Saturday, November 17, 2012

When Fear Travels to See Death

(This poem is dedicated to a lonely soul who walked along the Mumbai streets and translated those visuals into words for me)

A traffic jam

That looks at its face

On the glass facade of a mall

Paramilitary forces marching along

To save people from anxieties

Irony plays the final farce

So that people could feel good

An enigmatic smile hangs in the air

An old lady who sells paintings

Hide her tears of a hurting memory

Looks at the sea with vacant eyes

People hurry to get back home

As if expecting an impending storm

Sea remains calm with it waves

Washing a hurt faith standing alone

But who sees it all? Fear has taken the toll.

A weary sun calls pack up and asks the stars

To do the dusting of the floor

Trouble loving youths celebrate

The news of king’s death with

Unreleased anger, pride and ignorance

Rebellion pasted on branded clothes

They swish past in chauffer driven palaces

Two eagles, the eternal lovers of sky, fly around

Birds flap their wings to distant homes

Unintentionally chronicling the life of a city

Parked brooms of witches on the way

As if a summit of sorcery already in full swing

A slow performer of love prefers a fast car on the road

For he satisfies everything with screeching of tyres

Eternal weavers of time weave silken clothes

Of life and display in glassed cages as tagged desires

Even the traffic constable’s whistle blows out

A collective fear that pervades the city right here

A religion once travelled to foreign shores

Fearing condemnation and death reappears

From nowhere to calm the people with chimes and choirs

Against the forced peace there comes a torrent of traffic

As if there were the wild beasts chased by chopper wings

The temple of desires calls people to shop

Like an old prostitute beckoning the wanton youths

With her artificial smiles and abominable lip gloss

Here one could wear a condom to a car or the other way round

And call it a desire machine and throb it to death

A fat god, protected by a fat police man and both of them

Look for protection from a fat crowd which has lost its mind

Against death and life’s ultimate games of hide and seek

The sea remains there along the city, a bit bored

With eateries selling curious appetites

Life gets stuck between jammed vehicles

Downed shutters and dimming dreams

A traffic light tells everyone the story of

And adventurer lost his way into the state’s guest house

Like the chair once shelved the bottom of a famous cheat

It glows in a flimsy glory and counts its life down

It hopes the king would pass by and would wink

Only to be seen by its three lights at once

Health seeking souls walk in their branded soles

Pacing up to the rhythm of music and heaving gossips

‘The town side of the maximum city is towny today

Jazz by the bay is no spazz by the bay’ someone sings

Along the girdle of water at the sexy mid rift of city

People still looking for dreams that fly by evening breeze

Celebrating the death of a king, a chariot passes by

All decked up in lights, but without horse or a charioteer

Death sprinkles nothingness from a disused fountain

With agonized gods doing marble copulation

I am sure the paintings of death and pestilence

Will be on display today and for all coming days. 

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