Best Sumit Majumdar Poems

Below are the all-time best Sumit Majumdar poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members

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The Pauper


Bent and frail, the old man stood
Seeking alms only when in need of food
Without any whining to gain sympathy
But an upturned palm and a silent plea

In the five odd years that I saw him on Lansdowne Road
To and from office with long strides as I strode
Merely a few times did he indicate his need
Which at first I ignored, as I did his creed

One afternoon, on my way back home
Engrossed in thought and walking alone
An upturned palm was thrust from the side
And I fished for change and my rancour died

After that, he ignored me a while
I felt he was testing me, as he would a child
A frugal life he lived, and his needs were few
To him it mattered little whence the ill wind blew

There is a temple off the road where he lived
Where the rich and powerful come to voice their need
And at the temple gate loiter a clutch of beggars
But never he; he sported different feathers

He shunned the spot where the pickings were fair
He had his dignity though his back was bare
A pungent odour still pervades the space he dwelt
Even a week after the morning of his death

Torso hanging forward between parted knees
His lips barely grazing mother earth for a farewell kiss
I saw him slouched thus, on that log that day
And distinctly recall it was morning, and the 14th of May

He died with dignity on his wooden throne
In death, as in life, he was all alone
I still don’t know what his story was
Nor how the dice of his fate was cast

Copyright © Sumit Majumdar | Year Posted 2012

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I recall it was just the other day Featured in the daily for which we pay Your blown-up photo splashed across The front page for all to gloss Your background and your virtues extolled For your wedding bells were soon to toll With a king-in-waiting as the groom You would wilt or you would bloom For marriage makes or marriage breaks And happiness, it gives or takes. Demure and with dimpled smile With an innocent heart, free of guile The press was exuberant, so were we You were the most charming in the royal family. Welcomed all across the globe The royal couple widely roved Ambassadors of all things good Displaying virtues like royalty would You touched hearts wherever you went Concern and compassion were your strength. You were blessed in due course With two sons that God had chose Then differences with the prince surfaced And you lost face, where you once graced And while your marriage began to flounder Your man, the prince continued to blunder On the treacherous rocks of marital infidelity You were shattered – your happiness was the casualty. You decided to go your separate ways Those were also the wishes of the palace The trauma of separation was sheer hell The ways of royalty were beginning to tell. Now, hordes of newsmen invaded your privacy In your land and beyond, you became a refugee The air was also rife with rumours Of liaisons and friendships and misdemeanours Your saddest day though, was the divorce Of you, whose touch was like the kiss of a rose. And alone, sweet Princess, you forged along Your grace, in adversity, inspired many a song Of worthy causes, you were still a crusader And you remained ever, a loving mother. It is said, you had found love at last And the leech like lensmen went wild with thirst For photos which augment tabloid sales They chased you in cars and astride motorcycles. For you, a Parisian tunnel was the end of the road You didn’t reap in life, what you had sowed And while your life ebbed within the wreck The paparazzi zoomed in, to make hay off the break Your blood-spattered close-ups drove them to frenzy As you lay helpless, unattended and in agony. And later in the night, mercifully all was darkness The world woke to a tragedy caused by sheer madness

Copyright © Sumit Majumdar | Year Posted 2013

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A girl was raped in a bus that night

