FOR THE PRETTIEST GIRL ON THE CAMPUS
The face that was known for its smile
The face that launched a hundred poems
The face that had a promise and a curse
Yes it was yours
Your starched cottons kohl rimmed eyes
And that walk of a Monroe
We saw the Smita Patil in you.
With such accomplished careless stroke
You held gin and him simultaneously.
Years later love stopped loving
But you never looked back.
Brown bones reluctant to accept
Defeat and derision
Chose to walk the streets of Himachal
On the foothills you sang
The bowl and the geets.
Under the stones you hid
All the kisses from him
Those of you who followed
Must have also heard
Of the prettiest girl on the campus
Of how she furnished their beautiful dreams
With her unhurried laughter
And those liquid smiles
Have you also been told
How that very face
The face with a promise
And then chilled with sorrow
Today has a matchless grin
As she walks with pride
Giving love and life
And we are left with memories
Of another kind.
ON GETTING OLD
Rambunctious. The word strikes her down
with a heaviness that tickles at the base of her spine.
Today the woman in her struggles to sit straight, but
the child in her is still bubbly with delight.
Somewhere a sparrow fluttered and the feathers
held on to her window sill. Like a sapling in grief
the narrow slit of her eyes hissed in pain and she
clutched the word with an amazing sigh.
Today her windswept laughter unable to protect her,
tore the surface of her dreams. Somewhere a miracle
waiting to explode into a flower, a lily, a lotus, a sprig
of thyme wrapped in all freshness, moist as her skin.
Today the rains intervened.
And she chose not to cry.