the last sin
  pale ashen sky
a bleary eye
clouds of recurring screams...
i am a zoo
  an octopus leviathan
tentacles into an ocean
of unformed emotions...
syphilis and love  
  syphilitic pall
stifles the clear blue
i contort...
shell and pearl
  amidst highs and lows
in life's ocean flows
a shell peony-mouthed...
i am an unmarried mother
  fed on stings
of barbed milk morality
my child-plankton...
the lovers
  cell upon cell
bridge of their union
hung on the pillars...
  ogre of age
and time cavil
at a warm picture...
the young today
  innocence thaws
at the altar
of ambition...

Battle of the Cells—Part 2

There was a childlike enthusiasm in her voice
“There’s a good news today,” she said
I got excited
Of late good news was in short supply
“Here, talk to your sister,” she said
My sister also sounded happy
For a split second I thought: “Has it gone away?”
My sister said: “Mother doesn’t have to go
Through chemotherapy sessions
Doctors have decided to give her the HRT
A tablet a day for four months
And then they shall see”

A Delhi girl before marriage
Mother is returning
To our ancestral home
At the foothills of Shivaliks
Away from the madness of Delhi
To be near Ganges
Ganga Ma to the believer
To inhale the fresh air at the Ghats
To try a new-ancient weapon, Yoga
To restore a quiet dignity to living
To cow dung splattered streets
Where emaciated dogs drink water
From perpetually dripping municipal taps
To gentle acknowledgements of old ladies
In meandering galis
Often lit with a flickering solo bulb
The beacon of eternal hope
Amidst despair
Shine, you bright light
Shine, you belabouring beast
To serenity outside and within
To a lonely vigil...

“There’s so much to do
And I will be fine,” she says

31 July 2007