Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Chair.

I sat on you, felt the mahogany
wrap me in its antique embrace until
I remembered days no longer there
when the wood was new and polished
by an old deft hand. My grandfather sat on you
so proud, patriarch and head.
He is dead.

His father too sat on you, tall as a
sahib, friend of the sahib
but actually a secret enemy.
His busy mind hatched a thousand plans
and his exquisite learning made him quote
a thousand shlokas- he gripped your arm
like one does an old comrade,
for you were his friend.
Those days too
are at an end.

Mahogany, your smell arose at midnight,
like a secret lover. Often I would creep
down and stroke you lovingly.
Generations past, yours was the
smell of time.
I smelt you, and loved.
I could have had you in my arms
but you had me in your arms
instead.
All the rest are dead.

I gave birth to a child and she nestled
in your lap. Sometimes she would see the world
an insignificant speck on you
large, magnificent, antique.
And her eyes would fill with
unshed tears
wonderment, bewilderment,
attachment.

But now they have taken you from me
Into the patrilineal possession
My feminine heart craves sympathy
and the erotic yet soothing smell
of old mahogany. My father, my lover, my
child, my friend.
You were the symbol
of all that I cared for.
Though a chair
you stood for time.
I forgot me
You taught me
What it was to be human.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Every breath I take here may remind me I'm young
and the people I meet delight me. I must write
and for that I observe. Observe the passage of time
the similarity in people, the kind glint in their eyes.
My heart overflows with spontaneous love-
This then is what it is to not be an atheist.

You have tried to reach me many a time
We tried to build memories together...
But now as I move into a different realm
I realize the majesty of what we had
the simplicity of love.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Bandh ka Basanti.

In my short life, I have seen several useless days, but today is especially futile.

9:45 am- I wake up. 10:20 class! How to get ready?
10:15- I am ready somewhat. I ask my father to give me a lift to college. Parents unanimously agree that today I don't have class. I argue convincingly that I do.
10:25- I am in JU. Horror, the gates are closed. When I turn around, father has left. Guards look at me with an expression of vague surprise and mild bemusement. I walk to 8B. All is empty, like a beautiful wasteland.
10:45- I am in 8B for some cha. Surprise, there is no cha! Except this stinky little place where the girl who makes the tea is snotty. Like really snotty. I had already learnt my lesson when the salty (hee!) tea I drank here once gave me acute stomach cramps. I give the tea here a miss.
10:55- Wow. Basanti is performing at 8B.

~Basanti's performance~
Two elderly men are entertaining their bandh-struck brethren. The hairier and heftier man is not Basanti, he is the manager. He is arranging the audience and exhorting Basanti to display her magical charms or jadoo. Basanti, dikha dey teraa jadoo! Basanti meanwhile is an elderly but agile man who is turning somersault/cartwheels on and with a bicycle. Applause! Applause! Basanti then takes a tea glass and balances it on his head. He then rides the bicycle like an incorrigible daredevil. Cha glass does not break. Crowd erupts into thunderous applause. Manager shouts, Basanti re, phatiye dili!

I slowly and reluctantly go home. Show over. Bandh resumed.