A girl was raped in a bus that night 
By six men, all drunk, who had lost their minds	
Ambrosia was the elixir of gods, it is said
But godlike men in this age aren’t born or made
Alcohol wrecks judgment, makes beasts out of men 
Deeds under its influence have put us men to shame
Shops abound in our nation where alcohol is sold
The government till overflows when the weather turns cold
A corrupt force is tasked to uphold the country’s law
Incidents occurring on a daily basis expose this basic flaw
Fear of law is no deterrent for miscreants and crooks
The police prefer to look away; with them, they are in cahoots  
But a girl still battles death today aided by a ventilator
Skewered with an iron rod that night, unending was her horror
Demonstrations against this shame were met with brutal force
Citizens showing solidarity were bludgeoned without remorse
The hand that wields the baton to protect civil society
Is now the hand that throttles free voice and liberty
Bad governance, we know is the bane of any nation
Bad policing and lawlessness is responsible for any country’s degeneration
Instead of upholding law and maintaining order
Law enforcers are subdued by their political masters
Whose lack of will to rein in the force given selfish political aspirations 
Stems from a sense of indebtedness for furthering their ambitions 
Burning state fuel at night they stalk and chase prey
Fleecing shady truckers and wheeler-dealers who operate in markets grey
This extortion by night on city road and state highway
Robs the state of much needed revenue and is an add-on to their pay
Similar incidents happen each day of the year and night
In night’s anonymous darkness or blatantly by daylight
With the force preoccupied in matters so vital
Who will protect our girls and control the crime spiral
The government of the day is callous to people’s concerns
Callous to  a daughter’s fate on whom men on a bus took turns

Copyright © Sumit Majumdar | Year Posted 2012

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Dreaming of a pot of gold, you came to town
It was sprawling, this metropolis, you knew none around
Your earnings were scant and engagements, irregular
The overseer assured steady income in lieu of a favour
You succumbed to ward off uncertainties, and gradually sank deeper

You were born of impoverished stock, high up in the Himalayas
Your clean looks and youthful age were your kin’s panacea
Your home, the arid plains, where land is mostly barren
Starvation a reality, your innocent world was broken
When it comes to sacrifice, inevitably you are chosen

You were a country girl, pubescent and barely thirteen
Travelling to the big city with a distant kin
To serve an urban family with mop and pail
A drug laced cup of tea made you vulnerable to a cartel
You woke, imprisoned, in a dingy room of a highway brothel

Battered and beaten and raped to submission
You forgot the gods and your daily oblation
Your escort paid dearly for his betrayal and malice
Was it your homage to the gods or backstreet justice?
You languish now in jail, but the brothel still exists

You were in your second year, studying BA (Honours)
With a weakness for the life of the upper class
And the knowledge to achieve what you felt, you must
The initiation was debasing – no niceties, just frenzied lust
The payment was in cash –the first time wasn’t the last

You are not alone in your tainted existence
Women arriving at the metropolis in suburban trains
Working by day and exiting before the peak hour rush
Living in opulence, in times past – barely middle class
Very discreet, these devil women and financially flush

You conceived, a professional risk, and the baby you resolved to keep
Now nineteen and actively trafficking, his misdeeds make you weep
His latest catch, a tender ten year old, the same age you were shackled
Your flesh and blood, the son, you had mothered from the cradle!
Your agony was incomplete, now it had completed its cruel cycle

Hail lady of the night
With time, you’ve overcome both fear and fright 
And blended the distinction between wrong and right
You’ve lost your vision, though you retain your sight
In a world shrouded in darkness where the sun still shines bright

Copyright © Sumit Majumdar | Year Posted 2012

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The lion told the bear
This jungle we can share
If you eat only honey and fish
For bees, I fear and fish, I don’t relish

Although I love to play in water
I stay far from the hippo’s daughter
For she is very heavy, you see
And forgets her weight, in moments of glee

Though in the jungle, I’m king
I fear thunder and streaks of lightning
But I do love the pitter -patter of rain
Although only from the shelter of my den

Swishing my tail, pacing to and fro
Sometimes, I just let myself go
And the jungle trembles when it hears me roar
It knows, for some reason, I am mad or sore

Seeing my golden mane glinting in the sun
The monkeys fall silent and stop having fun
Though I love them and their mischievous ways
I don’t let on; a little distance always pays

I have some friends from younger days, 
Bristles the porcupine and an elephant called Mace
We meet, deep in the jungle, overlooking a creek
In a secluded place, about once a week

We laze and chat till fall of night
When we part, I wave till they are out of sight
Then alone through the forest, I return to my den
And the next morning, I sleep till well past ten

