Seduced in the Sunderbans


Blue above, blue beneath; waters and skies kiss at yonder point.

A thick line stretches with flags of greenery, bold enough
to sustain salty tides, as muddy lands, bronze in sunrays
swathe itself with the poignant carpet of the Ganges.

Boatman swings as if wind itself in the unheard stretches.
Vista lucid enough but not to overcome eyes in the clay.
Death lies behind the muck and life too; they choose to struggle.

Nights alert through sounds; river breezes rumour in our ears-
“Look the ‘Royal’ sees you from behind, from beside, in front...”
Fake cries of people tilt the launch as feet gather on a side
just to beat hope against the blinding trees and bushes.
We hover in coop while roars roam around us in the chill
captivating mists dangle themselves over salty fluids,
blurring reality in the splendour that seduces us with drunken eyes.

Word-masters may faint penning it from tip to tail for
Where is the tip and where is the tail?
Scintillating silence
Winded by the recurrent chirping and seldom fox cries;
and the wish to see the king, bothering every moment
makes the guards utter, “If seen within the cage it’s royal,
For those who dare to sense it and hear its gasp, it’s lethal.”

Verses bow, prose too, ideas too vast for them.
Logs of wood keep us
alive till they rot,
afloat in them till they float,

Nature’s dearest are the ‘Royals’ here. Her lap just for them.
Eyes become weary, swollen without sleep, still open with hope
while the king dozes and watches us every jiffy through royal eyes.
He must be smiling seeing the hunters enslaved within inebriated waters.

A serene approval haunts the heart as we depart,
kicks the pendulum faster to say,
Come here and float but beware of seduction.


1. Sunderbans - One of the densest mangrove forests of India in the Delta region of the river Ganges in the state of West Bengal. Named after the Sundari trees that flourish in these forests.
2. Royal - The Royal Bengal Tiger residing in the Sunderbans.