“Visiting E M Forster” by Debjani Chatterjee

‘But Forster doesn’t live here any more.’

I knew that of course. He died the year before

— before my passage. I told ‘Raised Eyebrows’

That I only wanted… to see his room,

to see the view. Why else would I have come?

‘But this is not a museum, you know.’

(Cambridge, not a museum?) I nodded.

‘An ordinary room.’ Ordinary

is what it takes. I remember my coach

journey from Canterbury. ‘I have come

all the way from India. He was my friend.’

It worked. The brows subsided, defeated.

A bemused stranger occupied the place

— half apologised for everything changed.

The room was functional, anonymous;

he could not have lived here long. ‘I’m afraid

even the furniture is  not the same.’

What did I care, standing at the window.

Olive groves beside the forget-me-not

Mediterranean rolled below, with

a dust haze veiling the Marabar curves.

‘It is the same,’ I said, ‘nothing has changed.’

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