November 20, 2011

Shame

Once visiting her mother in the hospital, she had been drawn down an unfamiliar corridor
by a child's persistence wailing; she found herself in a nursery full of infants.
Almost all of them were whimpering in protest or sympathy,
But the wail came from one unhappy mite who was trying to reach her bottle.
It had been left at her pillow and had slipped down the crib and pulled out of range.
Her legs had got entangled in the trellis of the crib.
There was a nurse there, checking the register.
The nurse never looked up once.

The baby wailed, trusting in the world that would hear her but she only stood there staring stupidly,
until the child eventually fell asleep, with the abrupt ease of the very young.

Later, she came back to her chair, near her mother's bedside.
She looked around vaguely, for something to do, something kind and thoughtful
that would mitigate her blindness, her cruelty and perhaps cancel the day.
But there was nothing to be done, no forgiveness to be won, her mother was peacefully asleep.

The lights went out, and she sat awake, alone with her shame.

November 11, 2011

Family

She enters her home, accepting with relief the panic and concern of her grandmother,
the soft bosomy comfort of her mother and her father's brusque kindliness.

She emerges from the bathroom, refreshed, bathed, powdered, brushed and bundled
in a soft white cotton dress, her hair braided and looped like a child's.

Their eyes brush her with moth's wing touches of love.
Her mother dabs her forehead with eau de cologne as she lies cradled in the womb of her grandmother's lab.
They speak to her baby words of endearment, too small and too precious to be shared out of doors.


November 6, 2011

Scenes from a Night

#1
He woke up when she was in the shower, and blundered in as she emerged.
She gave a wordless cry of despair, and he stumbled out in apology .
A quick rasp of irritation sandpapered her insides.

#2
She dressed formally, shivering at the silky caress of the sari on her midriff.
Lipstick shrugged lazily out of its dull cartridge, bubblegum pink, a pale hot skid against her skin.
She painted quickly an impressionist smile.

#3
She poured him a drink, and they sat awhile watching a film on TV (that they did not see).
Later in bed, they lay quietly, twinned in memory, watching a late replay of passion spent -
wondering if it had been like that once or they had imagined it all.

There was nothing between them now, nothing, compared to this new communion of silence.

November 1, 2011

It is love....

You see that girl over there - the one sitting in the corner?
The one who wears that rapt look;
The one who doesn't draw her legs up in alarm when a cockroach scuttles across the floor.
That's her.

She is dreaming - with her eyes open - of the immediate past.
I guess that's the only way one dreams in the exalted flush of love.

Give her some time, you know !!
She is still bemused by the strangeness of love.
And it is raining - Rain always has something to do with love.

It hurts her lungs - this keen exhilarating mountain air of love.
It is going to take her a while to acclimate.
So let her sleep - and live her dream.