over the darkened hills,
a single, bright star
in a purple sky turning violet,
a cup of green tea in my hands,
a couple of crisp, marie biscuits
and a well-written book of history -
you might think Sunday was perfect.
But no, there has to be what's called
a society function - haldi kumkum this time -
in the lawns, ostensibly to celebrate
Makar Sankranti and related festivals.
I can't quite see where the thali
containing turmeric and vermillion is.
Instead there are plastic chairs
in a disordered semi-circle,
a sound system, a table with prizes
and another where snacks are being prepared.
A mistress of ceremonies,
who should be legally restrained
from coming within six feet of mikes,
women of all ages busy sharing notes
on silk sarees and bright jewelry
(dare I call them gaudy?),
men guffawing over some crude joke
but trying not to be too noisy,
and children being children -
all of them try to get as much antakshari
finished before the inevitable squabble.
Bad Bollywood and Ind…