My city always travels-
Those who flee today come back tomorrow
Robbing starlight from the eyelids of the dead,
pickling them in spicy, salty ambitions.
Don’t be surprised when you see
the diamond-merchant’s wife selling
seaweeds to jobless millworkers.
Concealed in the cracks of the railway tracks,
Paradise is here –
Stray dogs and gods litter platform with
Fragrant sins of their bodies.
This is almost a surreal siege-
No one is happy or sad here.
When the daylight blurs the edge of sea
Iron wheels cry in chorus –
like aging water buffaloes in pairs,
passengers sit cramped between grief and relief.
Slowly, they melt
into the rhythms of unknown destinations.
Would you believe,
stations mirror themselves?
Silent prophecies of random riots,
and Mercy Killers-wet in the monsoon rains-
pounce on the office goers urinating under the footbridges of
Parel, Bandra, Kalyan stations.
A country of broken tiffin-boxes we are-
If you come from my village
for lunch at my city home
let me know beforehand;
we shall meet at Curry Road station,
both you and I…