Shantiniketan

Only a few days back

The Dol jatra has ended,

The smell of gulal

Was still lingering in the nascent air

And those gulmohor trees-

They stood like maidens dressed in their best,

We were taken to the hutment beside Shonajhuri,

The windows facing the green paddy fields

Were the first we thought to open

For through them came to us

All the beauty of the country,

Just before dusk when the sky would become

Crimson red,

We would come and sit on the verandah of the earthen hut,

Breeze from south would then bring to us

Sombre beatings of drums,

Those tribal women after their day’s labour

Would start their evening revelry with their men folk,

Dancing to the beats of drums,

Their faces must have been glowing in the flickering light of lanterns,

We sat on the verandah,

Thinking how we had shed our city bred inhibitions

Even if temporarily

To become people of the country.

                                                                                       ~Moinak Dutta

                                                                                        Kolkata, India

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