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ANANDO SEN

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Member Since: Nov, 2009

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Chinatown
by ANANDO SEN

Friday, September 07, 2012
Rated "G" by the Author.
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           >> View all 20

A typical observational poetry that points out the beauty of cultural blending that results from cross-border migration.

I dozed off in the Cantonese carpentry

While my sister was prescribing spices

On her strong smelling green betel leaf;

Renowned Bengalis in the suburb of Kolkata

Whom my brother-in-law could identify

Were all around us from their day’s break;

Most of them were prescribing China-cooked prawns.

 

All I remember was the sweet-corn soup;

Some bald wrinkled faces struggling to emerge

Amidst smokes from their high society pipes;

Portraits of some Chinese convicts in Madras;

Noisy gumboots on the stony terrace;

One of the tallest Mickey clowns I had ever seen;

Some fine designs by the crackers in the starless February sky;

Soya sauce stains on the white spread-cloth that became tan.

 

It was like a Chinese Christmas in India.


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Reviewed by Ronald Hull 9/8/2012
Reminds me of the time when we pulled up to a wild West movie set style hitching post in a suburb of Karachi, where there were four odd-sized window air conditioning units in the windowless back wall, and a little old Chinese man kept disappearing behind a sheet for a curtain and bringing us many Chinese treats from the English menu.

Chinese food is the same everywhere. The clash of cultures was sublime.

Ron
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