On Emptiness / Mallika Bhaumik

An absence remains hung  in the air like an old familiar smell.

The ripeness of the autumn sun filters through the shuttered windows, stirring the stillness of the room.

The  geometry of the room bears the weight of the void.

A pair of feet moves like earthworms, digging the mosaic of the floor, eating the crumbs of leftover days

A home slowly metamorphoses to become an address of loss, a gulped down pain cleaving through the assured feeling  of belongingness.

A distant tune of Ahir Bhairav traverses across time, seeps through the skin,branches out  to reach her every nook and cranny.

A strange  heaviness flaps its wings around her eyes.

She sees a little girl running across the rooms of her childhood, her childish prattle reverberating, some pastel hues of innocence smeared on the hills and vales of her drawing book.

She hears her name being called. She calls back,”maa!”

Everything around becomes a blur.

Mallika Bhaumik has a Master’s degree in English literature from the University of Calcutta. Her works have been featured in many reputed mags like Grey SparrowJournal, Mad Swirl, Cafe Dissensus, Oddball Magazine, Shot glass Journal, Kitaab, In parentheses, Stag Hill journal, Harbringer Asylum,Madras Courier,The Alipore Post to name a few. She is the author of two poetry books. Her first book,’Echoes’by Authorspress, New Delhi, has won the Reuel International award for the best debut book,2018. Her second book ‘How not to remember’ has been published by Hawakal Prokashona, Kolkata (2019). She is also a nominee for the Pushcart Prize for poetry, 2019. Her poems are included in the Post Graduate  syllabus of BBKM University, Dhanbad, 2020. She lives and writes from Kolkata, India.


Ahir Bhairav in Hindustani Classical music is a mid morning raga with an underlying tone of pathos.

‘Maa’ is mother in Bengali

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