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‘A Wedding Cataclysm’, ‘The Sleeptime Torture’, and ‘The Fly’

Shamik Banerjee


Scene 1. A chap explains his elopement plan to his lover on the day of her wedding, before the ritual of the seven circumambulations. 

“Stay hidden in the dressing room

To spike the sharbat of the groom;

Then at the yajna, hold your spot

Until you hear the pistol shot,

And when the crowd has gone amok, reach for the gate

And quickly run towards this sloop, where I will wait.”

“But be aware of old Mithoon — 

Your father’s proud and bulbous goon;

His message spreads faster than light,

So warily sneak past his sight.

If that is done, no other hindrance will befall,

We’ll flee this gaon and none will know a thing at all.

Scene 2.  Moments before the seven circumambulations.

The groom was drugged successfully,

The bride was where she ought to be,

The gunshot thundered — dishkiyaow!

It caused a violent rowdydow:

The timid father buckled from a heart attack,

This sudden mishap turned the maiden’s vision black.

The chap deemed something wrong, he reached

At the marquee and loudly screeched,

“We don’t have time, run, Savitri!”

But old Mithoon thwacked at his knee.

The youth faced depreciation and was later jailed — 

A dad was floored, a crowd was shocked, a plan had failed.


Yajna — the sacred fire by which Hindu marriage vows are taken 

Sharbat — Urdu for “juice” 

Gaon — Hindi for “village” 

Dishkiyaow — a nonce word for the sound made by a discharging firearm (a gunshot) 

Rowdydow — a commotion, a state of panic 


Please slow down, wife; there is no hurry.

You must digest each grub you eat;

Remember, this is chicken curry,

And I don’t want you to repeat

That act which nearly ripped my brain

By turning our quilt’s flowery scent

Into that of a sewer drain

With your sound-muted bombardment. 


The puny, blackish, winged bull

Kept daring me with overfull

Aplomb within its turgid eyes

While sitting on my bowl of rice,

Then rubbed its hands as if the boss

Of hooligans, and planned to toss

My peaceful supper time away,

And fill me with intense dismay.

So, then I thought to swat it flat,

But did not have the knowledge that

Its feelers were more active than

The mere five senses of a man — 

I missed. It flew, hid in my hair,

And God knows what amused it there;

Annoyed my scalp for quite a while,

Then flew off with a mocking smile. 

Shamik Banerjee is a poet from India. Some of his poems are forthcoming in The Hypertexts, Lighten Up Online, Westward Quarterly and Disturb The Universe.

Instagram: @where_tales_end