Geetha Ravichandran: Poetry (Voices Within 2021)

Geetha Ravichandran is a bureaucrat who lives in Mumbai. Writing is what she most enjoys doing. Her contemplative articles and poems have been published in various journals including Reading Hour and Borderless. Two of her poems have been included in anthologies recently published by Hawakal.

Love over a plate of Upma

I remember how these
colourless, odorless granules
that turned up at the table, 
after a hard day’s work 
provoked even that mousy man. 
This offence to the palate,
sent plates crashing.
Doors slammed shut 
and reverberated across walls.
That memory of violence
has remained like a scab.

So, as you watched over
the mustard sputter
and the chilies sizzle
I waited in apprehension.
You served up a scoop
with a flourish 
that said this is special.
Never, could I imagine that 
heady flavours would waft
from a plate of Upma, 
It’s like when the night-queen
wraps her fragrance 
on a coarse, ragged bark
on a cool and velvet night.

Fragrant, vibrant endings

A tiny flower fallen from a string of jasmines
that adorned a hasty woman’s disheveled hair
lies on the floor of the lift.
Even as heels carelessly step on its petals
a scent rises- slow, subtle,
whiteness melds in the harsh cubicle light.

A bee has entered 
the bathroom through the vent
that lets out odours.
It buzzes fiercely 
around the tungsten filament
and stops, as if to listen
as the water fills the bucket.
It rests its rear on the mirror
scratching its head
and crumbles into a ponderous silence.

 They had waited to greet me-
 a full-bodied fragrance, 
 a vibrant hum,
 moments before they seamlessly 
 slipped into non-being.

 It's the trees that darken first,
 give up the green light
 and stretch their silhouettes
while the sky holds on to its patches of grey
 and streaks of peach.
Amidst the maze of branches and dancing leaves
 a mild and timid light lingers
 and streams to the ground.
 A crow perched at a strategic vantage point
 rolls its eyes, 
 probably, at what happened through the day.
 Headlights flood the dim-lit clogged street
 and trolls who will not let in any light,
 nudge and honk their way home.

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