Mystery by Amlanjyoti Goswami


Art by Kannaki Bharali

No, I wasn’t alone.

My shadow was with me.

No one could tell


Why I stepped out, this morning.

To watch the breeze?

Or was it the mosquitoes that buzzed all night?


I ate well. Dinner was sated, more rice than usual.

Life felt full

Of hope and laughter.


I also dreamt well.

An old friend visited me and we discussed (in Sanskrit)

What went into a good education.


From all accounts, I was ‘doing well’.

Enough in the bank, for many more meals.

Much left to be done.


Someone remarked that the only reason if any, could be vermicelli.

I had told them I felt like it. One fresh mouthful from the fire.

The shops had opened today.


But I did not return

By evening, when the news spread

Like a newspaper open to dry chillies in the sun.


The house empty as dusk. Music playing in remembered silence

A slow classical tune, Segovia reminding people

Some good was still left, on the frying pan.


Food gently covered. On the table, chicken curry, roti.

The books half opened. Gibbon’s Roman Empire, rising and falling.

Gilgamesh bookmarked at page 20.


The wait at the door.

Murmurs in corners, where mosquitoes lay hiding

Sniffling a sob or two.


Someone jokes, that they are all worried over nothing.

Didn’t I have a history of larking?

Another bets I will be back, just before daybreak.


About the poet:

Amlanjyoti Goswami's recent collection of poems 'River Wedding' (Poetrywala) has been widely reviewed. His poetry has been published in journals and anthologies around the world. A Best of the Net nominee, his poems have also appeared on street walls in Christchurch, exhibitions in Johannesburg, an e-gallery in Brighton and buses in Philadelphia. He has read in various places, including New York, Delhi and Boston. He grew up in Guwahati, Assam and lives in Delhi.


About the artist:

Kannaki Bharali is a self-taught artist living and working in Brooklyn, New York. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from The Graduate Center, CUNY, New York. She has been drawing continually to develop techniques in contemporary figurative art. Her work focuses on vulnerable people in the modern world.