The night train through Simultala: Vineet Iqbal Singh

simultalaI would start scavenging the house looking for the ancient, weather-bitten, faithful rucksack – signaling the end of my summer vacations. My itinerary would be in public domain – a handful of my friends would stream in with an expression of piety, as if I was to be hauled away to a dreaded dungeon. Next, a few of the concerned relatives would stream in, arriving with an assortment of home-cooked delicacies for the trip back to college – sweeteners that I would need for the next few months of my academic imprisonment.

My train would leave in the later part of the noon and my parents and siblings would see me off with all the memories of togetherness of the last couple of months – I would pretend to be as stoic as possible and consciously try to blank out the last few moments of this see-off ritual. This was the only rail-route I knew since stepping out of my cocooned existence – and by now, with almost a dozen trips behind me, I considered myself very much an authority about this route. A couple of my peers would aboard at Barauni Junction, an important railway junction on the North Eastern rail route.

Mithila Express would reach Barauni Junction around Five ‘O’ Clock. I had established rituals to celebrate each milestone of this journey – At Barauni i would seek out Raghu, my peanut man, as the engine would puff into the station . Although I passed by Barauni once in every four months, Raghu knew the ritual – he would be ready with three pouches of freshly roasted peanuts – for the three of us. The diesel engine of Mithila Express would be replaced by the freshly painted Electric Engines, adding more muscle for the rest of the journey.

The ravines of the river Ganges would peep through the grilled  windows of our compartment as the train chugged away from Barauni Junction – within a few minutes the train would stride over Rajendra Pul, the iconic bridge over the river Ganges. I was always fascinated by the sight of Ganges, a painter’s dream palette at that time of the day – the gray frivolous waters of the Ganges being caressed by the rich and mauve twilight rays – as Mithila Express met the Mother Ganges at the stroke of sunset – somewhere between half past five and six ‘o’ Clock.

The train would acquire monstrous proportions, with its shadows straddling the length of the accompanying fields. The twilight Sun, it seemed, would blow air into the train and magnify its dimensions as it hustled through the pastoral areas of North Bihar. I would be completely detached from my peers for the next one hour while the shadows faded away into the night.

I would rejoin the conversation with my friends, Ajai and Shreekant as the train whistled into the woods of Jhajha and Kiul region. Gastronomic experiences would top the list of topics that helped us bid time, with a mutual realization that the days ahead were going to be very bland as far as food was concerned – this would usually culminate in laying out our respective dinner packs – mine would be the ‘Aloo Parathas (Potato stuffed Bread) with Garlic Pickle’ – as I always preferred dry food and bread wraps during the journey. Soon my friends would retire for the night and would climb up to their respective berths.

I would prop myself against the window, to have an uninterrupted experience of the summer breeze – my soliloquy with Mithila Express would begin – punctuated by the undulating plateau of the region on which it strode fearlessly.
Feeble yellow specks of light would occasionally pop through the canvas of black and grey, signaling the presence of a hamlet, a family, children huddled around a homely dinner – spots of ethereal glow signifying togetherness, clusters of hope, and human spirit. I would often be transported to these remote islands of humanity during these nocturnal train rides – imagining the inhabitants around these ‘lights of hope’ – what did the mother cook for the dinner? – the conversations between the father and the children – what the next day held for this family? – I would be part of these families as Mithila Express tore through the sultry summer night….The momentum ebbed gradually, both for the train and my train of thoughts – It was time for the next stop…we would reach Kiul Junction, a prominent station in the Eastern Central Railway route on the banks of the river Kiul.

It would be around nine’ o’clock when the train would saunter into a retiring Kiul junction. At this time of the night, the porters in their trademark red shirts would outnumber the passengers – the handful of travelers would be gulped by the Mithila Express, and the KathGodam Express, which arrived late into the night. A couple of hawkers would be selling ‘Poori and Sabzi’ (bread and curry), a common North Indian snacks for all seasons. The passengers waiting for the KathGodam Express could be seen occupying the most comfortable spaces on the platform, huddled around makeshift pillows. Total strangers would be united by the pervasive darkness and the destination.

