Sunday, October 24, 2010

Three verses for an affair

we remain silent
until a rare flute
startles us
you put on your glasses
and become distant

your voice
sounds stone cold
as you break the calm—
from now on we follow
parallel lanes

I have a weakness
for the dark hemisphere
you’re somewhere in the sun
waiting for that old flute
that strange twilight

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Kolkata diary

Kolkata diary

[ 2.9.2010 ]

When the sky clears after a downpour,
potholes reflect diamond shine.

Hand-pulled rickshaw
rambles in lane with its dull tinkle

And passes by a few carefree children,
their wet bodies naked to the waist.

Playing with rainbows in a cooled afternoon.

[ 3.9.2010 ]

On the roadside
the old man with unshaven beard
and his same ragged outfit
distributes crumbs of stale cookies
to a bunch of raucous crows
and a sickly mongrel.

A tramp joins the party.

[ 4.9.2010 ]

The morning shrinks under
the cover of an umbrella
in this incessant rain.

I see to it
that the waters do not dampen
her spirits.

Yet the parched walls of a rickety city
need monsoon, need succulence.

They urge me:
Pull off the covers,
let us get drenched together.


Through the camera's viewfinder
I observe you,
try to bring your face in focus,
'specially your polite eyes,

They demand a lot more attention.

Passersby look at me peculiarly,
as if I'm a culprit,
and watching you is an offense.

I never mind, for finding out
a white rose as you is a rarity.

A rose untouched
by the whims of seasons,

Flourishing in the dingiest
corner of a metropolis.


Trudging barefoot, the two men
pull a handcart packed with cement bags

Keeping to one side of the road, the side
they have been following for so many summers.

One daft beggar makes them halt
and inquires about his lost child.

The Fruit-Seller

I detest the monotony
of peeling off rinds of yesterdays
with a hope of procuring
cherished seeds.

You get up early, rush to the wholesalers,
load your van and spend an entire day arguing
with people in quest of bargain. Shylocks, all!

Take it or leave it, Sirs, the price
cannot be made cheaper.

Lord knows how shall I repay the loan,
how shall I recover my home from mortgage.

One polished gentleman with a camera in hand
asks me to pose beside the apple-pyramid.

I burst out laughing.
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