The Invisible City

Kamal Chowdhury

A three-day walk to the east will get you to the city- domes, columns and copper sculptures all around. A golden rooster crows in a mysterious way in the mornings. Many years after Marco Polo, Italo Calvino narrates a fairytale-like description of this city in the court of Kublai Khan. The cunning and skeptical king does not believe in one word. But the courtiers- even the poet laureate sitting in one corner- consider undertaking a voyage to the East.

Within a few evenings, the sights of the town change, especially those belonging to the rainy season. The sun sets fast. The diners are lit with red, blue and green lights. Once the mysterious veil between the visible and the invisible is removed, a lament in a female voice is heard.

Crying is the real beauty of this city.

Translated by Shaikha Shuhada Panzeree

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