The official stoppage time would be ten minutes at Kiul, but the dark vacuous night would make it seem longer – transporting me to a distant past when horse-drawn chariots would run amok on dirt tracks – the track making a more serious impression on the dusty strip with each pounding of the horse hoof – the ancient travelers of the chariot leaving their fate in the hands of the two unbridled beasts.

In no time, the train would be at the outskirts of the Jhajha junction. On a full moon night, this vertical wall of rock, barricading the station, would reflect the moonlight on the tracks and on a few stationary goods trains on the station – mimicking an artist’s view of the place in a monstrous landscape.

Jhajha station seemed like a marooned island at this hour of the night – inhabitants huddled around their luggage and making place for strangers, also sharing their temporary habitat with a few stray dogs and goats. A few meters away from the roofed section of the station would be a large Banyan tree whose shadows seemed like the arms of a large monster with a firm grip on the Jhajha station – one of the old timers at this station told me that the tree was almost two hundred years old and that the station was built in a way so as not to affect the spread of the tree. This ancient living being was the sanctuary for so many species of birds, bats and animals – the most visible of its inhabitants were a herd of cows.

The train would blow its horn emphatically, shredding the sanity of night, as it gathered velocity. I found myself one with the darkness again, the clarity of the night gradually making my thoughts more discernible – I would be inseparable from the summer breeze which had been accompanying me. The barren fields would give way to lanky and large leafy trees, the leaves interspersing with the tiny clusters of clouds which floated along the solitary track. I imagined the train entering through an imaginary tunnel as the dense woods enveloped the locomotive – the tunnel crafted with barks of weather-hardened trees, giant-sized leaves and a sprinkling of small water bodies – the friction between the steel and the foliage was much more palpable now.

The train’s energy was ebbing away as it prepared itself for a halt. This was my first tryst with Simultala, a sleepy station with no scheduled stoppage – I moved towards the gate which opened on the side of the platform. The only significant source of light was the station master’s cabin. The station master himself, wearing a black coat and white trousers was standing outside his cabin with two flags in his hand – one red and one green.

There was some activity near the parcel van and it seemed that the station master was supervising the loading of some consignment and that might have been the reason for the unscheduled halt. I decided to venture out to give some fuel to my lungs. The air outside was much cooler for this part of the year. Dim yellow lamps were frugally used on the station – just good enough to discern the movement of limbs.

‘Babu, Ab khul jayegi train. Sab maal chadh gaya (Sir, the train will start soon…All the goods have been loaded)’ – This was the first human voice I had heard in the last six hours – and looked around to find a boy with a kettle in his hand. He must have been around fifteen years old and was strikingly well groomed for this hour of the day. He told me his name was Sooraj and that he sold tea for only a few hours. I also came to know that most of the express trains on this route would stop at Simultala even though there was no scheduled stop.

I got on the train fearing that the train might start – the vapor coming out of the kettle was very inviting and asked the boy for a cup. After a long time I was having a tea in the earthen pot (kulhar).

I gave five rupees to Sooraj and asked him to keep the remaining three rupees – he promised me free tea on my next trip through Simultala. I asked him whether he was alone and he pointed towards the silhouette of a man by the lamp-post and said that his father accompanied him during the night….The station master’s hand was now in a vertical position and the green flag fluttered reluctantly – I promised Sooraj to buy his tea on my next trip. As the train ploughed ahead I could see Sooraj diminishing in size – tiny hands raised above his head as I waived back.
Balancing the tea in one hand, I headed back to my seat. I kept thinking as to what made this little boy sell tea at such hour of the night – when the majority of children would be tucked comfortably in their beds.It was time for me to retire for the night.  

My thoughts kept relaying back to Sooraj and Simultala.

It would be the early days of winter and the start of the last month of the year when I would again de-link myself from my pedagogical existence and head out for the new found love of trains – unplanned, merrily unrealistic and celebrating truancy. Life would wreathe out of the cage as soon as I was aboard a train in the company of complete strangers. I had managed to get a reservation in the Mithila Express which would start at around four ‘o’ clock in the afternoon from Howrah station.

This time there would be no home-packed foods for this trip. I would get a few packets of snacks and a bottle of water from the railway canteen. By nine ‘o’ clock the train would leave the borders of West Bengal. It would be around eleven’ o’clock when the train would steal into Simultala.

