Stealing time

stealing time, shh…


My parents and siblings,
servants I’d call with ‘da’*, ‘didi’*
in the end
Bunny and Buddy,
even that little me
left for good
the place we’d call home
some time ago.

Years later I stole in,
predicted by my aunt.
You know David’s Mrs Murdstone*?
Or when David re-incarnated as Harry*
with the magic wand, had aunt Petunia*?
Well my aunt is worse than those
on whom Lumos maxima* wouldn’t work for sure.
She predicted I will be a thief one day because I took
a broken eye-brow pencil from her purse
to draw an impressive moustache on my face,
that I’d be a pauper begging for love because
I didn’t accept her mouth-to-mouth kiss,
that this house, where I am standing now,
will be time-shut before me.

The garden and the kitchen smelt just the same,
trees with same flowers and leaves,
then who turned the page
neighborhood hasn’t much changed
but the nib with which our story was written
has been time-broken.

Who could be there now I wondered
will I ring the bell and see
I heard my mom calling my name out loud… Sona!*
But it can’t be me
it’s another mom calling another kid
but who could they be
are they ghosts or hosts
for a moment I saw me dead and alive
no, no, I can’t enter
and be a guest in my home
wait, did I hear Bunny and Buddy
I can’t see them, but I distinctly knew
they were approaching me
somewhere from the walls, sure they can smell me
are they coming to welcome me
if I’d come after ten minutes they’d greet me
as though I came after ten long years
or are they coming to shoo me away
surreptitiously I disappeared.

It’s the same home
same story is being written again
only the nib has changed
I left the place, it had lost its relevance
once my permanent address
that’s how permanent things are, I thought.
But even today it carries the same name,
it cannot not be a home.

For a moment, no for quite some time
I went back in time
thanks to this home
whose every corner still oozes
affection and warmth, never to lose congruity.

Everything is just the same
I went back in my car,
Stole away just the way I stole in.


1. da, didi – for elder bro or sis these are used at the end to show respect, e.g. John da or Joan di
2. David, Mrs Murdstone – David and her crooked aunt from David Copperfield
3. Harry, Aunt Petunia – Harry Potter and her aunt Petunia from Harry Potter
4. Lumos maxima – is a spell used by Harry on his aunt to make her bloat and fly
5. Sona – It’s a very common name used for boys and girls in Bengali household, like John. Bengalis have two names, one is used for the outside or the professional world, and the other for the personal world used by immediate and extended family members. 


© supratik 2017
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critique and comments welcome.

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8 Comments on "Stealing time"

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Hi Supratik, A very poignant poem. It really resonated with me as I had a house that I loved very much once. It belonged to my best friend but we had the most amazing experiences and adventures there before she left for Australia and the house fell into disrepair. Many years later, my teenage daughter and I climbed in one of the broken widows but we could not go far as the floor had dry rot and the house was on several levels. I remember the feelings of yearning, deep longing to be back in time. The sense of unreality… Read more »
Here is a good example Supratik, how comments on subs, by someone who highlights and analyses parts they especially like, and using the promotion facility on the front page, awakes the attention of another member. Because of this, after an earlier glance, I’ve returned, and I’m so glad I did. To my mind this authentic work is written and flows beautifully, it was a delight to read. I felt it an emotional read too. I won’t motivate this in greater detail like Alison has done with her usual skill, but just say I think it one of your best, and… Read more »

A well -deserved nomination, Supratik. And because I am sure it will attract votes, I look forward to including it in the anthology. The overall impression for me is ‘charming’.

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