FootfallsShe folds the winter sun
in a rainbow of paper flowers,
the attic of colourful bells is brought down
for the Christmas tree.
This year she designs a wreath for the main door
and makes a sleigh from thermocol sheets.
‘Christmas is a season’ she says
of things – to - do
She crafts a red paper into poinsettia
in rhythm of a nagada, foot taps the dholki
composing her lingual textures born of Ranchi,
her lush green voice like her Aajji
who would cut and bring home branches of fir.
The room wraps itself in naphthalene of shawls,
smoky breaths drift in the December wind
crunched with laughter and matar roasted in the borsi.
Her smile swells of her mother’s cakes and
waits for the microwave oven
to beep for a strawberry icing on vanilla
for her friends in the Deccan plateau.
They know Christmas
only in generics of a Santa Claus and snowflakes
‘We did not know the Indian-ness of it’
Nothing is lost by time but time itself.
MildewFill the blanks with words of time
(We are a generation of keyboard promises)
Make space for megapixels
in albums and collage frames.
When you punctuate the deliverance
of a delayed promise
I read love
in the cursives of your ink blots
on the handwritten note
cushioned under the plate
from your Maharashtrian kitchen.
The smell of pooran poli melts over
the Reynolds 6.5 ball point,
unlike the white screen (dot) doc
that eclipses without a trace
ReminiscenceI stood there…
embraced by the familiar Western Ghats
moistened by the touch of clouds.
My childhood summers
wind along the roads, now concrete,
bursting open my city-bred senses
to piquant green shades.
transmuted to the porous scents
of grandma’s kitchen
in earthen pots and porcelain jars,
swelling with ground spices, pickles and savouries
embroiled in the fragrance of love
under an umbrella holding up a drizzle
dripping from its conical corners
permeating into hibernated passages of time,
warmed by light streaming through glass
wedged in the tapering roof tiles
where life lives knitted
in the simplicity of demeanor and desires.
I stepped out of my humdrum
into the lap of tranquility,
where truth and courage
stem out of folklore and prayers
that resound in temple bells,
chiming under shadows
of coconut and jack-fruit groves.
I listened to the wind whistling melodies
cradling me in its lingual drawl,
a surreal quietness away from a lineage
of skyscrapers and smart phones.
A click – swipe – click on the camera
eases out puckered images
of the village where I toddled.
It now seeps through the echelons
of my existence.