Monday, December 3, 2012


You too had a past, did you !
You old woman in that Bengali saree
I only saw the gray streaks and the big
outdated bindhi,
Not the girl who ate chalk and sneezed
Drawing giant mutant butterflies on the walls
With tiny hands , dust underneath the tender nails.
I saw none of that, not the love for chocolates,
Nor the pretty green frock, nor the little plastic rattle,
Yet there you are, caught on a piece of withering paper,
Off guard, much like time itself,
And to know all that I’ve missed,
Perhaps secrets and friendship, pillow fights and dresses,
Stories on the wet veranda, long chain of suitable adorers,
All that and not mere reprimands,
You didn’t sprout in yesterday’s rain, a mushroom,
I see that now, and all and all and everything I’ve missed,
skipping a generation, pushed into role playing,
Growing up on your lap, not by your side,
Silent sighs, Silent thoughts, all in silence, all lost.


Little girl out in the forest-city,
Picking flowers on her way to school,
Met a twenty first century fox,
With glasses and a half grey beard,
Lovely child, take my candy he said,
and showed her an ugly worm.

Now that five whole centuries had passed
and no grandma was waiting,
only a mother with much forewarning,
had packed her some nice sharp scissors,
Little darling, trust no fox she said
Dead children in graves nodded in approval

Off came the ugly triangular head,
Did I surprise you mister, she said
OOOww howled the fox and scooted,
His faith had just been uprooted,
The girl smiled, this time the children had won
The joy of his tattered worm was done.

She swiped the blade clean with a tissue,
Chucked it in the nearest chute,
Paused for a moment, thanked mommy
she knew in her world innocence wasn’t a virtue,
Then hopped and picked flowers on her way,
Recounting her lessons for school.