©2018 by The Alipore Post. Proudly created with Wix.com

On Seeing Gulshan Books Being Built in Ladakh by Madhura Banerjee

Source: EasternEye

The motorcycles of the Enfielders who stopped for butter tea

held the Stok Kangri in their rear-view mirrors -

magnifying glasses discovering the heart of the Himalayas

beneath the yak skin bosom of Leh Market

I noticed how they always stopped at crossroads,

leather jackets stitched with the promise of a beauty

that comes with confusion, the uniformity

of chaotic knots of roads running into each other

Upon the four-way intersection, a new reed

was rising over the harmonium of the Ladakh skyline,

a sudden accidental, squeezed between the semitones of pashmina shops,

a different chant from the folk verses played by sunsets on rooftops

Before descending into the Market,

there is a halt of inevitable traffic

on the road that takes you away from Leh -

like a measuring tape that the slope stumbles on

From here, it takes you twenty-one hours on a bus,

Two years down the amorphous bylanes of memory,

Half a heartbeat, if you looked past the unattached window frame

of the half-built Gulshan Books, to find yourself in Srinagar again

I remember reading about the floods in the paper -

Ruptured veins of the mountains threatening to drown

volumes of yellowed, hard-bound history;

I never saw them again, but I heard they were well now,

With some unwritten pages settling in this new valley -

The bookstore stood, like the reassuring face of an old lover

in a sudden encounter beyond our stanzas of wishful thinking -

Your heart must be full and well-furnished by now, shouldn't it?

From Madhura's new book Monsoon Arrives at the Junction Crossing (Dhauli Books, 2019)

This site was designed with the
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now