The fading sun
mixes up the blue and white
and splashes the electric combination across
the dark-grey of the lonely sky
hues natural and bold
modulating strokes and lines
like heaving tattoos on a maiden’s chest
the masterly juxtaposition
starkly reminds the lonesome terrace-viewer
in a deserted museum near the Paris Mall
the self-same sky and its varied colours
make him hear an old strain
of the Blues
by a rapt audience
in the Harlem of the 1960s
then imported of New Delhi of the 1980s.
All the social life compressed
into a clutch of apps only
controlling every thought and action
of the culture fixated on gadgets and virtual spaces
but frightened of the real-time realties
real heart of the mass society
the new device
exalted as the latest deity
displacing the attic gods
with new mythologies.
NIGHTLY CROWS AND SOME MYTHS
The crows caw
at 1 am
on this stormy Mumbai night
with thunder and lightening
popping up frequently
in the background
as they do in a horror flick
repeated on the TV for the
ones seeking thrills in the
beyond of the physical life
the crude call rises up
consistently like some
broken notes of a symphony
no longer in circulation in a hungry market
wake up a solitary figure in a sleepy house
off the main road, near the sea
scared by the harsh sounds
that continue for half an hour and then stop suddenly
the listener shudders as if re-reading Poe in an empty theatre-hall
minus the macabre-lusting spectators.
Is death around?
Is it visiting the neighbourhood?
Can be s-o-o e-e-rie!
In each petal-stalk
on this blessed spot
i see the imprints
of the Olympians
the scent and presence take me back
to the early dawn of the Greek civilization
where i mingle with the heroes and divinity
in alleys, lanes outside ramparts
and see Homer talking war
and Sappho---of love and nurturing!
So close, yet so afar
Each pathway there
of the ancient Greece
each bower trod by the gods
so heady a concoction this---
earth sky ocean fused
in a single instance!
so many possibilities
IN THE COLD
A pigeon perched on the cable
Shrunk within its grey feathers
Head bent inside the underbelly
To beat the cold draughts.
It is 10 am and 10- degree Celsius.
A man, grey stubble, head bent, sits hunched
On the tiled pavement in the Connaught Place
In a sun that hardly warms the air
He clutches a torn quilt around shrunk shoulders
Blankly stares at the high-rises and frenzied vehicles.
Both--- pathetic figures
Welcome dear disenfranchised to Delhi of the Moguls
The constant Indian power centre.
Issue 83 (Jan-Feb 2019)