Tak..chuk…Tak…Chuk…Tak..chuk…Tak…Chuk…shsh….shsh….I could make out the faint yellow blobs of light straining through the cabin of the Station Master. As the train rolled into the station, I tried to peep through the dimly lit space but could not spot Sooraj. I kept looking towards the station master’s hand hoping that my gaze would delay the green flag from being raised. Something told me that Sooraj was around – the silhouette by the lamp post.

I saw the man by the lamp post, now much more visible, raise his hand and point towards the compartment next to mine. I had no idea how he knew whom I was looking for. I turned my head and saw the boy scampering through a maze of boxes with his kettle in his right hand and the kultarrs (earthen cups) in the other.
‘Sooraj’, I shouted out aloud, and waived towards him. The winter night was at its prime, accentuated by the fog, the chill and the horde of shadows – as I stepped on the platform and moved towards the fragile figure of Sooraj – tapped him on the shoulder. His face was serene. “Arre Babu, Aap mujhe pehchan gaye (Sir, you did recognize me)”, said Sooraj with an element of gratitude.

“Aaj train der tak rukegi. Kadam ka maal load ho raha hai – isme time lagega (Today. the train will stop for a long time. Kadam’s stuff is being loaded. )” – Sooraj assured me.

 

I inquired as to who was Kadam.
“Yahan ke ek bade aur beimaan leader ka beta hai – apna maal free me bhejta hai Mujaffarpur (kadam is the son of an influential and dishonest leader of this region – he uses the Indian railways to transport his goods to Muzaffarpur for free)” – Sooraj.
“Tumhari maa darti nahin hai itni raat me tum station par aate ho (your mother doesn’t fear your coming to station at such hours)?”, I questioned Sooraj.
“Nahin, Baba saath me rahte hain hamesha. Maa ko pata hai ki Aadi ke school ke liye fees ke paise chahiye. (No, my father always stays with me. My mother knows that money is required for the school fees of Aadi).” – clarified Sooraj.
“Aadi kaun hai (who is Aadi)?”, I asked.
“Babu, Aadi meri choti bahan hai. Woh padhne me bahut acchi hai aur English school me padhti hai. (Sir, Aadi is my younger sister. She is very good in studies and is enrolled in an English school).” – Sooraj.

 

“Yeh toh bahut acchi baat hai. Agli baar mai tumhare aur Aadi ke liye kuch kitaben lete aaonga. (This is very nice. On my next trip I will bring some books for both of you).“, I put my arm around Sooraj, with one eye on the station master’s cabin.

There were only a few people on the platform and I was the only one who had disembarked from the train. It seemed like the whole train was under a spell and anyone outside of this closed mechanical apparatus was untouched by this spell. By now I had gulped one cup of tea and asked Sooraj for the next one.

There was some movement in the station master’s cabin and it seemed that he had received the green Signal from Kadam’s men – Mithila Express was ready to break away from Simultala. Sooraj hugged me with his tiny hands and I promised him that i would back in a month’s time – I waived towards his father, who seemed to be lost in another world. A new day would begin in a while.

As the seasons flew by, my rendezvous with Sooraj and Simultala became a fixture. It was 1995 and my life as a student and and as an experimental traveler would take a turn for the more mundane life of a private sector employee. I wanted to meet Sooraj on my last trip to home from Kharagpur. Like me, it seemed that the Mithila express was also anxious to reach Simultala – I stood near the door trying to spot Sooraj.

It was a deception. For the first time Mithila Express had betrayed me – as it slowed a bit before picking up the speed, leaving Simultala in disbelief. I looked back in dismay – gazed through the monopoly of darkness – trying my best to decipher the silhouette – the train moved on without any remorse. The rest of the journey was lonely and vacuous.

It was a miserly break of seven days before I was to report for the job. A nondescript and uneventful place like Simultala occupied my mind for the better part of my stay at home this time. My creative compass was stuck around Sooraj and Simultala.

It was summer time and end of vacations and I failed to get any reservation in Mithila Express for my return trip to Calcutta at such short notice and so on the advice of my family members I had to make a detour through Patna – this was the first time i had betrayed Simultala.

