I’ve always been a thief-
Tamarind with jumps, mangoes with pebbles,
Muskmelons off docked canoes floating on God’s own backwaters,
Secrets from deep carapace maws, and history
from skins reciting the pigments of forefathers-
but something that smells like the forty-year-old me,
declares that I will never be a part of the bands of bigoted businessmen,
nor one of the raucous hands of extortion at Mukai Chowk
or the arson avengers of nuptial perfidies.
It tells me, in an unarticulated tongue, shows me, in a wraithlike prophecy-
the fate of the prosaic promenader-
halting, in the same torn clothes of the vision,
which bears a striking semblance to the inscrutable authors
of those so-thin chapbooks which fell right through the library-almirah-doorgaps
straight into the sand-dollar-soul of a child with thievish intentions.
That place where poets go to bask in the sun
that set for the moon in their metaphors,
espying the desis and the firangis with contrasting adjectives- lewd and lucid, blasphemous and beautiful.
That place which no poet ever writes about.
Not an ode to the assiduous sandcastles,
to the mother removing water from her I-am-a-little-teapot girl,
to the twins wrapped like snakes around their father’s trunks for legs.
After sunglass-slipping to nosebridge, slant glances giving to juveniles, the admirers of exotic
ethics return to pen on the sapless soil knitting noose for thirsty necks, osseous children
with perilous toys of ebullient trends and their pregnant mothers with no flesh,
praises for old gods and satires for modern devils but nothing for Kokum Feni Toddy
But don’t be so disheartened O’ Vijay’s conquest,
I will write a sonnet for the half drowning beachballing kids at Colva Beach,
for the rebellious kiss outside Basilica of Bom Jesus,
for the camera conscious flamingos of Salim Ali’s,
for the Max Cady saint under dudhsagar falls
but nonotnever for the poets reclining and engaging in their acts of poetic voyeurisms.