When pangs of hunger, through the belly course
I know it’s time to use some force
It is normal for a king to track and hunt
A bachelor who lives with a frail old aunt

I recall, during younger days, we learnt
To stalk and hunt with mommy and aunt
They taught us well and to choose with care
And after the kill, the meal to share 

Endless games of pounce, we’d play
With the swishing tail of mother, as she lay
With flies a buzzing in the summer heat
Snapping at them with our sharp little teeth	

We were a family of young and old
A pride, we were called, very proud and bold
Haughty was our dad; we feared our father
And naughty were we with our aunts and mother

Many times in our reign, we have to marry
And for the wives to hunt is customary
They hunt together – it’s safer for them
That’s why, by tradition, we maintain a harem  

I am king by destiny
Serious am I for the world to see
I must never be seen to enjoy triviality
Governing a kingdom is big responsibility

Copyright © Sumit Majumdar | Year Posted 2012

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Bangladesh: The Birth of a Nation - II

A civil war flared up and raged on for freedom
Unequal it was, this bloody war for honour and secession
The natives renamed their land Bangladesh
Inviting anew the wrath of a desperate West

The army’s presence then, was overwhelming in their land
 Due to the simmering discontent within and a border to be manned
And from ground and air the armed forces effortlessly struck
It was anarchy all the way with the West’s army running amuck

In thousands they perished, nameless sons of the soil
But the army had orders and the people’s aspirations to foil
They killed and burned and looted and raped
Digging mass graves to conceal evidence of the dead

Granaries were burnt and villages razed
The troops shot all that moved and Bangladesh bled
Women captured alive, endured inhuman pain
Brutally used, they’d be killed with a bullet to the brain

Through their brutal acts in ’71, a sovereign state struck terror
And as news of the carnage spread, an impotent world watched in horror
Protector of civilian lives, the army had turned butcher
Nine months later and a million dead, Bangladesh resembled an abattoir

Resistance was futile against the war machine
Would the aspirations of Bangladeshi’s remain just a dream?
In this riverine country that year, the monsoons suddenly arrived
Rivers in spate impeded troop movement and halted the state’s genocide

With the receding flood waters, India joined the fray
But now Nixon’s 7th Fleet showing solidarity with Pakistan steamed into Bengal’s bay
Mercifully the Indian leadership stood resolute and undeterred
And the rampaging army in Bangladesh was quickly outmanoeuvred

There was no resistance from the state sponsored killers
Ninety thousand troops surrendered meekly to the liberators
Reports of atrocities and mass graves were dismissed as slander and lies
The masterminds were let off the hook, pressured by powerful allies

Copyright © Sumit Majumdar | Year Posted 2012

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You were born in a war ravaged state
You lost your man to the caprices of fate
You fell prey to your wayward ways
Victims of betrayal, greed or circumstances
You were drowned in the tide of darkness

Depraved incidents of forced sex and perversions
Rooted in carnal desires and unsated frustrations
The fleshpots in town frowned upon as receptacles of sin
Wisdom of society’s views wearing very thin
Thwarting those in heat from living out their dream

Objects of titillation and subjected to derision
Unfortunately placed or forced in a profession
Reckoned as the world’s oldest
Harlots you are, courtesans at best
Buffers to man’s baser side without respite or rest

Mistress to royalty or a gangster’s moll
You’ve mastered the act of a defenceless doll
Apparently enjoying the bizarre and the extraordinary
But behind this masquerade is the quintessential mercenary
Pandering only to the philandering of the paying strata of humanity

You frequent raunchy night-clubs and sleazy bars
Walk the streets and lurk around dark corners
You are often just a number in the telephone directory
Or recommended for unusual skills, honed to a speciality
But you seldom blackmail, reflecting your innate nobility

Possibly you booze to drown your pain
And get your high on heroin and cocaine
You are accused of ruining marital ties
And of driving your lovers to a life of vice
Who squander fortunes, just affording your price

