Women at the water tanker

Ephemeral are waters formed
In snow hills melting by a sun

And the water in water tanker
Here over which fiery women

Fight in their diagonal throats.
Ephemeral things reach seas

From the hills and the tankers
And by women’s wet voices.

Their bodies thirst for waters
From mountains and tankers,

Their ephemeral voices break
The quiet of a morning walk.

Tarpaulin

We have a tattered tarpaulin over libidos,
Beside running buses of lusts to perform.

We are cocoons of married togetherness
That are spinning lazy silks of nine yard

In long musical yarns of Hindi film dance.
But it is rattling here in wind and storm.

We have to return tarpaulin to the maker.
We are soon naked under sun and moon.

(A 23 year old girl who had been gang-raped in a running bus in Delhi died in a Singapore hospital)

Beads

We hear body’s fall steeped in melody
An exquisite sound gone from fingers.

Eyes fell in broken strings , the music
Lost in a whisper of time, in nightfall.

A glass spread quickly in strung eyes.
Big black eyes were strung to a song,

A lifetime song , flow of a generation.
The sound is now ashes, eyes beads.

(A homage to Pandit Ravi Shankar the Sitar maestro who passed a few years ago)

God’s birthday

Then, at the dead of the night
A river’s waters rose , swelled
And spilled over to the village.

The mountains then looked on
As a flying chariot-in-flames
Had sheared the edges smooth.

The river then swelled in pride
As rain poured into catchment
In rugged Western mountains.

Now the river is within limits
Tamed by the monstrous dam,
With no excitement of a spate.

It is now so much brown sand
With streaks of shallow water.
Nowadays , funeral fires rage

On the sun-baked river-bed.
On those annual festival days
Thousands of merry- making

Peasants and townsfolk alike,
Congregate on the hot sands
To celebrate a god’s birthday.