Oh, how dynamite moments,
Fill a hall in Stockholm, Sweden.
Tagore stood there in 1912
While pretenders of the pinnacle,
Are shy of what it takes, to catapult,
From a slum in Chennai,
To that stage in Stockholm.
How that little house made of cheap timber,
With roofs that blow away, to the storm,
Will now be storm-proof. How the eye of a tempest,
Summons you, the endearing calm
Of a moment, when you walk
On a stage in Stockholm,
Holding a roof made of keratin,
That will not blow away;
Gelled with hairspray, they stand,
Humbled by, the men and women,
Who have gone before you.
How amor fati, states my humble adobe,
Whose slum will not break away to the tempests,
Until the night of nights,
The crucibles where I alloy words,
Into phrases, ink spilled
Into an embroidery of fonts. How God, like a tree
Gives me canopy, until that day, when fate takes
Over. The dog with two tails
That became only one.
How a writer gives birth to a poem,
Like a mother to a baby, pushing
Out, from a pelvis, breaking through an amnion.
How one breathing example
Of ontology, looks like a treasure chest, in a nihilist world,
And amidst lampooned religions, there is a wake;
The dawn of life, some
Long-awaited poetic justice.
How I will smile like Tagore,
And thank every god of every mythology
And religion. I will be poem and poet.
The formula for success is persistence.
How for the umpteenth time,
I became a failure, how through
The crestfallen moments, and the ensuing insanity,
The moments when you feel
Like growing a cocoon, knowing,
Butterflies, don’t really know,
How beautiful they really are….
How beautiful if there was No Nobel Prize,
If Tagore’s poems were like
Ramanujan’s formulas, long and epic, proof
Of something that is bigger
Than life, and still, how sad it would it be
If angiosperms had not evolved.
Still the Nobel Prize, lies in the distance,
As the Mount Olympus of human dreams.
How beautiful that we are not much different
From the apes. How Hanuman
The Monkey God, wrote letters to Rama,
Perhaps, even writing a poem or two.
How like Hanuman, I’m the perfect servant,
Of a craft, that only needs stanzas.
A medal like a baby Papadum, that I will bite softly into,
On a Stockholm stage. How
Stockholm, is just a place to measure who has
The longest and most supple tail,
Of a glorified race of monkeys,
Gripping Hanuman’s pen.
I look at the flamingos,
Going from one limb to two wings.
I look at a woman, my wife, whose mastectomy
Made her go from two to one breast,
While her hospital gown had a little pink ribbon on it,
That broadcasted a stark reality,
That used to swell out from her chest.
And I walked to her, soon after the operation,
When she took off her hospital gown
And showed me where the cut was.
And I looked at her, partly
In pain, wondering what would happen
To me if my orchards were uprooted.
Empathy can be so harsh sometimes.
I realized that she stood beyond
That reasoning now, how even in the absence
Of a seemingly expelled feminineness,
She stood defiant, courageous and proud,
The little ribbon on her gown,
Told me how she was a survivor,
And I was now stuck in a defying moment,
Looking at where a pound of flesh
Used to be, knowing that I had
To be more of a man now, than ever before.
And so emptied of my wife’s breast,
I fell in love with her all over again.
How I grew to cup one phantom breast,
To feel a flat valley below
Her clavicle, the places that I still feel,
From the ridges of my ambidextrous fingers.
How she challenges my libido more now,
How in the deficiency of one breast, I still
See her as the complete woman. How I never
Really notice the stitch marks, or the deformations,
As we let passion control us,
Still in a well-lit bedroom, when I stare at her,
In the same fashion, as years before.
The surgeon’s knife could not carve out,
The passion that sweeps through us,
Like a tropical cyclone. How I grew to love her,
Like one of those one-legged flamingos,
In her recurring trysts, with
A pink brine shrimp.
March becomes the march,
Called a crawl, a long pub crawl.
How bellies distend to beer-bellies
In one night of frolicking fun.
How a country of Catholics,
Share the Eucharist of French Fries
And draught beer, and that day,
That transcends to the next one,
Spanning past midnight, when
You find storytellers, relaying anecdotes
That enrich a night, belonging to a saint
Called Patrick. How easy for a man,
To stay on a stool, and glug, mug after mug of beer,
While the blurred world
He inherits, becomes a little
Escapade to the afterlife of inebriation,
When the legacy of floral hops,
Transforms to the complete
Opposite, how a simple tradition
Of getting drunk on a straw-colored drink,
Makes the perennially bitter,
For a brief moment in time,
To and fro, the high and low tides,
Fate and the fated, and man,
Who searches for woman,
Spanning the seven seas,
To spawn a moment,
That gives as much as it takes,
The aching heart climbing,
Onto another. The little exclamations
The bursts of laughter,
The silence that weds two gazes,
And the palms in soft caress.
Two people and an epiphany
Of how one knows, instinctively
That she will outgrow everything else,
How love too begins as a zygote,
And becomes a heartbeat.
The rapture that aches in absence
And follies in company,
The formidability of a focal point
That compliments without words,
In one beautiful deed, a kiss.
How impulsive you are in the presence
Of another, the caress before
The cascade, the motionless point
Of blissed convergence, of lips,
No longer capable of asunder.