Shillong-Uttaran Das Gupta

Illustration by Rashi Agrawal

On seeing a picture of you taken

by your lover in a forest, Shillong,

I imagine the ferric dusk, birdsong,

your pensive shawl, how spirits awaken.

Here, the metro is, as usual, late,

water problems persist, people clamour

for rights, reservations, and I hammer

away at the lonely typewriter, wait.

For what, though? Damn it, for what?

There’s no excuse for this sloth, no licence:

I’ll clean the kitchen, go for a haircut,

make dinner (the ferric forest grows dense),

and detecting the return of love, greed,

promptly remove you from my Facebook feed.

Uttaran Das Gupta was born in Calcutta, India, and read English at Jadavpur University. His poems and articles have appeared or are forthcoming in ReadingHourMagnapoetsRaedleaf , Fulcrum, Open Road ReviewThe Sunflower Collective, The Dhauli Review, Strip Tease, Café Dissensus and Indian Literature, and have been translated into Bengali and Telugu. He is a journalist with Business Standard, New Delhi, where he frequently reviews books and films. He is also a member of The Sunflower Collective. At present, he is working on his novel and was at the Sangam House Residency in January. His poetry has been shortlisted for the Raedleaf Poetry Competition 2016 and his short stories have been shortlisted for Juggernaut Short Story Prize 2016 and Open Road Review Short Story Contest 2016.