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The Stage of New York

It's always Showtime in New York. An ode to The City That Never Sleeps.

The curtain unfurls and the musical begins,

The underground roars kaboom, kaboom

Costumes and masks weave their way through hurtling yellow trains

Beaded knots and broken hearts, brief-cases and painted-over easels

I-phones and straightened hair, accents melting into impromptu conversations

The stage clears…

An ice-cream truck parked in the middle of Central Park

Shorts, shades and picnics,

The resilient joggers run to a fitness trainer

On a tv show, who keeps time, kaboom, kaboom

That noise again. The ghostly steel scrapers of power

Silently dance on a still pond covered in fall colours

A pair of lovers lean against an iron railing locked in an endless embrace

kissing little crevices and moles on arms and legs

Chinese dolls with weathered hands and my grandmother’s silver hair

Bargain with many camera’d tourists

A few coins drop into a pool, a few into a guitar case, a few in a slot machine

The stage clears … that sound again, kaboom , kaboom

A Show within a show, The Rock Of Ages- plays tribute

To that great 80’s notion called the lust for life and then

A recently found old friend in a jalapeno cocktail pitcher

As the naked man strums his guitar, kissing mid-western tourists @Times Square

The stage clears and a ballerina dances across an old museum

She is a dream, she is sculpted, she is a billboard, she is the muse, she is art

Donated by merchants and bankers, a tear kisses a damask cheek and says

Here he is with his lilies and his yellows and his blue leaves and then

Right next to him that terrifying silent scream

The stage spins around, an old musty basement in a bottle of jazz,

A trickle of happiness running down a frosted glass of whiskied laughter

Fingers wrapped around melted artichoke pizza,

The comedian insults four Indian girls into a little corner

While an Ethiopian beauty rescues them with mulled wine

and her infinite black eyes

The Stage of New York welcomes actors from across the world

To play themselves in the unfolding drama of a city

whose underground roars Kaboom , kaboom


NYC sketch by Indrani Chakraborty, Photographs by Pritha Choudhuri 

3 Comments on The Stage of New York

  1. Rika Banerji // January 2, 2014 at 11:07 am // Reply

    This poem transported me back to New York for a few minutes…every scene and every little detail so artfully described in words, evoked pleasant memories.

  2. Sreelekha Maitra // January 3, 2014 at 6:50 am // Reply

    Great to see two of my dear friends creatively in one page :) Elina’s well-crafted slice-of-life writing style, coupled with Indu’s evergreen love of art. More power to women and their ventures.

  3. Ananya Maitra // January 4, 2014 at 8:48 am // Reply

    Great to remember our times together in the “CTNS”…..look forward to seeing more of your illustrations, dear friend!!

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