Poetry: Hrishikesh Ingle

Hrishikesh Ingle
snake dream

on a languid
rainy afternoon
you were talked about…
the kid was excited
when he told that
you hissed at him
in the wet green growth
of his cycle run,
then he named you,
bragged about catching
the russell’s viper,
that sent a thrilling shiver
down my arm
and brought a
smile of amusement
 
you returned …
the topic of a chat
about the snake in the garden
that visits diurnally
jumping off the uneven
wall and slipping into
the mould that makes
the looping
slope of an
unused waterfall
 
you gave a sly
glimpse of aversion
in a conversation
about rainy terrain
 
you were then the
parched snake
who kept the poet waiting-
making him feel honoured,[1]
brooding in the cool
water trough about
the snake-like forkiness
about to strike…
 
in a shifting dream
you slithered into
the cracks in the wall
came back up on the
blackened terrace,
an amber line
gliding into a nothingness
 
where were you going?
coiling the labyrinth
of my dream
from where sleep
was trying to escape
to the waiting sun,
in which you are
watching me with
the smile of a snake…

[1] The reference is to Snake by D H Lawerence 
***
 

2. Lai bhaari*


“bai…!”
“you’re show
is lai bhaari
          
he entered the
tent, eyeing the
bare tummy
 
his cronies
leered at the
semi-nude
nachee
          
lai bhaari
 
ya ki mag,
at the tehsil,
parvacha
night show ahe
          
lai bhaari,”
“definitely,
we all will come”
 
aanvahinina pan ana!
sister-in-law
will be
happy to see
the laai bhaari
night show

Lai Bhaari- the phrase is Marathi colloquial often used in rural Maharashtra. It simply means “very nice, brilliant, extraordinary.” But when pronounced properly, it becomes a sarcastic statement.
Nachee – female tamasha performer
Parvacha – day-after-tomorrow
Vahini – sister-in-law
***

 
3titles in dumbbell-ends

they profess of being
functional
the just-adjusted
titles on the wall,
fashionable 
in the background, for
zoom sessions…
 
for trivial enquiries
their wisdom coruscated
sombre notions,
promising
a professional thrill
to be a versifier
of bad rhymes…
 
they now idle and ogle -
looping
over shapely dumbbells
set as bookends –
at vain scribblings
that pursue cocky
conjuring of empty time…
 
or stare in awe
of precocious virtuosity
whittling
verse off the adage,
that dumbbells
figure sinews, but
titles shape ingenuity…
***
 
 
4. Blue smoke
 
like any other evening
an arguing mind
took a grave break
 
a loose pebble fell-down
to leave a hole
in the aged enclosure
 
the wall cracked
in uneven lines of plaster
the hole widened
 
in the autumn twilight
the wall collapsed
the slab of stone shook
 
it moved ever so slowly
lengthening the drag
of the fuddled joint
 
smoke blew into the night
drew the crushed soul
into a sedate embrace
 
a rock rolled down
to briefly reveal
a skeleton in the tomb
***

Biographical Note
Hrishikesh Ingle teaches Film Studies at The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, India. He writes on film cultures, and practices in India. His research articles have been published in EPW, Transnational Cinemas, Asian Cinema, and BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies. He has guest edited Widescreen journal, and co-guest edited a special issue of Studies in South Asian Film and Media. He is currently associated with a research project on contemporary new cinema in India, and finalising a manuscript on the history of Marathi cinema. Hrishikesh has also made two short films. His film Slow Death Circle Cinema was selected for screening at the Ankur Film Festival.

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