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Going home

Railway toilets plastered with washing soda;
The rasping of nylon streamers against
Fly racquets; Chinese toys beating about
Before the vendor quickly bundles up
And flees; Jasmine garlands and Incense-stick
Boxes sharing space with Severed goats' heads
— their eyes staring glassily at you to match
Your startled glance; the smell of fried flour and
Potatoes, and of withering cabbage stalks;
Taxi smoke, gasoline and soot; Sweat — anxious
Sweat —Whiffing by on hurried steps and a
Quickly muttered apology on pushing
You out of the way; Mysore masala
Dosas frying on a street griddle — all
Beetroot and carrot and tomato flakes;
A promise of naked women in
USB drives, and hard-bodied nude males
Promising fairer skin from giant billboards;
Death of course, lurking everywhere, sometimes
Peering from a bier; Suburban life-forms
In their TV-equipped habitats not
Peering out of lit windows; and I

— I just go home, as I do everyday.

(Published in Setu Bilingual Journal, August 2017)

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