Suburban Reality

by Parag Mallik

How exactly do nights at suburbs look and feel like? Parag Mallik’s poem shares some memories.

My memories of my teenage sinking nights are those that
rose from the dark world of Suburbia where
silhouettes leaned over window panes of double storeyed homes,
pebbles shivered beneath the tyres of broken down vehicles
that hustled back to brick walls, decaying in crumbs,
which were once a home to a family of three till they left,
leaving a dark corner for dim lit cigarettes to fall in the darkness of the night
as smoke rings filled the air with deadening smoke and
the earth with living ash.

We had an old street that was corroded
with the streams of rainfall,
traces that told tales of the nights when tipsy feet
swaying with alcohol balanced themselves on their edges.
The silent walks spelled stories of the shadows that
paced away in the dead of the night under flickering street lamps,
with bags of theft.

The nights were a canvas to be adorned
with the howls of stray dogs,
barking at the homeless men who stumbled across the streets in the dark
in search for a little hope to survive life, a little longer.

I had memorised the patterns of the dances
that the fireflies laid out,
rising from the heaps of shed leaves that no one cared about.
And today, when I’m miles away
we still don’t care about a world,
a home to the dark realities of a space
that is at peace
with all its flaws,
still stitched in memories,
that shine out in the dark.

Parag Mallik is a part-time poet and a full-time student of Medicine who grew up in an intercultural environment with various communities, switching between English and Hindi as his major languages. His first anthology became an Amazon bestseller on the first day of its release. He believes in making good out of every situation, even with his struggle with Lymphatic Cancer, in using social media to voice out worldly issues and in bringing out the greatness of the people of colour.
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