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You

it is still too early to say
what memories will crystallise around you
for now it is the bedpan not emptied from last use
and your room smells of ointments and pills
and your damning of the whole world

but once my tears have dried
and the puja flowers withered
perhaps you will freeze

i will put in the black and white photos
on a boat in a lake in a cheap hill station
when you first let me down

and the mundan of the first-born
where your mother made such a fuss

and that stupid photo from a middling age
of the reception of some cousin of yours

and yes the shaadi ka video and the cassette
guiding our kid reciting nursery rhymes

certainly all the unrecorded fights
for you never earned enough and drank too much
and never bought enough flowers

and that never do well son you gave me
who lamented loudly at the funeral
and your sisters
let us not talk about your sisters

no I will not make up a box of memories
because you know I would not myself be reduced
to an 8 by 10 frame with withered flowers

(Longlisted by the RaedLeafPoetry-India 2013 Awards)

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