Clad in Black and Red

“It is going to rain,”
said a girl,
covering her head,
packing her back,
kicking her bike
to life;
roaring off.

I sit here,
on the pavement,
under the leaves that belong
to someone else’s garden –
waiting for the rain.

The rain comes
in big transparent drops
from the grey sky;
it is the grey
that sheds tears,
while everyone else
tries to run away from it,
kicking their bike to life,
covering their heads –
their hair.

I sit here,
on the pavement,
under the leaves that belong
to someone else’s garden,
waiting for the greyness
of the sky
to form a puddle
on the ground
for me to see my image
in it.

Then I see you
after the rain ends,
walking in jolly,
agreeable company,
clad in black,
and red.
I feel jealous
of the piece of fabric
touching your skin.

And then,
you step into the puddle,
dispersing the water,
and my image in it.

At Six-Thirty in the Morning

There’s a woman
who wakes me up
at six-thirty in the morning
and asks me to write a modern ballad
which rhymes –
a thousand words,
or more.

She sends me messages –
I wish she would
write me letters
but who cares about
the letters
when pleasure and relief
are instant.

But not all pleasures
are everlasting.
I decide not to reply to her,
only to hold the pleasures
with much effort
in my veins;
but then,
it bursts out
and my fingers tremble.
I reply to her – fully awake,
like a cupped flower
waiting for the morning dew.

She calls me a sweetheart
and a snarky boy;
the meaning of the latter,
I do not know.
I check the dictionary,
and then, it makes sense.
Once a woman told me:
humour is not your forte.
I had agreed, then.
There are some women
who see through you
through your words.

But for now,
it is sleep
that I agree too.
The pleasure is gone;
the woman I was talking to
is gone.

And now, I am convinced:
just like pleasure,
which does not last for long,
I would not last for long –
and around her.

Purple Shoes

Purple shoes –
kick me on my ankles
so that I fall down
in front of you
on my knees;
and then,
we will walk around on our knees;
if only you would bend down on your knees, too.
People would laugh at us,
but we would walk around
holding hands.

The Ultimate Guide to Shopping When Broke

A certain man
named Jacques
is broke,

He snaps his finger –
tak, tak tak!
Gets up
and walks around
his little home
and stares at the curtains
hanging on the window,
brown in colour.

He reaches for his wooden cupboard –
it’s open;
it’s always open;
he leaves it open.
He opens the drawers,
feels through the wire mess
and discarded bills –
sees a bill which is due –
puts it aside.
He explores further,
finds a coin;
finds another another in the corner.
One and two makes three – three rupees.
Jacques has three rupees.

He walks down the hall
to the laundry basket;
looks at it –
blue and black jeans,
shirts and t-shirts – yellow, white, and green;
all wrinkled.
He digs his long arm inside
and takes out a blue, ragged jeans;
puts his hand in the left pocket;
takes it out;
puts his hand in the right pocket;
and finds three coins;
three and two and one and one makes seven – seven rupees.
Jacques has seven rupees.

He goes to the bathroom,
and pushes the door to inside;
the bathroom is locked;
he likes to keep it locked.
He walks inside, stands;
sees the little bag on the top right corner;
reaches for it;
unzips it;
looks inside
through razor blades, shaving creams, and moisturisers;
finds two coins;
seven and tow and one makes ten.
Jacques has ten rupees.

He walks out;
feels his stomach rumbling;
walks out of the house,
down the lane
to the street.

The smell of pakodas
from the nearby cart
reach his nose;
and the rain is coming, too.
The jalebis look good in the boiling oil
in the pan;
there’s a croud gathered;
the jalebi man is well-known.

He crosses the road,
and reaches a small shop;
places the coins on the counter,
and buys a pack of cigarettes;
on credit.

Realisations that Rhyme

The default state of your hair
has curls.
Not all of them have it,
but some girls.

And the yellow lines on your nails
contrasted on black,
mirrors the images in my self
that I lack.

You have the colours,
and I am grey;
paint me yellow, black, pink, and purple;
oh please, I pray.

The Hanging of Misery

Create misery
with your eyes-
black eyes
which you decorate
with crimson blue
which you bought
in a packet from a shop
around the corner;
yes, I know it;
they all talk about you.

Create misery
with your eyes,
and hang it on a tree
for everyone to see –
a tree that has shed
its florouscent green leaves
to welcome you.

Do not put a black veil
on the face of misery;
we all see it
when we stand naked –
body and soul –
near the mirror.
After splashing cold water on the face,
misery glistens
like the snow-capped mountains
in the sunlight,
is not unknown.

And when misery dies
a trembling death –
bleeding through its mouth,
it’s eyes popping out;
they fall out.
They roll off on the ground
where you once stood,
creating it with your eyes,
which you decorate
with crimson blue.

Misery is dying
a blind death.

Step on the eyes
that rolled off
with your foor
which you decorate
with cream coloured sandles.
Another pop!
The unattached eyeballs
lose its shape –
the fluids come out –
mixes with dirt;
soon, a crow will come
and pick them up.

And when misery dies,
we will rejoice
in its death.
Me and you;
I will kiss your black eyes
which you decorate
with crimson blue,
and take off
your cream coloured sandles
with my hands
which would now
be free
from wiping off
the glistening misery
on my face.

And then, my love,
we will make love.