Parbatipur Junction 1971 - Poem by Shahabuddin Nagari
When I got down from train at Parbatipur Junction it was midnight
Noiseless silence engulfed me from all sides
As if I’m standing at the centre of a giant marshland
Have I got down in this platform alone?
I looked all sides once; the tea-stall is closed
A stray dog is sleeping in front of the bookstore
The waiting room is locked with a giant lock on its door
As if it’s a condemn cell of a prison.
Lights oozing out of dust-laired tube lights looked dull and dim
Pale light has turned the entire platform
Into a the weird and ghostly forest
Did I come down at a wrong place?
As I walked towards the station-master’s room
My feet felt a pile of dropped leaves,
a dead-body’s under the leaves
Before I could flinch,
Linesman uncle Sunil appeared from nowhere
With a lighted lantern, and asked,
Aren’t you Mahmud? Where are you goin’? Come with me.
Uncle Sunil started to walk in different direction
He didn’t called me again, didn’t looked back even.
His lantern suddenly turned off at a gush of wind
Again the bewitched darkness jumped all around like a black cat
My head rolled
In Seventy-one, didn’t the Biharis slaughter
Uncle Sunil in this platform?
I couldn’t see anything with my clouded eye-glasses,
Under my feet the Parbatipur Junction gradually moved away
The over-bridge started to smash down, red coloured sheds fell apart
Signal Post fell down beside the drain
Steel slippers of the train-line started to turn into dusts
Like flying cotton
And started to fly in the air,
Before my eyes the frenzied Biharis
Ran hither and thither with open sword in their hands
In the dark, this Parbatipur Junction turned into
A slaughter-house of seventy-one
Fresh blood started to sprinkle out
Like flowing fountains into the platform.
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