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Image by Bailey Heedick

When Time is a Magic Jar
By Mallika Bhaumik

A time comes 

out of the trunk, like the winter shawl; smelling of naphthalene

worn out; yet keeping you warm,

- an old friend, with whom you share steaming cups of tea on misty winter mornings.

There are so many unworded stories you share,

the foolish things you did as a child 

How you laughed and laughed !

Letting sun rays doodle on your skin, 

your hair ruffled by the wayward wind,

a familiar voice calling you back home, possibly your mother's.


A time so long ago; that it can go missing by the bend of the road,

and no one will ever know of it. 

It was never so important to become part of any history book.

Such a time, just as ordinary as the street tap water running by the pavement wall,

the easy chair of your balcony watches it day-long.

Yet, for you, it's a pretty glass jar; magic filled, 

opening it's lid

carrying you there-where your ailing bones turn agile

the truant feet dart along the aisle of paddy fields, 

You bend down to pick up fallen raw mangoes; after the tumult of 'Kalboisakhi.'

The moss laden walls, the narrow lanes 

the damp smell, the cracked windowpanes,

the wooden benches of your zilla school

return to your eyes with the luminosity of the Northern lights.

It is that time, that makes you cry. 

You wish to ditch your crippled old shadow,

the easy chair, the patient friendship of the shawl

and rush back to chase the fireflies.

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