Birds broke out of eggshells, orange sun of an early morning blossomed
atop a kevada shrub, black dark earth of tree roots rose up to turned into green leaves
of shiny branches and from between heavy shoulders held against a beheading block
a thick red fluid began to flow slowly.
How I had hesitated before uttering that word.
I knew well its fearsome beauty.
Have you ever had a boil on your body, reaching deep through flesh to the marrow of
bone, beginning there and not coming up to the skin, slowly surfacing, a tiny yellow-
white spot, throbbing, pulsating, glowing like your own private sun of pain, dazzling your
eyes with a blinding radiance, no sun glasses with you, no sleep, for long, and then,
finally, yes, finally, it bursts;
That bursting is Yes.
There is no halfway yes.
The yes of the yes-and-no is something else altogether.
I am talking of the lone Yes.
Eggshells broke open and yellow pus had fluttered out. I had said;
They all stepped back
All hands were withdrawn: Hands which friends had stretched out,
Hands which foes had raised.
It costs to say Yes
in this land of yes-and-no.
I have been a traveller through distant lands of learning,
I ought to be writing accounts of my journeys across the continents of cultures.
But something went wrong.
I came across the usual sign board at the outskirts of a town:
“Hope you had a pleasant stay. Come back again to the town of Nadiad.”
I went on to the other side of the signboard to see the Welcome sign from the town
Of Paris, the city limits of which extend up to somewhere there.
I looked and found the reverse side of the signboard blank
I have said yes to that emptiness.
Wouldn’t it have been better to say many tiny little yeses all across?
Utter them and the folk run upto you: “Farishta-Farishta!” “Saviour Come!” and
They believe that all will be well. The good folk.
“Why don’t you describe the beauty of nature in your poems?”: A rich farmer
Of the yes-and-no land once asked me.
I have said yes to the river that laughs out excited by the plunging of a hippopotamus into
its rushing waters. And to the warm summer which has set in on the hills north of the
river, melting tons of snow on their peaks.
No one could now stop the floods which would soon come and devastate dirty taluk
towns clustered on her banks.
Have you ever seen a farm house catch fire, men running away, cattle tied to their posts
pulling at the chain, flames creeping closer, and the heat, and the light, brighter, brighter
still, and the eyes shut tight.
Then, before our tight shut eyes appears the mother who bears us all. She says: say Yes,
obstinate idiot, say Yes.
I have said Yes to that.
In the quiet that followed
Who, then, came out of the eggshell?
The new-born of moon-mad chakor bird and the new born of sun-drenched hawk
When you say the lone Yes to both the night-lotus and the lotus of mid-day,
Then which Time should your own sky display on its vast dial?
Yes is the last word that the speaker speaks. After that, his silence.