Wednesday, February 16, 2022

More Prose Poems

The doorbell rang
The courier handed
Me a packet, a book
And I thought that
It was the book in which
I have a story and a poem
And I reach the kitchen
And cut it open
To find a book
That the husband had
Ordered for himself.
My monkey mind
Had jumped so far ahead
Of actual reality
I was, in my head,
Posting a photograph
Of myself with the book.
Sorry folks, you'll
Have to wait a bit longer!

3rd February, 2022

I cannot, in good conscience,
Listen to Rolf Harris any more,
Or to the Gundecha brothers,
(Although their Jhini Jhini was sublime).
I also cannot stop the spouse
From buying a book by a certified creep
Who, I am so glad to say,
Lost the defamation case
He had slapped on the woman
Who accused him of molestation.
The spouse was reading the book
In the car, and fell asleep, snoring.
The book lay face down on the seat,
Infringing upon my space,
While I shrank away from it,
Distressed by the presence in my life
Of that ugly, beastly, name.

We didn't meet Vishakha this evening
(Her husband was one of our teatime guests)
But used her name to educate the spouse
on the guidelines of the same name.
The second set of visitors
Included my staunchly feminist niece
So the spouse was further educated
On the 'Me too' movement as well as
The creepiness of yesterday's author,
And other famous folks
Now infamous for their lechery.
Waiting for him to bury that book now!

4th February, 2022

Pre-dawn this morning
I hear the mellifluous notes
Of a magpie robin
Piercing the silence, briefly.
Then silence again.
Did it go back to sleep,
To snooze until dawn?

9th February, 2022

Treasure Hunt
For the past few days
The spouse has been
Missing a book which
Was on his bedside table
An unspecified while ago.
It was a book of Hindi poetry
A paperback, with a green cover.
Poet unknown, name of the book
Also unknown.
I say 'missing a book' deliberately
Because looking for a book
Seems to be too tough a task
For one whose mind is almost
Always preoccupied
I was willing to look, no easy task
In a house as privileged as ours
With many books in many shelves
Often in double rows.
I needed more clues.
The spouse had a photograph
On his phone, of a page
From this book.
Perhaps the font would help.
(How, I wondered, could it?)
He had shared this photograph
Of a poem with a friend,
Who wanted to know
the name of the poet,
Hence the need for the book.
And then, he saw that the photograph
Showed a strip of the adjoining page,
The edges of English words.
Eureka! This is one of
Javed Akhtar's books
Transcribed and translated
Into Hindi and English,
That much I remembered.
I thought it was Tarkash.
Into his study, into the cupboard
Where the overflow of his books
Is stashed, and I spot
The mustard spine, no green anywhere,
Of a book called
In Other Words, by Javed Akhtar.
(Hindi on the left hand page,
English on the right).
I hand it to the spouse.
Happy Valentine's day!

14th February, 2022

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