Sunday, August 17, 2008

16 - Afar

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Parvati, how dare you?

Do you even care
That I want to talk to you
And giggle about Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh
and chat about what all happened in Bangalore
with my girls, who were like my children
that makes them your granddaughters, you know
I practiced motherhood for 7 solid weeks
day in and day out
I want you to know I love my India, our India

I want you to annoy me
Hurt my feelings
Hate you for saying
you told me so
About how wrong he was for me
Why I shouldn’t wear short skirts at my age
Or eat too much, or divulge too much
Or that I think I am too big for my boots
(What’s so great about
coming and going as you please, anyway?)
That I wear lipstick all askew
which you fix
And that my buttocks are like
Two undulating claypots

I want to hear you call me ‘Sunaine’
The only who does – so honeysweet
And when I was distraught
Just like that, out of the blue
For no reason, just like that
You’d phone
And we'd talk about Shah Rukh and Amitabh
And who is having an affair with whom
Which you didn’t want to believe
Then you'd declare that you
are always delighted to talk to me
Now you don’t even call
How dare you

Sure, sure
You see it all
You are here, everywhere
Yeah, you know it all
Secrets and wishes and dreams and all
But I am limited – I don’t see, hear and know
It’s not enough.
I want to really call you
And tell you myself
Really hear you call me by that name
I want to really see you stand
Resting on one hip like Parvati does
(I did in a manner of speaking
You wore a shaded pink saree
Or was it cream with green sunbursts?
While praying to Krishna –
Felt it at that absurd ISKON temple
That sure shut my cynical self up
As I choked on my tears)

I really want to see
your big eyes grow befuddled
At my shenanigans, and ascerbic criticisms
And really scold me to find the goodness in others
Always
Now you tell me
How do I go home
If you are not there
To care and demand
That like you,
I should be soft, gracious, graceful.
When all those people will come
and cry and sing and pray and eat.
My Parvati, who stands resting on one hip,
in a shaded pink saree,
how dare you go.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Go! Fly a Kite!

You went and flew a kite
Instead of taking your exams
What were you thinking as it soared
That this is life!
Up up and free!
While the mad city beneath bustles busily

And then you married that fashionable lady
With her skinny knees jutting out through her saree
Huge dangling earrings with superstar shades
And whisked her off to humid islands
Where she fried sambosas
for your afternoon tea

You both grew old together,
Despite the irritations that life invariably throws at you
You both always had dance and romance
threatening to die very soon after the other
Because how, why should you live
with just you.

Now you do, and you must
Even if her song haunts, her image sears
And the evenings seem vapid
Go fly a kite again! Soar up up!
She really really won’t mind
Like that kite, she, too, is free.

Friday, April 4, 2008

12 - Transforming Oblivion



Wednesday, April 2, 2008

11 - We won’t forget, promise

Its not what you think

We thought you were one of us

When you are really much better

We’re preoccupied with this and that

Involved in inanities

We are small

While you are as always

Larger than life

And so full of it

So come close

Be with us

We won’t forget, promise

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

10 - The Universe in You

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

9 - Invite, Again

1.The Invite

It is a short distance

To my heart

I am saying yes

And feel raw

Will you come

And fill me deep

And strong

So I may remember

My fullness, too?


2. Again

I took it all

And see you fully

Meek and mine

Heard your sounds

tasted everything

Know what you can and can't

It will be our secret

But only for now

Since I will have you, again.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

8 - Buoyancy

7 - Origins

You dared to confess
Of all times now
How thrilling!
I now understand
Why (I) like you
I am weak for
Men with a penchant for
Poetry and humor

We are after all the original sinners
You and I
Frolicking in the gardens of our secretions
I, an exhibitionist
You in discrete elegance
Up 'til now

Your reserve all gone
Even your vanity disappearing
Do you now appreciate my bulk?
This fatty can lift you, turn you over
Even wash that luscious site of my origin
What my Papa still adores
You blurted it out yourself
You knew
That I liked to do it

Now I am the one
insisting on some lipstick, at least
that yellow shirt will bring out your glow
how about a clip for your hair?
people are visiting
old friends
my aging uncles and aunties
who have loved you all along

But I fell in love with you
That summer, once again
After all these years

Our hearts are dancing with secrets
and not so original sins

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

6 - Both Beautiful

You regarded me seriously
As I did you
And you said it first about me
What I had in my mind
About you
That we were both
Beautiful

I assured you that I would come again at Christmas
Could you wait for me
Knowing that you already knew
What we could not bring our tongues to say
You chided me not to cry
As you turned away

I asked them all, too
In their varied blazes of glory
And anthropomorphic divinity
They grew dim, though
They may not be able to

So I revised, and asked
That it not hurt so much
For you of course,
but more so for me

And left you knowing
What I already knew
What I could not bring myself to say
That the return would be grim.




copyright 2008 Sunita S. Mukhi

5 - Dusk

4 - The Nights Are Most Difficult Of All

The nights are most difficult of all
Because fatigue blinds us
And the quiet deafens us

But on rare occasions
When we are distracted
From our own tragic loss

When we have managed a laugh or two
Or paid attention to another’s grief
Cooked a meal, visited

Then you sneak up on us
So we can float on a cloud of dreams
With you in it.

You coyly take a peek
And swaddle us

In the glow of your largesse




copyright 2008
Sunita S. Mukhi

3 - Here and Departed

2 - Released

Released
You left,
broken bloody
Gasping

You had been leaving for some time
Intermittently present
To give us some small bright hope
You were merely doing us a favor

But you had to,
so you went

And we wept
And gathered around you
And sang odd songs between sobs
With our meagre voices

Even now
You are a beauty
Draped in pink silk
While we in sad rags

Pine for your moon



copyright 2008
Sunita S. Mukhi

1 - Departed Remembered