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Poetry—Platforms Transformed, Rendezvous, Bookworms, April Blues—Sanjukta Dasgupta

Dr.Sanjukta Dasgupta, Professor and Former Head, Dept of English and Former Dean, Faculty of Arts, Calcutta University, is a poet, short story writer, critic and translator. She is a member of the General Council of Sahitya Akademi New Delhi and Convenor, English Advisory Board, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. She is the President of the Intercultural Poetry and Performance Library, Kolkata. She received the WEI Kamala Das Poetry Award in 2020.

Dasgupta has 24 published books. Her published books of poetry are Snapshots (1997), Dilemma (2002), First Language (2005), More Light (2009), Lakshmi Unbound ( 2017) Sita’s Sisters (2019) Unbound : New and Selected Poems edited by Jaydeep Sarangi and Sanghita Sanyal) 2021. Her poems have been translated in German, Serbian, Bengali, Hindi, Rajasthani and Tamil. 


This is indeed semantic jugglery

Platforms were always at railway stations

Standing sadly on platforms as loved ones chugged away

Craning necks at platforms for delayed trains 

Running on platforms for a last touch of the outstretched arm

The air-conditioned trains spoilt it all!

No more standing and waiting on platforms

Platforms are now performance theatres

Virtual platforms in our own homes

Crowds crow and jostle, smile and jabber

Platforms in living rooms

An audio-visual invasive invention

Global and local performance platforms

Even fake platforms with liars lying like truth

Untouchable, dust-free, stench-free OTT platforms

No need to cling to handbags as if they are dissected hearts

No pickpockets, no food-stalls, no bookstalls

Few legs, mostly faces and voices on video platforms

Platforms created by the Narcissus Corporate

Streaming of Selfie fantasies more potent than cocaine snorts

Platforms on tables and palms dictate, debate, disseminate

Alas, virtual platforms just transform methods not minds!

Sanjukta Dasgupta 

July 19, 2020


Every midnight I live a little

As you appear out of the horizon

To hold me in a dream

Every night sleep seems

To be an entry ticket 

To the boudoir of fantasies

As we hold each other

The grip sways 

Between a clutch and a touch

The embrace of the vibrant Unreal

Enlivens the comatose Real

Every midnight I die a little

I stretch my arms

And hold each dream 

Breathless in ecstasy 

Drunk with the elixir

That only dreams can stir

Happiness jerks me out of sleep

Dreams disturbed

Lie like glass shards underfoot

The dreamless daze of day

Living death everyday

Waiting to wake up 

In your arms again my love

When midnight strikes

And dreams of you 

Dispel living death. 

Sanjukta Dasgupta

February 22, 2022


Where have all the bookworms gone

Lamented the libraries

Library reading rooms

Lie vacant as churches on weekdays

Will they ever return

Those young and elderly bibliophiles

Caressing and clutching every book 

Like lovers discovering every pore

Of their enticing beloveds

The armies of bandit worms

Terrorist termites that tunnel

Through the hearts 

Of hardcovers and paperbacks

Burrowing through book-spines 

Suddenly find there are no

Buffets of books on library shelves 

Traumatised, they turn suicidal. 

Like the single screen movie halls

The libraries and reading rooms have

Metamorphosed into shops and cafes

No space for redundant books

Renamed hardcopies, hardheartedly 

“Rs 200 for a kilo of books” 

Shouted the tantalizing hoardings

As well as the advertisements online

‘Lock the box, all books must go

As did the cassettes and discs’ 

The unbound PDFs

Smile smugly, safe and secure

Shunned by silverfish and mildew

The Portable Document Format

Paper clipped image, unglued

The game-changer unparalleled. 

The cheeky PDFS in folders chuckle

As the millennials hug their tablets

The bibliophile dinosaurs mourn

Alas, a clutch of books nestling

In eager proud arms is now

A sepia-tinted retro fantasy

Etched on crumbling

Old walls in old houses.

Sanjukta Dasgupta

March 26, 2022

This poem was born on reading


From dust to dust 

Ashes to ashes

Death is deadlier in April

Young Jesus dies on the cross 

April wars kill the young and old

Yet tender green grass shoots

Pierce through the earthy blanket 

Like defiant green flags of promise

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust

And then the resurrection 

The rekindling of snuffed candle wicks

The rejuvenescence of hope and promise

Resilience steadfast, victorious, smiling

At ruthless annihilation as an aberration 

The guitar strings strum the soul songs

April blues mourn, weep, smile 

As benediction like gentle rain from the heavens

Awaken the slumbering grass roots

As forgiveness warms the guilty heart

As the victim emerges victorious 

In resurrected divine glory

Sanjukta Dasgupta

April 2, 2022



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