Sunday, May 30, 2021

Random Verses


Tailor bird chirping
at the top of its voice
On top of the
fountaining bottlebrush
The placid dove quiet
On the adjoining branch,
A leafy branch
Sweeps gently overhead
Its touch a benediction.

Death Anniversary
My sister passed away
On this day, six years ago.
It was sudden, hence shocking.
Each year we would have
prayers at her home, a havan,
All the family together
Marking this day as hers,
As much as her birthday.
Late that night, six years ago
When we heard the news, we drove
The several miles to her home
Not willing to believe its truth.
For the past two years
We mark the day privately
No gatherings, no travelling
Cities in lockdown.
And I find myself glad
That when she went,
We could mourn her
Together, sharing our grief
Celebrating her life
Hugging each other,
as we bade her farewell.
Covid has changed
So much, for so many,
Snatching whatever
Comfort and support
We could share
When bereaved,
Especially when
Covid has claimed that life.
Living this way is hard enough
Dying, unthinkable.

25th April, 2021

For Indu
A friend spoke of her dream
To live near a water body,
And I remembered my years
On the banks of the Chao Phraya
With rafts of logs floating downstream
Many kinds of river craft,
and bhikshus on the bank across
Begging, early mornings,
for their sole meal of the day.
The sunset among the palms
Such beauty, so much beauty.
And in spate, the river overflowed
Boats plied in the fields,
Milk and vegetables came by boat
And once we took our infant son
To the hospital, by boat,
Across those fields...
In memory again, I remember
How that beautiful river
Became the background
rarely noticed
In the busy-ness of our lives.
And I grieve, for having taken it
So much for granted.
Today, each tree I encounter
Most mornings, is a friend
That I mentally embrace,
And hold close to my heart.
Have the intervening years
Changed me so much?
I hope so.
I salute you once again
In memory,
Beautiful river.

24th April, 2021

The elderly gentleman
Sits on the garden bench
Every morning
Listening to the music
Of Pandit Jasraj
On a device with
Two hundred compositions
Of the master
Whose divine voice
Wafts by on the breeze
As I walk along.

31st March, 2021

Three salwars drying
Astride a washing line
Ghostly riders
in a strange tandem.

24th March 2021

Waiting for the death
Of the terminally ill seems
Akin to a difficult pregnancy,
The patient immobile,
Bedridden, dependent, helpless
In a particular, unique reality,
But with no end date in sight.
A date after which you know
You can get on with your own life
And so you pray, both for patience
And for a merciful release
For all concerned.
Each such death that you witness
Tells you more about yourself
Than you would really like to know.

8th March, 2021

I walked earlier than usual
This spring morning
Around the colony garden
When there's a loud, composite roar.
A dog barks, alarmed.
It's five elderly men
Being tigers and lions
Before they clap in unison
And laugh in unison
Kindergarten days again!

22nd February, 2021


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