Hail lady of the night
Only death can release you from your sordid plight
You are the paramour without the strings of a wife
You are the reprieve from loneliness and strife
But alas, you suffer damnation in your earthly life

Copyright © Sumit Majumdar | Year Posted 2012

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It was just another December day
Not cool yet - due to global warming they say
I’d taken leave and was feeling restless at home
A bit depressed and all alone
Stepping outdoors would do me good
Walking some miles would change my mood
As I stepped outside and turned right 
The sun was bright and gradually reaching its height
Past the kids I walked, who were out at play
And headed for the busy highway
Walking along the asphalt road
Past the hospital crowd of anxious faces of young and old
Crossing giant pillars rising from the ground
Supporting prefab blocks and tracks on which carriages would move around
Changing gradient and plunging underground
Carrying masses to work or passengers homeward bound 
Not finding my rhythm, I retraced my steps
And headed west, to a lake which comforted me in bygone days
The park around lay ravaged by our man made ways
Trees which survived and construction equipment were cloaked in a dusty haze
The Metro eventually would connect the city’s east to the west
For now, winter’s migratory birds have forsaken this haven of roost and rest
And we are anxiously awaiting this work to end
Allow time for Mother Nature to heal and mend 

Copyright © Sumit Majumdar | Year Posted 2012

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My Redhead - dictionary fun contest

Rehearsing my lines with passion
And yearning for her affection
A redhead flame, I was keen to meet
Desiring a meaningful relationship
My inner soul would cherish the touch of her tender lips
And the taste of salt from a shared packet of chips
But each attempt to connect was a struggle
Like that of a soldier fighting another’s battle
The fear of scorn is courtship’s doom
But soldiering on might see love bloom
Despite the abomination of rejection, I was undeterred
Cupid’s bamboozle, I’d outwit and find my love

Copyright © Sumit Majumdar | Year Posted 2012

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Sequel to A Girl was raped in a bus that night

It is time to grieve a cop has died
Son to a mother, darling father to a child
Leaving kin behind and many more
Claimed by the force to have been beaten to pulp by a mob seeking gore
An honest cop fell of which there are a few
But it wasn't the cop that the movement slew
The lie is contested by those present, who saw
The ugly face stands exposed of the upholders of law
They tried to twist facts to make a point
In our country even post mortem reports can be purloined
Claims made by the force are inconsistent so far
The cop wasn't battered but it was the chief’s attempt to tar
Civil society and a spontaneous movement by far

He succumbed to cardiac arrest and possibly the atrocities he witnessed that day
Taken care of by civil society who sought assistance for his medical care
Humanity grieves whenever a life is lost 
Foolish decisions by foolish men and look who’s paid the cost
There will be an inquiry, a routine government demand
But in this age of vendetta politics, the state will likely seek an innocent's remand
So vitiated is the administration’s vision today 	
For a cop’s death a political adversary will have to pay 
But in that ill fated time there was only one villain in the fray
The rest were civil society gathered near Raisina Hill that day  
Policemen on duty who had donned their uniform
Forgot the law and the oath they had sworn
Striking citizens in chilly December with water cannons and batons
They have to learn policing anew from more civilized nations
The collateral damage the chief spoke of like some Bollywood goon
Has exposed him for what he is – our national buffoon
Listen governments past and present
It is time the Augean stables were cleansed
If the freedom guaranteed by our founding fathers is not assured today
If the birthright of security that a woman needs is trivialized and frittered away
Lest ye forget the girl’s condition hasn't improved and remains critical
Time to introspect and delve into a mindset, still medieval 
A handy tool to cover misdemeanours and serving well your political ends
Who turn on their masters and subvert truths for your petty gains 
You in Government remember we are a billion or more 
Our votes count – come 2014 and election day, you’ll be shown the door

Copyright © Sumit Majumdar | Year Posted 2012