Thursday 22 December 2011

Matheran, 11th December 2011

They passed me by on horses in Matheran —
their eyes locked into each other,
unmindful of the sais leading them on
or the gilt-edged sunrise drowning them slowly,
or the bee-eaters darting, or even the macaques quarelling.

But I wonder where they're headed

— to an elopement, a temple wedding, a souring
   marriage, a custody dispute, a cathartic divorce?


— to an engagement, a wedding with sangeet and
   mehndi, school fees, wilting outside consulates,
an empty nest, a twilight of babysitting?


— to a break up, new relationships, nostalgia,
   regrets and a fading away into Alzheimer's?


Or will they just go back, eyes looking ahead

at careers, salaries, taxes,
3 BHK flats, Euro III compliant cars,
always some few days away in a broad noon

that starlight having dimmed.

I cannot quite say. They've gone out of sight;
a group of boisterous boys arrives,
in their train - – another dozen thoughts.
I can't keep thinking all the time – so I
look back into my camera,
hunting paradise flycatchers with my viewfinder.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Fear ye

Fear ye not the ravines, the jungles, the swamps
for there be but the desperate, the hungry, the ignorant,
a few may indulge in guns there, sharpen machetes
but what proof are they to a few sacks of rice,
a yard of cloth, a hovel of mud:
quake not before them, quake not ever.

But dread ye the young minds in the coffee shop,
those that smoke leaning by the wall in the alley,
filled are they with words and promise,
with hopes and visions and the blind phantasmagoria
of tomorrow's noon brightly lit;
dread them ye, dread them with your soul.

They brew poisons of not arsenic but ink,
they fletch arrows of anger not curare;
they stand in the parks and march on streets,
they defile, they profane, they vituperate
the dear, cherished gods we hold to our bosoms:
fear them today, fear them tomorrow.

On them then the tanks, the rifles, the gendarme's batons,
for them the censor's knife, the inquisitor's iron lady,
to them the syringe of cyanide, the canister of gas.
For spared they multiply like snakes;
their bodies yes, and their idioms too.
Fear ye them, for now and forever.

(Published by Oxford Book Store, January 2012)

Thursday 1 December 2011

Morning

Rays erupt on winter
morning; buds erupt
on shankhapushpam.

Beauty

Thundering clouds and silent birds —
beauty is sometimes expressed differently.

Train

Noisy train with lonely men
rumbles into night mist.

Bookmarking

Bookmark and Share