Much Love

The cyclone that was to be,
Has now been averted.
A changed course,
Perhaps, on the way back from Myanmar.
Somewhere else, on this indented coastline
It shall make landfall

Now the coconut trees
In my backyard, shall live.
But alas, I have no backyard.
No coconut, just a sterile shrub of potted hibiscus
That refuses to even, flower.
And ants ate away the basil.

Now, there are long nights
And deep sleep.
Dreamless sleep against the backdrop of
Instrumental guitar
And the masochistic pleasure
Of losing oneself.

And never finding oneself again.
For there is a certain bliss in being lost.
You my judgmental friend,
Will never know, what glee this is.
You stay where you are,
Go to parties.

I will stay back and smoke in my portico
Releasing circles of smoke into still air
My toes resting on the grille
Beside my sterile hibiscus
With my head, between my deaf ears
Pregnant with memories, shallow regrets and the
Immeasurable joy of solitude.

Much Love

For: Donald Hall


Rukmini is about 65. She is reed thin, with a sari draped around her. Else you could see her protruding bones. She has an almirah at the end of her kitchen. Just behind the stack of steel and aluminium utensils. But she wears all her jewellery. A thick gold chain, earrings with strings going around her ears and anklets. That's all the jewellery she has. The rest she has sold. To get money to run her house hold. She began selling the brass and copper utensils first. After they were emptied out, she began selling her gold.

Her house is a train of rooms. The first room has nothing. It's almost on the verandah. It has nothing though. The second room has a bed. And a mirror in which Rukmini has seen herself grow older over the decades. From a nubile bride of sixteen. Till her breasts sagged and the wrinkles came over and her luscious hair fell off. Every single day of those several decades, Rukmini focussed on her face in the mirror and placed a thick red dot of vermilion between her brows. The third and the last room is the kitchen with a small stove and groceries stacked in the wooden shelf. Here she cooks two meals for her rather senile husband who sleeps on the single bed in the second room all day. Who screams a lot and hears nothing. His word being her command.

She is childless. Everyday, all those years in her youth when she bathed by the well in her backyard, she felt a void in her womb and her eyes filled up. So she snuggles up to the children of others. And embraces them tight till her heart's content.

She has a string of marigold shrubs around her well she tends to. And she also has a kitten. Who she feeds the occasional fish bone to. Sometimes even now, she feels the void in her reed thin body and goes on with her day.

Best of Times

May be the best of times are actually behind us. May be.
The time you fed me poached eggs on the kitchen counter. 
The day I sat where the rocks parted for the sea and took a picture.
That time when I had an infinite number of drinks and slept on the bathroom floor.
That afternoon I bought flowers for myself, long stemmed gerberas with water droplets glistening.
The evenings, numerous evenings of coffee and smokes. In the garden. In the cafe. On my particular table.
The days I took off, stayed home and wrote stories during.
The mornings I walked into the river water and pretended to catch fish.
The time I bought my wedding dress.
The time I bid you goodbye. For the last of many many times. 
Yes, all those.
Those times, the best of them.
Are way behind us now. Locked up in memories. Like fossils. Or like zoology specimen in formaldehyde.