T3 শারদ সংখ্যা ২০২২ || তব অচিন্ত্য রূপ || বিশেষ সংখ্যায় Jhilam Adhikary

PRINCESS

On puja days
I used to be a Princess.
On puja days,
I never had to walk a step,
His feet were too weak to walk.
While mom stayed at home,
Like a chariot or palanquin
Fit for the princess and the king,
We always reserved an auto.
And with each pandal we crossed
I would take a photo
Of everything, other than him.
People swimming in flashing lights
And just us on the shore
Going inside the pandal though
Was never what we went for,
There was ghugni and phuchka
Ghoti gorom and faluda
Balloons and cotton candy
That I would bring back home.
On Puja days
Gas balloons were only 20rs back then
And 280rs wasn’t a lot to spend
But no other father
On the same puja day
Would have bought 14 balloons
For his spoilt little daughter,
But he did, with no regrets
For on every balloon,
I had put my finger.
On puja days,
I used to be a princess
I would wear the most beautiful dress
And he would wear a new fatuha
And he would take me
To eat the most delicious dishes,
At the tiniest crowded hotels
And I would go to buy jewels,
At the world’s biggest melas
In our reserved rikshwa.
I used to be a princess
So I wouldn’t wear a muffler
And he would insist
That I should or else
I would catch a cold
As my shoulders were bare,
But it never happened
And yet on every outing, without forgetting,
He asked me the same thing
And I used to wonder why.
I used to be a princess
But I was too big and chubby
So the fancy carnival rides were not for me
But on puja,
My dad would ask the nagordolna wala specifically
To just let me ride his ride
While everyone else just watched,
Because for him the puja was mine alone
And it had to be special.
Now the regime has ended
And no more big boxes of boti kebebs
That he would get for us,
There has never before been
A pandal hopping without him
And the essence of puja is dark and gritty
And the huge gates of light
Would look tiny fireflies
And no scent of food
Would make me hungry on the street again.
From now on, every year
I would just be an ordinary human
For no one in this world
Even the billionaires in their billion dollar castles
Can make me a princess again.
For my King is gone
And he would never return
And we would never again eksathe
Berobo thakur dekhte.
We would never again eksathe
Jabo rikshate jol kada periye.
We will never again eksathe
Chaler papor kine, niye jabo barite.
We will never again eksathe
Jabo hatu hatu, kulfi khete khete
Biye barir moto light lagano
Oi choto choto khali goli diye.
We will never again eksathe
Hindi te golp korte korte
Cinemar dialogue bolte bolte
Deri kore bari phire
Boka khabo shei maj raat e.

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