Thursday, February 22, 2007
These crooked weathered streets
On which time hangs like a drape
Upon padlocked doors;
It’s here I grew my first sprout
Of facial hair;
Styled Elvis hairdos, high collars.
Childhood vanished in a flash,
In these lanes smelling of senility;
Innocence fled; tears were shed;
You can see memories linger
In the dark crevices;
Cricket matches, dropped catches,
Embarrass me still.
These mean streets I walk again,
Many a bend and a turn,
I have seen
In life’s incessant churning
In the froth of unrepentant fate.
Those dreamy bungalows
In which I wanted to laze in
Wearing slippers and boxer shorts
Now naked, bare, and torn apart
For upcoming shopping malls
And haute couture plazas.
Where once there were shrubs
Laden with the scent of bela flowers
There’s now the smell of fluorocarbons.
The littered streets are
Dug up to lay jelly-filled cables,
They don’t know they once were,
The majestic streets, on which,
The Kapoors strode like kings,
A favourite hangout
Of those starry-eyed adolescent days.
A boy I knew in dirty knickers
Is now a mafia don;
The world is afraid;
I am not
Really I am not:
I have seen his unwashed underwears.
The girls were beautiful,
They still are,
Their walk is indeed fluent
As a smoothly flowing river,
And tongues holding lethal fires,
They can kill with treacherous looks,
Oh! How I miss them, those sylphs,
Who inhabited my wet adolescent dreams!
You bejewelled suburb of the east,
You nestle amidst sewers and marshes,
And fumes as black as hell,
Yet in your stained yellow bosom,
Where the sun rises and sets in a haze,
Smelling of death and decay,
Was born the unfulfilled dreams,
Of this, your unfortunate son.