Anthology of Contemporary Indian Poetry II



He was first a snake and was in love with her - a she-snake. And then he molted and after he molted he was a turtle and he met another she-turtle and fell in love with her. When he de-shelled after years, he became a four-legged animal, black spots sprouting over his fur, and he fell for a leopard. He moved this way through the jungles, the savannas, the deserts, the skies, through the oceans, the air, the land and beneath it, changing and changing and meeting and falling in love with new she-species.

The lovers he left behind did not change. They were who they were. The same.

They were individualistic so to speak, but now they were also heart-broken and full of hate for him - the one who had left in the middle of, sometimes, passionate love-making.

They had no idea how it was to live so many lives in one life like him.

To take no breaks with rebirths from being mosquito to man.

Sometimes evolution and progress is so fast, blessings and curses are all mixed up, and One.

Raw forms

From the first smells of wet mud 
to this heartache 
you were the perfect shaft of sun
that passed through my stained-glass window 
so I could watch the carcass 
of a fallen rainbow.

It is not you alone that caused this misfortune.

It takes two distinct kinds
to mix and merge 
to produce something different. 

People with uncommon atomic arrangements.
like tin and copper, 
nickel and palladium, 
copper and zinc, 
to crystallize into 
bronze, white gold, brass.

Take aluminium, for example.
They say it is soft, malleable 
but with another softie: copper
it becomes hard, strong: aluminium alloy . 

take acetylene that blends with oxygen
to become the hottest burning fuel.

Take chocolate with its vanilla and cocoa gradients,
Or milk in its tea variants,
rain running on diverse mud, land, soil. 

You get the drift?

I don't want you to change. 
I don't want me to change. 
But there are gaps in our atomic lattice
-	sieves large enough
through which I fall and bruise. 

Most things in its raw forms are not stable:
diamond, platinum, potassium, 
gold, sugar, 
or love.

I have tried leaving. 
I really have. 
But like a soul not allowed to leave
its battered accident body 
I am a molecule pulled back.

Our story is not over.

So stay with me till we are
heated by ennui, 
melted by its reasons,
hardened by the seasons,
softened by its perceptions.

One day our lattices shall carry
our faith, our patience,
our knowing of each other
stronger than our arms could ever hold.

We will weld and meld, 
to form the perfect-imperfect 
stable substance.