Wednesday, 17 August 2016


(a lover's poem in a free country: dedicated to Indian Independence)

A line of your hair flies and rests
on your right cheek, 
an earring dangling beneath
carries little bells of my life, 
my love that I prayed for
at the temple where lives
the centenarian astrologer, 
old but strong, poor but true.

The bells... 
Oh! The crimson sindur
lies on the brass plate, 
the vermillion a little faded
by the ages of the gods, 
yet it stays firm, 
not a pinch of it
moved when the winds
fell upon the temple bells.

All the precious laws
could not alter man's minds, 
the barriers still boast
of their rusted prowess:
they turned faiths into demons, 
castes into excuses, 
and I thought prayers were
written for all men, or
do chants of the temples
have reservations too?

I could have booked a caste too
but I would rather bet on you. 
Your earrings interest me:
they bring back my soul
from the grave of
a poisoned land. 
The lonely line of hair rests still
on your right cheek
now reddened by sindur. 
I wish to move a pinch of it
and place on your forehead
burying all barriers, 
killing all excuses, 
bringing back my freedom
in a free country
seven decades after!