Let the Flowers Bloom by Kiriti Sengupta

Let The Flowers Bloom is a powerful and convincing work rooted in history and hope. The author uses symbolism to lure the reader in, to invoke questions of India’s past, of the dream of unity, of the flaws in coerced borders around today’s country. You may not sense it at first, and aren’t expected to. Several reads will reveal the intricacy of Sengupta’s allusions and metaphors. This prose poem will be published in The Earthen Flute, soon to be released by Hawakaal Publishers in Calcutta, India. The collection peruses the theme of civilization’s blessings as well as themes of spirit, resurrection, jubilation, and redemption. 

 

 

Elderly Mujibar has no money; he owns a hovel and a large pond. Mujibar eats rice and boiled Shapla as he returns from work. He grows Shapla in the pond that also has Lotus in it. Mujibar picks both the flowers and keeps them in bunches before he vends the flowers in the market. His five-year-old son fails to understand which bunch will be used in their kitchen and what goes into the Hindu household.

#

A white Lotus turns red as the Sun rises high in the sky. Mujibar has no clue to the occurrence, and considers it a phenomenon. His little son rushes to the veranda and stretches his brown arms in the sunlight.

#

Leaving behind his little son alone Mujibar dies of uncontrolled fever! In the afternoon the small boy wanders around the paddy field, and in the morning he works in the tea-stall adjacent to his hut. He serves tea in small glasses to the customers.

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The small boy grows up a bit; people call him by the name Robi. On a chilly winter morning a fakir arrives at the tea-stall. He does not have warm clothing. Robi approaches the fakir, “My father has given me a roof, but I have no sky to look at.”

#

The fakir offers a tiny copper-box, a tabeez, which is considered holy. He suggests, “Chain it around your neck, my son!” Robi protests, “Hey, you gave me a piece of copper while I asked for the sky?” The fakir urges enthusiastically, “Come on, it is filled with my prayers. I have given you a mountain, rather, and now you break through the roof you have.”

#

No magic, but sheer trust enriched with the flavor of innocence! Robi does not work anymore; he enjoys a never ending stay in his hut as he cherishes the saintly mountain. The roof remains unchanged; the moon does not arrive. A slice of the sky does not even appear despite Robi’s uninterrupted wanting for it. He holds the tabeez tightly in his grip, and while looking at the roof he murmurs, “I won’t offer you a drape if I don’t get a bird.”

#

A bird flutters its wings and the sound is pretty familiar. Not a crow, nor a heron — some unknown bird. It keeps standing in the mud-pad. A few flowers are visible, and they are not Shapla. Robi feels warm, his arms, especially the spine region, as if there is a sudden rush of hot water along the spinal duct!

#

A fragrant ambience sets in while the bird floats up in the air. Robi’s face attracts drops of mud from the flying bird. Handful of soil and the hut is flooded with sunlight that enters from the broken roof. Robi feels much warmer now. A milkman knocks the door, “Store milk in the can, chacha!”

 

 

 

 

 

Notes: Shapla (Water Lily) is the national flower of Bangladesh. The flower and its stem are edible. A tabeez is a metallic case (square, rectangular, round or oval in shape) that is believed to exert worldly benefits to its users. Lotus is the national flower of India, and it is used in Hindu households in religious rituals. Chacha is someone who is considered the brother of one’s father.

 

This prose poem was previously published on Dead Snakes. http://www.deadsnakes.blogspot.com.

 

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2 comments on “Let the Flowers Bloom by Kiriti Sengupta

  1. very innate and the flora, my fauna, ” Mister Eddy,. transpose for I had many comments,
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    he asked these pupils, do forth I wrote the blackboard, and the lioness, swelled, he said do it once more! “repeat after I uttered, and the sweetheart, comeuppance, do not argue the lion asked;

    Like

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