 

Time does not have tricks – it’s just consistent – my existence flowed with the ebbs and tides of time – gathering every bit of worldly experience and memories for the days to come, but I never moved on. Inside I was still riveted to the railway tracks that never met each other, but would always be within a touching distance from each other – the tracks that existed in perfect harmony running across mountains and rivers tirelessly – traversing the boundaries of time with dignity and hope. On one of these tracks and during one of those tiny blips on the time machine I had met Sooraj.

 

The tracks were calling me.
I calculated my accrued casual leaves, informed my supervisor and took leave from the ordinary – Simultala beckoned me – nine summers had flown by since my first rendezvous. It seemed that Mithila Express had been waiting for me for a long time. On this October afternoon, when the first rays of winter sun give you goose bumps, it felt like I was the only passenger on the Platform number 9 of the Howrah station – I took my customary snack packs and a bottle of water for the trip.

I was in a daze as I stepped on the train – the maze of thoughts running and trampling over each other and had a paralyzing effect on my consciousness – I saw the hawkers shouting out aloud but could not hear them. I looked at my watch – as time was the only dimension I was aware of since the start of this trip. It was nearing nine and I estimated a couple of hours more before the train touched Simultala.

 The night seemed to add wings to the train and  I could experience Simultala from a distance – it was 10.45 on the 15th of October, 2005. I was not trying to spot Sooraj this time – I just wanted to be with him. The train was whimpering as it slowed down – this time I did not wait for the train to stop and with my backpack secure, I stepped out of the old faithful – Mithila Express.

There was no station master on that night and there were no signs of the silhouette – this night seemed different. I could spot a Wheeler’s book stall which was wrapping up for the night and the owner on seeing me approach delayed his proceedings. His concerned look talked to me in hushed tones.

“Are you on an official visit to Simultala”, the bookstall owner inquired with an earnest curiosity.

 

“No, I am here to meet an old friend of mine. He leaves near to the station. It’s been more than nine years since I came here”, I responded with the intent to initiate a conversation.

 

“Do you have his name and address? I might help you in reaching there. You can call me Nikhil”, – assured the bookstall owner.
“His name is Sooraj and he had mentioned that he lived close to the station – around hundred meters from the taxi stand and that there was a large Gulmohar tree by his house. My name is Vineet”.
“Vineet Jee, I know the area around the station and I can recall a Gulmohar tree at some distance – My guess is it must be more than five hundred meters from the taxi stand. I would advise you to venture out of the platform in the morning only. The taxi stand also closes at ten ‘o’ clock. I would have loved to have you stay with me but there are only two rooms in my modest house and my old parents have recently arrived from the village.” – Nikhil
“That is not a problem Nikhil. There are enough empty benches around here – and the weather is perfect. I am missing the tea with my friend. Sooraj used to sell tea at night.”
“Vineet Jee, I have been here for the last five years. This book stall was run by my father before that. I know of only one small canteen on the platform which sells tea but usually it closes by nine ‘o’ clock. You can safely step out after five ‘o’ clock in the morning. I arrive at around six.” –  Nikhil
“Don’t worry Nikhil. You carry on and I will make a place for myself near your stall. If time permits, I will also like to meet your father if that is OK with you”.
“Yes,certainly. My father would be delighted to meet you – but, beware he is full of anecdotes and it is said that many passengers have missed their train while listening to his tales. Good Night Sir.” – Nikhil
Ms. A. Yadav, read the nameplate outside the station master’s cabin. I was very surprised to see a woman as the station master – curiosity was crippling me. I stationed my rucksack on the bench and ambled towards the cabin. The door was mildly shut and I could see a subdued lantern within the room. I tiptoed towards the door fearing that it might disturb the occupant – knocked gently and pushed the door ajar. There was a middle aged man with his head bent down on what looked like a railway log book.

The man sprang from his position and stood upright thinking that I was some kind of railway inspector. I eased his trepidation and told him about myself and my motive in Simultala. His name was Manohar Chaudhuri and he was the Assistant Station Master. He informed me that the station master, Aditi Yadav would be here by 5 ‘o’ clock and would stay till nine in the night. Mr. Chaudhuri was also kind enough to offer me a resting place in the cabin but I had my open air bed waiting for me. Thanking him for his kindness I stepped out of the cabin.

