Note: My poetic tribute to the haunting, melancholic, yet the beautifully touching saga of love gone awry in the hands of destiny, the irresistibly deep and unforgettable chemistry between Mahinder, Maaya and Sudha in Gulzar Saab’s timeless love saga ‘Ijaazat’, based on the Bengali story ‘Jatugriha’, by Subodh Ghosh. The film, unforgettable till today for the tenderly crafted lyrics of Gulzar Saab composed with finesse by the phenomenal R.D. Burman, followed the story of couple who are separated and who accidentally meet in a small waiting room of a railway station and discover some truths about their lives without each other.
Like weary travelers, lost in the waxy orbit of time
We lose our shores, and then, keep coming back
To where our stories began, the Ground Zero
Where you slouched against my caramel skin,
Lost in the deep, blinding maze of a past, passionate, drunk
With the lyrics and heartbeats of Maaya, the wandering girl,
Her eyelashes, soaked with the salt and oil
of the forbidden randomness of your wants.
“Ek akeli chhatri mein jab aandhe aandhe bheeg rahe they
Aadhey sookhey aandhey gile, sookha to main le aayee thi…”
The raindrops pelting on the window where she stood,
Forlorn, dreamy still, asking you to return the cloudbursts
Of your memories in spurts, were mine too, the clouds which I stared at
Like forbidden turrets of your leftover dreams overlooking
Our half-baked love songs, yawning with an emptiness
As I had rinsed off their remnants from our rooms, our plates,
Our cups and dishes, our breaths, entwined, yet not whole.
I did look for you and long to hear the syrupy strains
Of those lovelorn lyrics, which you had once hummed to me.
I did look in the hand-delivered letters of the postman
For the silhouettes of those sullied memories and burnt out poems
Which never reached me, as I settled down, colder, less rippling
And more permissive, in a new mooring.
Forgive me, today, as I dried off your wet hairs, drenched in
Our once-familiar raindrops in an unfamiliar station,
Waking up to dig in the dust of our forgotten, forsaken days
Waking up to your frostbitten face, bursting wide, crooning
In the smoked mirror of this tiny, clumsy waiting room.
Forgive me, like Maaya, the sad, wandering girl who gagged herself
And was washed away in the crossroads of your tyrannical trails,
The sky, drunk, sunken, taking in both our salty waters, and crackling.
Forgive me, today, as I seek your approval, for one last time
To drive off to my moorings now, as you will drive off to your own,
The smudged lines of our story, hanging loose, askance,
In this Ground Zero where we had stumbled upon, and burnt.
All Rights Reserved. Lopa Banerjee. 2017
Lopamudra Banerjee is a writer, poet, editor and translator, currently based in Dallas, USA. She has a Masters’ degree with thesis in creative nonfiction writing from the Department of English, University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is the co-editor of the bestselling anthology on women, Defiant Dreams: Tales of Everyday Divas, published in collaboration with Readomania and Incredible Women of India.
Thwarted Escape: An Immigrant’s Wayward Journey, her debut memoir/nonfiction novel, published by Authorspress, has recently received Honorable Mention at the Los Angeles Book Festival 2017. The manuscript has also been a First Place Category Winner at the Journey Awards 2014 hosted by Chanticleer Reviews and Media LLC. Her literary works have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, both in India and the US. Her poetry has been published in The Significant Anthology, Umbilical Chords: An Anthology on Parents Remembered, Kaafiyaana, and her fiction is forthcoming in Silhouette I & II anthology, to be published by Authorspress. She has received the Reuel International Award 2016 (category: Translation) for her English translation of Rabindranath Tagore’s novella Nastanirh (translated as The Broken Home) instituted by The Significant League, a renowned literature group in Facebook, and the book is available in Amazon Kindle.