Thursday, February 04, 2016

Good touch; Bad touch



"Fear men,
for they steal gold"
her mother told her
the day she turned ten
and got home from play after the cows returned.
The doctor had sighed.
(deaf by birth, said the certificate, hence mute)

She walked out of school
wore her heirloom earning of eight diamonds
and gold,
and wove a language for herself,
and waited to marry
with the richest of men,
who would never steal gold,
who would never have to.

She watched her mother,
two sisters
and all their daughters and
the girls-who-came,
marry, give birth,
cut placentae,
and age
and die,
while wrapping
her heirloom earring of eight diamonds
and gold
with her saree.

Today, she turned 80,
and I, clad in wood
and clay and beads of plastic,
get home from work after the moon returned.
She tells me,
"Fear men;
for they steal gold"

Detox



"Water and Soap please: I smell of the road"
she said and I asked

Which road?
the muddy one? the tarred one?
the smokey one filled with box cars?
the one with the bus stop and benches?
or the one with the foot path
with bikes parked as benches?

the one with the toilet?
the one without the toilet?
or the one that is the toilet
and more for only about one half of humans?

the one of the buses,
of velvet seats and motion sick?
or the one with the buses,
of velvet touch and people sick?

the one with street lights?
broken? or on?
or switched off for a purpose?

Which road?
for not all smells wash off
with water and soap."

Friday, January 22, 2016

Love Letter II

(what she said to the one who fell for a poet whom she wasn't) 


"2kg atta, 1kg sugar,
Poet? Who?
100gm dhania,
You married a poet?
200 gms of mustard,
500, of broken urad, 2 kg toor
I write, dear
200 cumin; 50 elaichi; 200 mustard,
but not of flowers and colours,
and things I can tell and 
barter smiles.
500 red fat chilli,
500 tamarind, seedless,
100 turmeric powder,
50 pepper, black,
jaggery 1kg,
and a 10kg rice bag, 
polished.


I write, dear,
only
when I can't speak.


When I have to wrap you in pronouns,
and cushion words in a neighbour's stories
and a nobody's shame.
(Oh! don't forget the scrubber,
1 bar of vim, and rin double pack for the machine)

When within four walls,
silence is choked with anonymous words,
peeling people, skin, and a self away.
I write, dear.
(Tea dust, whatever you like, 100gms
500 peaberry,
with a third chicory,
roast and 
ground)

When you search, 
open the sheet on your table,
looking 
for a love poem
to find only a grocery list
please know that we are on track."

Love Letter I

(what he said when he found his bride, 23 fair, slim, tall, CA/BE, homely) 



"My Love,
So fair,
not a drop of sanguine, not red, not even just - but
So fair, the whitest of brown;

My Love,
So slim, as a creeper
winding, independent and strong,
around my life and ways;

My Love,
So slim, as a creeper
that can gently break at the waist
(and very child-bearing)
So slim, as a creeper,
there, yet not;

My Love
So tall,
high and proud
to have me tower you
and hide behind;

(Or call me darling,
after the postmen knock at your door
with blame packed in little boxes of BMI,
brochures on culture,
fairness cream tubes,
and an iron box for your skin
addressed to you.)

Let us draw darwinian curtains
made of the best of genes;

Come, dear!

Let us make love,
so passionate,
on magazine covers, and
breathe hard,
and breed
so
our babies
survive,
live,
and glow
primetime
the day it dawns screen lights
and camera."

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Adult

Growing up is a lie
down business 
of keeping 
people away 
from
things that matter.

Incomprehension

Just saying:
Not all conversations are bubbles, meaning,
roses and heart-shaped smiles with cheese;
Nor even pin-pricks, water-bottles and mournful-lectures,
and laughs in many shades of burgundy.
Some are just words and you,
like i like.  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

You fought against racism.

But,
What did you do with my chocolate?
bean ate tree
powder ate bean
butter ate powder
sugar ate butter
milk ate sugar
and you report the milk back.
So is this all about just being
milk?
Oh,
I thought you thought you wanted
chocolate.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Matte Finish

Something about matted hair
locks.
Waters ooze, of course; Organic.
Friction keeps the crescent cheesecake moon.
The snakes - I
shan't bid on 'em
'n how they braid in.

Something about the rough black
is
not so black,
yet black, eating-in the brown
and the rest.
Rough swallowed by a delicate soft.
Not skin.
At all.

It is when someone picks the peeler
to peel off dust, race, religion,
many pasts and a trillion minds,
does Something slip
off through the oil-thirsty gape
of split ends,
leaving hair to shred
raw.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Have you met your mirror?


I shall watch the clock.

How long do you take to tell a
genius? At the first sight?
Can you?
Or do you watch it walk past with a
miracle?
Or maybe a somersault and when bulbs glow?
How about seeing mud-pots and creepers flowing
out of lunch bags?
Or flavored milk with glittery floats
-in?
After unaligned lines or a rhyme-verse?
Need you see paper-beds
and circuit-pillows?
Or overhear a hum of professional stage-lines?
A day?
A month?
A year or two of shoulder-knowing?
A womb-span past
the severed placenta?
A lecture? A song?
A drop of small talk?
A lifetime of love?
A death?

Or till i swallow this gulp of water,
and you watch?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Megalophobia

Confidante, as i
would request of
the off-pitched
crunch
of the uncomfortable
scraps of onion that
cling to every scoop of a salad,
stop playing God, the all
knowing.

(At the person whose voice i assume here - 'My apologies' ;) )