I felt like an interstellar traveler having just arrived on the planet Earth and the Simultala station was my spaceship. I found comfort in the midst of fellow aliens around me, oblivious to the night and the location of the spaceship. My bed for the night was perfectly positioned – lower part of my body was under the roof of the platform while the upper part was under the full gaze of the stars and the moon. I imagined my source of origin – from which planet I had arrived and where I would be heading next. The teeming stars, it seemed, wanted to whisper something in my ears – through an extra-terrestrial Morse-code. The glimmering tracks, washed clean by the moonlight, tugged me back to the reality – it seemed  that the tracks knew about my communion with the stars – “wait for a few hours and you will see the caravan of earth moving once more over me. I needed some rest too”.

I glanced at my watch – it was half past four – soon it would be the turn of the Sun to call the shots. I looked for a water spout to erase any residue of sleep from my eyes. As the cold pristine water touched my face I thanked the stars, the moon and the sky for giving me their selfless company for the night.

I passed by the station master’s cabin but there was no movement within – saw Mr. Manohar Chaudhuri coming towards the cabin and I stopped. He told me that the station master had arrived at sharp five ‘o’ clock and that I can meet her. I promised to meet her on my way back as I intended to catch a train to Muzaffarpur  before noon.

I decided to walk instead of taking a conveyance. The tired street lights were putting up a brave face as the first rays of the sun emerged through the horizon – but the night was still trying to clutch on to the partial moon. A few railway employees were paddling their ancient bikes towards the station and a handful of hawkers were also gathering their spirits and wares for a new day. My eyes were rooted ahead and surveyed the landscape for any Gulmohar tree – according to Nikhil it was around five hundred meters from the station but I must have traveled more than that by now – still I continued to move on.

There was a cluster of trees ahead and I thought I had found my landmark – it turned out to be an old dilapidated building covered with poison ivy and complemented by large Neem trees – as if to counter the effects of the ivy.

 

“Simultala is a small place. You will find everything within a touching distance and this is a nice time you have chosen to move around the town. As the day breaks, I find it more difficult to get things done” – I was startled to see a man in relatively good health and spirits for his age, with a light silk shawl draped around him. The man passed by me without giving me a chance to inquire. I tried to follow him for a while and saw him stop as he realized that I was behind him.

 

It was unmistakable – the red, fiery flowers of the Gulmohar tree could be seen just a few meters from where I stood – I walked past the man.

There were a few resilient shanties on the right side of the Gulmohar tree. There were signs of life all around this colorful sanctuary – as I looked for any human movement. With a watchdog sitting in front of the first house I hesitated to approach it and stood for a while trying to survey the dwellings.

With the disposition of an early riser, a woman in her late forties came out of the first shanty and told me not to fear the dog – “Kisse milna hai? (whom do you want to meet).
“Kya aap Sooraj ko jaanti hain? (Do you know Sooraj)”, I asked the woman.
“Yahan toh koi Sooraj nahin rahta hai. (No one by the name of Sooraj resides here). Main yahan par 6 saal se rah rahin hoon – Poornima se maine yeh ghar kharida tha – Poornima ab apni beti ke saath ek pakke makan me rahti hain – Simultala station ke paas. ( I have been living here for the last six years – purchased this shanty from Poornima. Poornima moved with her daughter to a concrete house close to the Simultala station.)” – said the woman.
I saw an old lady overhearing us but with little interest in the conversation. By now I had my hopes receding  fast and the futility of my journey written all over my face.
“Sooraj mere se mila that aur usne hi bola ki woh yahan rahta hai (I had met Sooraj and he was the one who told me that he lived here), I said with a sense of resignation. The old woman looked at me – searching my eyes with her feeble and time-tested gaze.
“Sooraj yahan nahi rahta tha. Uski maa aur bahan yahan rahti thee (Sooraj didn’t live here. His mother and sister used to live here)”, the old woman broke her silence. “Poornima aur Aditi ne yeh ghar bech diya. Aditi ab Simultala station par kaam kart hai  – Uska ek bada office hai wahan (Poornima sold her house. Aditi works at Simultala station – She has a big office there)“.
For the first time since the start of the journey I knew where my steps should take me. I thanked the old woman and retraced my steps towards the station – it was a new day.
She was a decent looking and composed young woman, the petite frame betraying the confidence which she exuded from behind her desk. Like Nikhil, she thought that I was a journalist on a special mission to Simultala and offered me the chair opposite her.
“Good Morning Sir. My name is Aditi Yadav and I am working here as Station master for the last eighteen months. Were you able to find what you came to Simultala for?”, she spoke in a very sublime tone – which was extremely refreshing to come from any public servant in India.
“Yes I was able to do so. Simultala is a small but extremely hospitable place. As the lost stop before I move on in my journey I thought I will meet you as well”, I responded with an apprehension that the whole place may lose its physical form the next moment.
“Yes please. The next train arrives in a couple of hours so I am not stretched for time at all. Will you have tea? The canteen here serves good tea and we make sure that it uses only milk and not water. My mother used to create great tea and I have shared this process with the canteen owner. There is a belief in Simultala that the early morning and the late night teas are the best.” – said Aditi displaying her penchant for good tea.

