Poems by Tapati Gupta


My Pink Room

Suddenly the walls declared

I am pink immaculately pink

The curtains match me

And the lampshade pinky pink.

“Do you notice me?”

Notice I did

Wrapping it up in a staring surprise.

How is it that the untidy heap of books

The stacks of newspapers

Two pairs of specs and the

Death’s head Buddha

Appeared as concrete

As materiality could ever appear.

So touchable. Fusion of hardness and softness

Successes and failures

Wrapped in an amiable jumble

A jungle impenetrable

Suddenly appeared lucid

Habitable, with blue-lighted rooms

Greening minds

Coffee smells down summer streets

Grey alley ways full of stalls selling colourful glass bangles.

Suddenly the pink turned into all this.

A grey segment of memory remained

Like a pigeon’s feather slipped off

From the bright bird that had just left the cornice

The feather became the beggar to whom I had turned an indifferent ear that very morning.

Sharply soft.

Sharply hard.

Her toffee-coloured flesh

Barbecued with want.

Her husky voice repeating “Allah ki Piyari ”

Though I turned a deaf ear to this my new appellation.

Let the Plants Grow

Let the plants grow

Peacefully form crevices and dark holes.

There is no need to pluck them out for the building is already crumbled.

Let them rejuvenate the brittle old bricks with their green breath.

Only stop for a while to listen to the sound of their breath

As they rub their fingers across the old wall

And let the spring breeze ravish them.

Do not disturb them. Just pass them by.


What is the secret of our growing,

Our greening, our sharp sword- like fingers, softening with the special softness

Of the strength of caressing fingers ?

You never ever touched us like this before

Though we have bordered the soil of your balcony for more than twenty years.

You never watered us so lovingly before,

You never spent hours sipping your tea and penetrating our depths as you waited for we know not what,

Reclined in your balcony seat.

You touched us with your sleepy fingers,

Fiddled through our body

Smelled our freshness moistened by the trickling water that you poured on us.

It was the first time you saw us though you have looked before, and got busy with managing your day.

The soft breasted pigeons alight into our sharp blades,

Not minding the pricks that we render

For we are not the smooth ‘durba’ grass, we are the strong and thick.

The yellow alamanda flower decorates us with their gentle blossoms.

But we need your caring nurture, your sunny presence.

Please do not discard us when your human world of touch is restored.

Although we are just a strip of grass.


Tapati Gupta is a retired Professor of the Department of English, University of Calcutta and former Head of the Department. An erudite scholar, a theatre, arts and music aficionado and enthusiastic photographer, she continues to pursue new interests with indefatigable zeal.

One thought on “Poems by Tapati Gupta

  1. Tapoti di.super excellent. I liked it so much. I am proud of you. With love. Nanda k Ghosh-Hajra. Houston. USA 🇺🇸


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