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Showing posts from August, 2011

Can you do poetry in a mall?

Can you do poetry in a mall, then? Among the suburban, money-spending, bourgeoisie stealing entertainment from their deadline-stricken nine-to-fives? There are lovers here, hugging, kissing hidden behind plastic cups of food court coffee; friends reliving a past nightmare relativising them into happy dreams of childhood innocence and other cliches; And the little undernourished salesgirls handing out fish pedicure pamphlets you'll throw away at home - not unlike Andersen's match girl. You can do poetry in a mall.


शा'यरों की शाहदत पीढ़ियों से यही है: हम ज़माने से नहीं, ज़मान्ना हम से है

Shaving in Siliguri (Older version)

There is, I suppose, a gruesome fascination in watching blood spreading across shaving foam: crimson then red then a dull, gory grey washed off in hot water and a scar to remember. But there is perhaps a wish it reminds one of — blood oozing from a wrist slit with the shaving razor, the eyes glued to the sight and the heart beating excitedly till the sound stops and the light dims, energy drained away like the Teesta: the virgin Sikkimese stream now deflorated on the Terai, pregnant with mud and moving zombie-like on the vast emptiness of the dooars to her doom in the Brahmaputra. But there is never time for thoughts of suicide – the cockroached lodge room with its smelly blanket and rattling fan is no romantic place to die – and I have fifteen minutes to catch the Kanchan Kanya leaving New Jalpaiguri at eight thirty-five.

The Wanderer's Curse

I have the wanderer's curse upon me: I will never go home, For there is no home I have to go to, Nor is the dust of the road my bed. I claim not the sky for a roof nor The sun for a lamp, Yet the moon is my compass And the stars my fellow-travellers. I possess but rags and clogs and begging-bowl And a mendicant's silvered tongue My riches are the languages of the world My legacy the memories of men.