 

The tea was served in white porcelain cups and the smell of cardamom filled the room. Aditi opened her personal desk and fished out a can of biscuits – she said that her mother makes the whole month’s quota for her as sometimes she doesn’t get the time for lunch. She offered me the homemade cookies, advising me that tea should always be taken with cookies in order to avoid any acidity. The resemblance was unmistakable…

I dipped a cookie in the cardamom blended tea, “Do you know Sooraj?”, I was restless within and desperate for a closure.

Aditi was motionless for a moment – I could sense a rustle of feet under the table – her faced twitched as her fingers strained to balance the tea cup.

“Why do you ask me?”, queried Aditi, astonished to the core with my question.
“I have met him a few times on my way through Simultala. It must have been nine years back when I saw him last. Just like today, I had tea with him. It must be around eleven’ o’clock in the night. I had a chance to see your father also, from a distance though and cannot tell whether he resembled you or Sooraj. I had promised Sooraj to bring books on my next trip for him and his sister, but could not meet him since that trip. He had confided that his house was near a Gulmohar tree – This was my mission to Simultala.” – I spoke through Aditi as if she was a thin white filament which might disappear along with my words.

But, there she was, statuesque, questioning my presence, gazing into the eternity past me and away from the humanity of Simultala station. Aditi got up from her seat and bolted the door from within in one single movement – opened a small locker to fetch a small pocket sized album. The little girl within her was visible in the way she clutched the album – without saying a word, she placed the album in front of me.

I took the album and moved to the window adjacent to the platform to see things in full light. It was a family album curated with love and lot of good memories. There was Sooraj, the well groomed kid holding his sister’s hand and nestled between his parents. Aditi was standing behind me – without saying a word she pointed towards Sooraj in the album. Sooraj was an eight year old kid standing besides his five year old little sister.

I looked at my watch – it was quarter to eight. I knew Manohar Chaudhuri, Aditi’s assistant would be here any moment – remembered the saying “somethings are better left alone”. I confirmed my train’s timing with Aditi and took my rucksack – the text books were still intact – almost nine years since I bought them. I requested Aditi to help me with the books as these were meant for Simultala. Aditi, wrapped the books with an old newspaper and put them in the locker along with the album. I gave Aditi my card and address in case she visited Calcutta. She was the little girl in the album – the time machine had moved things just a little bit.

