Ruby Gupta
Ruby Gupta’s underwear had not dried out
on the day the Jallianwala Bagh massacre took place.
While gathering clothes she’d hung out to dry
up on the concrete roof
she noticed
all her clothes had dried out
except her underwear.

Frightened she was
since the evil event occurred on the planet
the same day
her underwear
took time to dry.

Now and then
I think of Ruby Gupta
who lived in the extended home of a novel
Nobody knew about the world tragedy’s connection
with this tiny garment of innerwear.
And she could not let others know it either.
Ruby Gupta’s underwear did not dry out
on the days of the world’s terrible quakes,
volcanoes, tsunamis and massacres.

She was never at ease without underwear
even unwashed.
In her childhood
her mother had taught her
never to remain without underwear.

Now, she only shivers with apprehension:
is her underwear dry?
She irons her underwear
on rainy days.

To save the world
she tries her hardest.