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.
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.
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
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.