Novels, biographies, textbooks and guides

Romance, philosophy, business, spirituality

The daughter walks past ruffling

Wispy pages

 

Peppered with years of dust, neglect, wistful ignorance

Grief smirks in the flutter of her parental relationship

A falling copy

1998, Bangalore airport

 

Scrawled into the unassuming margins

Of a soft bound Shobhaa De

She picks that which she has been dealt

 

 

While

 

The room next door pays witness to

Newspapers, brushes, brooms and dustpans

Cartons of collective documentation

Bills, insurance, agreements, a tissue or two

Signed, forgotten, misnomered, damp

The wife voids her emptiness

 

With the weight of paperwork and legal respite

She closes

The mirrored wardrobe in her marital bedroom

Yearning for a chance to reflect

A sane conversation

 

Grief moistens as she wipes

Unforgiving tears a millionth time

A third tissue to her rescue

Grief bites as she holds

 

The chambers of a heart that froze

To a husband who never came home

 

As lunch approaches, the dine pays heed

Rajma chawal to the accompaniment

Of freshly churned homemade, white butter

The mother laments

And pains every time she lights

 

The embers of gas in her familial kitchen

Grief cackles as do the flames on her stovetop

Dancing to mock

A final meal to her dear son

She could not feed

Grief, like that of a shedding snake

Peels its sedimentary layers

Only to be renewed with a vengeance

A vengeance to be carried lifelong

Until perhaps, one day

The one who holds the grief Is grieved.

September 16, 2023.

Crumbs

By Gowri N Kishore

I trace constellations

on the granight sky

of my kitchen

countertop.

A bit of peel from roasted peanuts,

a pregnant lemon seed;

A wisp of coriander,

not yet wilted,

A sliver of beaten red rice flake.

They form Prandia Majora,

a name I like

more than Late Breakfast.

The sky brow clears for a moment.

A stray sunbeam falls

across my starry points.

Fat dust motes dance attendance.

That instant is morning, noon, and night.

And I wipe out the night sky

with a faded microfiber cloth.

My house is a library of all the people I am.

By Swapnil

To Bougs, my love, my cradle and my home.

The place that birthed the Word.

 

There is a rom-com hiding somewhere. There are thrillers, philosophy and cheap erotica, the kind you find on trains. There are the books that are there because a boy I liked, liked them and there is the soft kind of philosophy masquerading in the science fiction.

 

There are books I borrow for a day, books I borrow for two months, and books that are borrowed but never returned. ‘Loaned for an indefinite time’.

 

There are books are desired and saved for, penny and penny collected for them, but never bought home.

 

And then there are the books that I come back to and discard. Paperbacks that are picked for a moment before I decide to put them back and then there are the ones that catch dust for ages and then are picked one day and stay.

All my selves housed in different shelves, in different forms and different states.

 

There are some which are out of print.

There are some which only come out in the middle of the night, and some that are made for when the dawn hits that blue.

There are a few that long to meet the coffee and a few that the coffee hopes to find.

 

There are some that I have now wrapped up neatly in brown paper. There looms the strange presence of the absent ones, the ones that were lent to people and never came back. Loss, truly, is the ultimate embalmer for immortality.

 

Some have stayed only because of the dedications. Though who am I kidding, there is nothing that could have been discarded from this library.

 

It’s a library of people that I am, could be, have been.

 

It’s a library so naked that I’d flinch on it being witnessed by someone. Each corner of my house, a chapter. Each plant, dead or alive, a sonnet I wasn’t ready to call complete.

My innards like the pages strewn across, ready to be read. The secrets all out, the cipher next to the code.

 

We leave traces of ourselves in the places we’ve been. I wrote epigraphs and epitaphs and maps to myself. My fortune and my horoscope. My tragedy and my comedy all rolled into one. Like Borges’ library of Babylon, all the possibilities and all my realities housed in a house. A little home putting all my selves to sleep.

 

For that, for containing the multitudes and varieties and possibilities of my different selves, for being the kaleidoscope of whatever I can conceive of whatever ‘I’ means.

For that my heart, my soul, my bed, I offer you your own gifts. The key to the map that rests with you.

A tender heart washed clean. Like a cat licking you to sleep.

I have found a home

by Aakansha Ahirwar

I have turned around many tables,

the pink ones, the whites, the blues;

and have sat on those few

that were placed in greenland always

covered with some dew.

These plastic tables would bear my weight,

the mud ones would break

and i would fall and crack like glass utensils

then nothing else I would take.

My first memory is clear

I was making tunnels in sand,

pouring water quietly when needed

from the scorching land.

I was a bud surrounded by flowers

as if pillars branching from a tree

I played with friends on gates

but I never bruised my knee.

I lost myself in colours plenty times

 

one shoe, two shoes. three foot-

and loved to rhyme.

 

I loved singing songs but never from beginning

always to join singing with a fellow being.

I lived in a small town

that started with a narrow beam

like i was born from my mother

on maybe a Thursday eve.

It was red and yellow

with glowing rivers inside

where i swam and swam

like a lamb O bright.

I live outside now

and miss the warm dome

wherein i lived for nine months

 

that i now reminisce- now that i've grown.

I have found a home

I have found a home

on a street that walks till me

where i can play on sand like i did with my mother

and belong there until I please.

MYSTICETI AND FRIENDS:

 

Ronald Tuhin D'Rozario lives in Calcutta. He writes stories, poems, and essays. You can read them at: https://linktr.ee/ronaldtuhindrozario

 

Sanjana is a marketing graduate based in Bangalore. She loves to read, travel and explore different forms of art.

Swapnil, (moonlights as Crookshanks), is an architect and writer currently based in Goa. Curiosity and cats are her guiding lights and her primary area of work is spatial justice. 

 

Gowri is a communication strategist, writer and editor. Visit her website to learn more about her work: https://gowrink.com/

 

Aakansha lives in Jhansi. She loves writing, reading poetry, listening to music, and painting.

 

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