I say “No” to the jungle’s call.
But wonder why still in this city’s cheeky evening
the tokkhok keeps shrieking.
Is there any zoo nearby? Caged tigers,
foxes, and vultures in rows after rows,
hyenas emitting chilling coughs, night after night.
Once I saw a chimpanzee, licking boroi chutney
licking, relishing, just like us!
Presumably chutney has been added to their diet!
Aah boroi chutney!!broken boroi seeds
folded in tamarind pulp…
meanwhile the jungle receives signals
as my mouth waters. Since then,
it has been beckoning like waves upon waves.
And I see that melancholy
spreading its branches, soars towards the sky.
But this tree wasn’t supposed to be born!
Has the forest taken revenge?
Or it is overcome with abhiman?
Is it the time for sulking, being an abhimani!
Doesn’t it get that those who live
on this side of the wall, have to abide by some rules?
They’re shackled by dimming eyesight,
and ever decaying arguments
in the rumbling maze of politics-economics.
Whether it be monsoon or winter,
Aghran or Bioshakh- is not in their Ponjika!
They don’t get the news when in the Badabon,
sensing the Goran in blossom, the Mouual
torches his moshal for smoking the beehives,
while the yellow-black stripes, lowers its alert body
to the ground, camouflaged in the Shundori bush-
sniffing the air for the chase.
This is what is normal in the Badabon-
sometimes the hunt becomes the hunter,
at others, the hunter triumphs,
but the jungle doesn’t stops trailing my back
I say ‘No’ with folded palms,
and a bent down head, over and over.
Bipasha Haque is a diaspora writer with particular interest in life-the way it is. By profession she is a university teacher.