Poetry | ‘Abortion’ & 2 other poems | By Anindita Sarkar

While Anindita Sarkar’s bold pieces on abortion, bullying of a unique boy, and surviving health ordeals spoke of grit under the surface, in the core and kernel. The choice of her themes – riveting with knife-edged impact. 

Abortion 

A noxious odour filled the infirmary

 Dull walls with murals

Harping on alchemy. 

Exotic beasts in white apparels, 

Roamed about in similar fashion. 

Bevy of varied-aged women, 

Hand in hand, huddled together. 

One after another, 

They entered into the curtained space, 

Cut off from the mainland, 

A place of no unwanted intrusion and calmness. 

Forks, knives, blades decked out, 

Ready to perform an act, 

Women were doused to sleep 

To carry out the unabsolvable task. 

One had premature limbs, 

The other’s heart wasn’t formed, 

One had even developed genitals, 

Another was barely two centimetres long! 

Petals of the rarest beauty, 

Crushed to death. 

The women gave each other a blank stare, 

One was not solvent, 

The other was a young widow, 

One was regularly abused by her husband, 

Another was already encumbered

 with four children. 

A new visitor plodded in, 

This time a ten-year-old, 

 to murder her unborn.


The Bully

Dark-green, Purplish, or with a Black hue

Effeminate boys at my school

Were catcalled Avocadoes.

“There goes the pear-shaped fruit” 

Masculine boys nudged 

Each other with a bravado. 

“How did you master

 a dual identity?”

They curiously examined 

His limbs and elbows, 

As if he was of 

An idiosyncratic breed. 

Furrowed brows and 

Protruding eyes

Guzzled his edible pulp

Beneath his armadillo. 

They struck his bottom and 

Called him a Pillow-biter

As they chiseled through 

His succulent buttery flesh 

To satiate their perched tongues 

With a flavour. 

Peeled off from his rind, 

By the swashbuckling criminals

Tears wobbled down his eyes

As he left with that 

Unswerving sweet smile, 

Never to return.


Only I recovered 

It seemed like a battle I could never win. 

My body was punctured, fettered to the bed, 

The walls were painted in chartreuse green. 

I thrived on that bleached fluid 

From the drip embroidered on my vein. 

I fed my soul on the veridescent terrain 

Clearly discernible through the indigo-bordered casement. 

A monitor palimpsest-ing my pulse,

While the garish ray of the winter sun

Implanted innumerable kisses on my face of pallid complexion. 

Nurses in lavender tunics like Seraphs of Beriah 

Smoothly kept tiptoeing 

In the room anointed with a mordant fragrance. 

A lilac curtain splatted the long room into two, 

My roommate lied in her imperturbable stupor 

gaping at the silk-white frescoed ceiling.

We acknowledged the silence from dawn to dark

united by exchanging telepathic waves. 

We frittered the day listening to the mowing of cows

And nights doused to sleep the lullaby of nightjars. 

Slowly my body began to ameliorate

I conquered death and owe her revivification. 

As I was wheeled back home, 

On an olive wheelchair, memories sweet-bitter lingered, 

While she recoiled to her desolation like a wilted fuchsia flower.

Anindita Sarkar is an UGC Junior Research Fellow pursuing her MPhil from Jadavpur University, India. She is from Kolkata, West Bengal. A neophyte in creative writing, she has graduated from Scottish Church College and completed her Masters degree from the University of Calcutta in English Literature. She has also served as a Lecturer in GNIHM College, Kolkata.

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