These days I’m reading only ancient scripts
Can manage to make out even the Harappan script
Every language is a language of pain
ever since I understood
I could read a message even
in the most obscure of languages
In my own infinite emptiness
this is the only thing I’ve done
I’ve learned the tottering notation of music
in every tone of pain
There’s a fire in me
to write something on pages of the wind
and then crumple them up and toss them under the broken charpoy
Unfolding these crumpled scraps,
my mother reads them
and her glasses fog up
This is where my fire gets transformed into water.
My bound hands are restless
they want to do something
There’s strength in them still.
Milk, they can draw from the breasts of the mountain
What if only a mouse turns up
when you’ve dug it all up?
My bound hands are rough and cold —
they’ve never had the chance to sweep up the sweetness of the earth
Never has a tattered dupatta been spread out in these hands
and laughingly begged those berries.
The moon is no longer that pale
There’s a layer of dirt on its yellowness
it‘s as grungy as the grayed pages of a miserly bania’s ledger
The sunlight slowly fading,
like the tired dusty beauty of an unwed elder sister
Hey, butterfly, tell me
how far is the last sigh from infinite desire.
This ‘should’, what kind of a bird is this?
Has it ever alighted in your courtyard?
perched on your hand?
So how can they say
a bird in the hand is worth more
than two in the bush?
Wringing my hands, I often wonder
are my hands like two flints
will they ever trigger fire?
I never get a wink of sleep
My life is the chaos at a call-centre
that might close down any moment, who knows?