Poem -`14 (5.2)

 Teesta Review: A Journal of Poetry, Volume 5, Number 2. November 2022. ISSN: 2581-7094

Prabal Kumar Basu (poet) with translations by Armaan Singh

3 poems by Prabal Kumar Basu: www.prabalkumarbasu.com

All translated by Armaan Singh

A Family Chair

My inheritances are humble

Among them

An incredible chair deserves the attention

Seated upon it

Everyone looks the same

My grandfather used to sit on it

Later followed by my father

And my Father minutely resembled the grandfather’s image


Just to avoid getting into the trap of resembling the father

I always avoided this chair


I made unknown figures sitting on this chair

And found out each of them resembled the other

I experimented with my friends

Even with my relatives whom I failed to differentiate

After seating on this


When the wives of my friends

Saw my wife using the chair

They expressed their desire to sit upon

And in fear, I hid it from their reach


I reckon every god would look the same

Once they were made to sit upon this chair

Even all the religions would become the same

Obliterating the divisions


This chair is not a royal one

Rather a piece of everyday furniture

Made of good quality woods

If, any one of you, lacks adequate faith in yourself

You may come and sit on this chair

And discover

Who do you really are, and whom do you resemble in real?


A labyrinth

After the demise of my father

I started looking through the trash he left behind

While throwing away  most

 something suddenly caught my attention in the junk

There was a lane that he had left behind


Later I had understood

That lane was my sole inheritance


When he was alive, he hadn't  mentioned this lane ever

Whether he got it from his father

Or this lane leads to anywhere

For whatever reason

That information was undisclosed


What would I do with this lane?

Before comprehending this simple fact

I found myself ambling through this lane

Hoping that lane must lead me

To the highway

Father had left me years ago

but since I got into that lane

from narrow to wide

from straight to twisted

neither of those lanes could lead me to the highway


Did my father too waste his life

by getting himself into a lane like this

and wandering forever around the labyrinth?


Or does an inherited lane

Never lead to a highway?



Can anyone tell me?

Some men possess an unusual type of balcony

Standing on which

No human can be seen

Only the shadows lurk

No tree comes in the eyesight,

Neither the birds

though the shadows grow longer


The shadow of an invisible lamp-post

Occupies the footpath

Standing on such a balcony

How could I catch the right?


From such a balcony I keep my watch

Over the city

That is devoid of houses,

Only the shadows of the houses

Stay alive


In those shadow abodes

Live the shadowy citizens

Can anyone tell me

Which one of these houses

Belong to Rukmini? 

I need her

As I had left my long-lost river to her

And I desire to walk on the shores of that river

With her

For one last time

But how can I detect Rukmini’s house?

Is it possible to determinate from the shadows?


Interliminal Encounters: Indian and Australian writers in po(i)etic dialogue, eds Amelia Walker and Aden Burg