December 14, 2007

One more winter-senti post

Ice fist over Ice fingers
Breathe out misty ringlets
Fire-dance on sidewalk
Roasts hunched-up souls.

Roast in the morning sun
For the love of warm skin
For the love of art culture business
For the love of winter fog.

Roast in the afternoon.
In mausoleum shadows
For the love of methi parathas
And damp government jobs.

Roast in the evening
For the love of smoked moongphali
Cigarette- smoke pensive
Jolts of neat whisky.

Roast hand-me-downs
By the warm istri-coals
Hand some to the maid's kid
She runs about. Barefoot.

Roast hunched-up souls, you.
Roast while you can
Some roast in tandoor
Some tropical sands.

December 3, 2007

Mushrooms and Memories

Delhi winters make me ponder on loneliness. It's the sort of painful loneliness that evokes pontification. As it evokes the urge for more cigarettes in a sunny dhaba over chai. Or on a chilly Sunday evening near Palika. Or in an icy auto at night, closing your fist inside the crevice of stretched sweater-cuffs.

Sometimes pleasurable. This loneliness. Watching delirious crowds in Central Park, from an anonymous corner. Dancing to Paki cuteboys. Or Bangalore Coolboys. Sometimes it's lonely in familiar company. Of friendly chatter over moongphali. Or amidst giggling girls in Sarojini Nagar. Negotiating the market value of export-reject jackets.

Last winter. I was introduced to the fearsome loneliness of walking up posh and foggy Defence Colony. Singing to a desolate streetlamp. To fight off the fear of the uncanny. And down the subway. Where the one-legged chap who sells moongphali through the day, would just be settling into a tattered razai.

This winter I cooked mushroom with peas and tomatoes. The way my kitchen-guru flatmate did last winter. Trying to remember how she used to cook it. Remember our quickfix meals amidst shivers. As her train left platform five. Nizamuddin. And I stood on the overbridge. Two minutes too late. In a Bollywood moment. Of nostalgia. And mushroom-memories.