By Anushua Aich
Hair above the neck and tied in a bun,
Trail of ladies left to conquer the world.
There, at the corner naked nephews still
Played as the dust storm swirled.
Stepped down from the bus,
Boys scurried to the man selling ‘Ice gola’
The man asked one of them, enthusiastically “Aaj konsa banaun Bhola?”
Amidst the horns blaring and local gamblers howling came
The voice of a Kulfiwala who cried out “Jo khareedega uska bhala, jo na, uska thikana Uparwala!”
Son waited for his father eagerly, so that when he came back, could go for a serene swim
Just as the way the ‘Kisan’ anticipated for the first drop of rain.
Indian summers are about Indian families sharing responsibilities equally
Over a ‘Thandai’ in the evenings gathered on the porch.
Neither the Kathakali dancer nor the Prostitute compromise
On their striking story-telling roles, despite the fierce heat.
But when it comes to making eye contact among carcass crowd
In the general compartment of a local train, nothing but cold sparks fly.
Strappy tops and short skirts receive nasty remarks, yet
Inner-self said “Enough Girl, time to get out of the dark.”
Tapping on the shoulder Ma gently said “Don’t forget to pack the mango pickle.”
Repeating those words in my mind, at last, I closed the window with the ironical image of a woman who sold umbrellas and covered her forehead with the pallu of her sari instinctively smiling at everyone she saw.