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Shamik Banerjee [Poetry]

Sunrise from Tiger Hill

Blue Sunbirds haunt this region. They

Convert this hill into an odeum

At five a.m. Tree branches sway

When dawn winds blow, making a constant hum.

By six, a gradual colour change

Occurs above the distant mountain range:


The sky, once lazuli and white,

Gets flooded by the hue of orange-gold

From Heaven's mega source of light.

The tourists, standing cheek by jowl, behold

This incandescent spectacle

Like witnessing a one-time miracle.


The children are moon-eyed and thrilled,

Adults and elders bow in adoration

(As if to God Himself), all stilled,

When Kangchenjunga gets its coronation,

And youngsters click and store this view

Until that light has fully bathed them too.


Word Meanings:

Tiger Hill: a hill in Darjeeling (a town in India) from which sunrise over the Kangchenjunga mountains can be witnessed

Kangchenjunga: a Himalayan mountain, the thrid highest in the world

Amir Nisha

                - Aligarh, June, 2022

Congested footpaths slowed us down that day.

The sun, imperious, laughed during noon

And mocked our plodding as we made our way

To your most-stopped-by marketplace that June.

Our bottles had run out of fluid, and though

Your lips became deserts, you acted nice

To prove "no thirst" (and thought I wouldn't know).

But then, a glass of cane juice helped your lips

Like rainfall helps a dry farm, and your eyes

Said, "You've relieved me" as you took those sips.


We reached there. Oh, the bee-like crowd! Its buzz!

We muscled through it, feeling every shove.

Your right hand was latched to my left. It was

Just like a journey through some shrubby grove.

Alluring marts and outlets cast their shine

Upon your heart whose throbs of boundless glee

United with the joyfulness of mine.

Taking me to some common trinket store,

You browsed through every earring, while in me,

The bliss of buying some for you grew more.


Located nearby was a small boutique

With fair abayas, but your modesty

Held your desires. I used that old technique

Of drawing your stiff body tenderly

Towards the shop (your white cheeks made their change

into light claret red). Your action of

Examining a cloth, its colours' range,

The fabric's quality, designs, and prints

Appeared as if some craftswoman of love

Was painting me with golden-yellow tints.


At five, precisely, being too fatigued,

We found a seat within the public square.

Iced cane juice (once again!); we were relieved!

The sky's expanding ochre touched your hair.

Thievishly, as I tried to hold your hand,

You hawed and said, "What would the public think?"

A pause, and then I said, "I understand."

Your manners! Oh, so Indian and plain

That all I did was watch your eyes unblink-

ingly, then turn aside and watch again.


Sundown. It was your maghrib time. We found

A mosque. I stayed outside—my faith did not

Permit me in. You entered, sat upon the ground,

Postured yourself, and gently checked the knot

Of your hijab. Outside the gate, I prayed

Too (to your God, but with a different


"O' Lord, will You not grace our souls and aid

Our clashing fates? Remove religion's pall?"

Then you arrived. "Did she, too, pray the same?",

I wondered, but your long hug answered all.




Word Meanings:

Amir Nisha: A marketplace in the region of Aligarh (a place in North India).

Maghrib: The sunset Islamic prayer.

Abaya: A loose-fitting full-length robe worn by some Muslim women.

Hijab: A traditional headscarf worn by Muslim women, covering the hair and neck.

At Yumthang Meadow


It called me often. Oh, the grass—

   How feather-like! Those pendent leaves

And branches form a fetching mass

   Of verdure all around. Fine weaves

Of treetops etch the bluish dome.


Today, I visited the spot

   After a year, prepared some rice;

Set up the table. Then, a thought

   Bedewed the ovals of my eyes:

Those seasons when we used to roam


This meadow—Ramsen, Neel, and me—

   Have gone away, and in their wake,

Dissevered our fraternity

   And left my heart alone to break.

I vowed to not come here thereafter


But something changed my heart today.

   I felt their presence on the chairs,

Their smiles appeared upon the gay

   And guggling brooklet, while a pair

Of Daffodils displayed their laughter.

Shamik Banerjee is a poet from India. When he's not writing, he can be found strolling the hills surrounding his homestead. Some of his poems are forthcoming in The Hoogly Review, Dreich and Lighten Up Online, among others.

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