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Shaving in Siliguri (Older version)

There is, I suppose, a gruesome fascination
in watching blood spreading across shaving foam:
crimson then red then a dull, gory grey
washed off in hot water and a scar to remember.
But there is perhaps a wish it reminds one of —
blood oozing from a wrist slit with the shaving razor,
the eyes glued to the sight
and the heart beating excitedly till the sound stops
and the light dims, energy drained away like the Teesta:

the virgin Sikkimese stream now deflorated on the Terai,
pregnant with mud and moving zombie-like on the vast
emptiness of the dooars to her doom in the Brahmaputra.

But there is never time for thoughts of suicide –
the cockroached lodge room with its smelly blanket
and rattling fan is no romantic place to die –
and I have fifteen minutes to catch the Kanchan Kanya
leaving New Jalpaiguri at eight thirty-five.

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