As I moved towards the door, I heard her approach me, “Bhaiya (Dear Brother), my father was killed by the land mafia around fifteen years back. Sooraj was around twelve years old at that time and he had seen the face of one of the killers. He told the investigators that he can identify the killers – my mother was too distraught to silence him. They silenced him too. We used to live in the house a few hundred meters from the Gulmohar tree – now it’s all covered in poison ivy. Although a lot of Neem and Mango trees were in our backyard, we spent most of our summer holidays under the Gulmohar tree – making replicas of Simultala station and our house. After Baba and Bhaiya were gone, Maa would always tell me that my school fees were paid by somebody who knew us but did not want to disclose the identity – we were too cash strapped to think about it.” – Aditi gasped for breath. I asked her to sit down.
Manohar peeped through the door and waived at me – Aditi introduced me as her elder cousin from Calcutta. I promised to meet her mother, Poornima, on my next visit to Simultala – “it won’t be nine years this time”, I reassured her.
Aditi took my rucksack and stuffed the lunchbox which her matcher packed for her everyday – getting the assurance from me that I will return her lunchbox soon. Manohar informed that my train was about to arrive on platform number one. I waived back as I stepped on to the train – looking beyond Aditi – searching for the Gulmohar tree and the quaint little house near it – hoping to get a glimpse of Sooraj in the daytime.

I was far away from home – at home in Simultala – took a window seat and opened the  lunchbox.

Image credit: Robert Steele

About author

Vineet Iqbal Singh
Vineet Iqbal Singh 1 posts

I am a curious traveler - enchanted by the voice of nature - unplugged and pristine. My passion is 'learning to teach' - the right way - which i haven't found yet. Geographical, linguistic and cultural boundaries baffle me to this day. Anonymity is close to my heart - the first step to being free.

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It is a Habit No different from other days The struggle for tea in the morning The morning misery in the eyes of my daughter the border defined by her

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The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest masterpiece

« I’m sure that there are people who really like what we do and others who don’t[…] I just think it is interesting to start a dialogue », Yorgos Lanthimos, leading figure

Anathpindat & other Poems

Anathpindat* Rotten sea shell gashes your opium dream Before the morning prayer dance floor dishevels. While taking coffee in this bordello city Sleep evaporates from checkered table cloth. With cloud

An Ambivalent Text: Chayan Samaddar

I heard that Children’s Literature was ’Impossible’, I heard it was an amorphous entity, I heard that there was no readily definable body of Children’s Literature any more than there

Zen poems

1) These rain drops Fresh and full Drenched in the Touch of sky Come dancing Like a naughty child   2) A kite   Looks like a swinging dot At

For the Fragrance of Puran Poli & Other Poems: Ravi Korde

Name : RAVI LAXMIKANT KORDE. Born on 14th Jan. 1979.  Place: Jalgav Mete,  Aurangabad District, (MAHARASHTRA). Completed Masters Degree in English Literature. Poetry Collection in Marathi entitled ‘Dhoosar Zale Naste

‘Majjhim Pantha’ by Roshnara Mishra – A Review by Anirban Bhattacharya

…..and the search continues. A poet, bewildered, observes the very similitude of every tedium of life, whispering “ekta rasta/hothat-i arekta rastar moto’’ (a street, all on a sudden, seems like

Wind-script, Trigger Happy & Other Poems

1. Walk into the eerie; and sense who drills thy tomb with the wind-stone. 2. The propeller turns as a maze. On whose flesh that maroon nightgown murmurs? Oh human-toy!

TRADUCCION POEMAS VIKTOR

1 por la precisión supe que el tiro vino de dentro **** for accuracy I knew the shot came from inside 2 me oculto en la rutina   sonrío    reparto tarjetas

Firdaus: Mukta Singh Zocchi

Grass grows, birds hop around and fly again, waves smash their heads on the shore, then dissipate. I have my sponges. I will watch them as they grow and die, then

The Rain and Other Poems: Shankha Ghosh

Shankha Ghosh (born 6 February 1932) is a Bengali poet and critic, born in Chandpur of present day Bangladesh. He is a leading authority on Rabindranath Tagore. Other than that,

Parabash-A Story of Migration: Chakori Mitra

Parabash, written in 1975, was a story about a forfeited man who came all the way from a remote place of Bengal to the city of joy to accumulate some

Kite & Other Poems: Bijoy Sankar Barman

An accomplished Assamese poet and translator, Bijoy Sankar Barman (b.1980) already has nine published books on different genres to his credit. The recipient of the prestigious Munin Barkataki Award in

Ahalya of the rock & Other poems: KGS Pillai

Ahalya of the rock Leader of the mission to protect the hermits stood on a jungle rock watching the forest dwellers’ heads floating down the wild stream. “step away ,

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