Skip to main content

A HANDFUL OF ASH




               Clad in dirty torn knickers
               And reeking of cheap liquors,
               The man in charge of the pyre
               Let loose on me his drunken ire.
              
              “Where wast thou all these days?
              So busy couldn’t reach even for the blaze?
              And now that he is merely ashes,
              What good are your wet lashes?”
              
              As the wind blew up the dust,
              The undertaker spat out in disgust,
              “His sons were at each other’s throats,
              To decide who would pay my efforts.

             The daughters were splitting the spoils,
             Without a look at father’s mortal coils.
             And the village folk’s concern very simple-
            - Dispose the carcass and re-open the temple.”

             Seeing my eyes moist, he softened in a flash,
             Handed me gently a fistful of the hot ash;
             Muttered softly, “I know not who you are,
             But you deserve this for you have come afar”

             At this I started sobbing loudly;
             How to explain to this man, so kindly,
             That the ashes he thrust in my palms,
             Were his who comforted me in his arms.
         
            That he was the only human among the beasts,
            Respected me though I was from the streets.                


          








               

              

Popular posts from this blog

THE LOCKED ROOM

Govindan was facing the problem of plenty.
A very large ancestral house.
Relations of all hues- in dozens-living as a disjointed joint family, of which he was supposedly the head.
Huge quantity of valuables, including cash and jewellery-which he found hard to safe guard from the greedy cockroaches calling themselves his relatives. Try as he might, he could not dislodge a single one among these detested people for fear of offending either a brother, a sister, mother or his wife.
He tried hiding the stash at different places in his ancient thirty-two roomed bungalow and changing places every few days… but was shit scared that someone or other would find out.
Thus, among plenty of other things, he had plenty of angst also.
One day, Govindan got a flashy idea after watching a Malayalam movie about a haunted room in a large house like his.

(UN)GAINFUL RAIN

Ah! It’s started to beautifully rain, So it’s time for me to feign, An infection, cold or any pain, A day off, with sympathy to gain.
But alas! spousey says, ‘Off to work! You lazy, cunning little jerk, Calling in sick to watch buxom ladies twerk, Watching your lusty channels, with a daylong smirk.’
But when she says, ‘If you still be insisting, I will rope you in for housekeeping,' I look out, sigh, ‘The rain, it seems, has stopped, My leave plan for today is hence dropped.’





THE PAINTED VASE

Returning home from work that day, the first thing that grabbed my attention was the painted vase sitting prettily on a side table in the hall.
“Mynah!” shouted I, addressing my eleven year old daughter, “How did this come here?”
“Som bought it for me,” said she, quite simply, leaving me dumbfounded.
“Som!”
“But you hate him!” I said, referring to my new boyfriend whom she detested.
Som had come into my life recently, two years after Mynah’s dad died in a freak accident. He was only 40 then- I was 38.
Mynah shrugged and said, “But he likes me, it appears. That’s why he got it when I told him you refused to get it for me.”
I was left still wondering at the turn of events as her tantrums on seeing him were still fresh in my memory.
Two days later, Som came home during the weekend. He too merely shrugged when I complimented him on winning over Mynah. “Girls like things. You can keep them happy by indulging in these simple things.”
I really hope it stays that way, I thought, hoping to marry Som …