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The pi-dog

likes the city when it is not in action as:

This is the time of the day I like best,

and this the hour

when I can call this city my own; . . . .

when it’s deserted early in the morning,

and I’m the only sign

of intelligent life on the planet;


Bombay made me a beggar.

Kalyan gave me a lump of jaggery to suck.

In a small village that had a waterfall

but no name

my blanket found a buyer

and I feasted on just plain ordinary water.

I arrived in Nashik

peepul leaves stuck between my teeth.

There I sold my Tukaram

to buy myself some bread and mince.

When I turned off Agra Road,

one of my sandals gave up the ghost.

The Butterfly

There is no story behind it.

It is split like a second.

It hinges around itself.

It has no future.

It is pinned down to no past.

It's a pun on the present.

Its a little yellow butterfly.

It has taken these wretched hills

under its wings.

Just a pinch of yellow,

it opens before it closes

and it closes before it o

where is it?

An Old Woman

An old woman grabs
hold of your sleeve
and tags along.

She wants a fifty paise coin.
She says she will take you
to the horseshoe shrine.

You've seen it already.
She hobbles along anyway
and tightens her grip on your shirt.

She won't let you go.
You know how old women are.
They stick to you like a burr.

You turn around and face her
with an air of finality.
You want to end the farce.

When you hear her say,
‘What else can an old woman do
on hills as wretched as these?'

You look right at the sky.
Clear through the bullet holes
she has for her eyes.

And as you look on
the cracks that begin around her eyes
spread beyond her skin.

And the hills crack.
And the temples crack.
And the sky falls

with a plateglass clatter
around the shatter proof crone
who stands alone.

And you are reduced
to so much small change
in her hand.

Man of the year

Nothing much happened, except

that the Himalaya rose by another inch,

fewer flamingos came to Kutch,

and the leaning tower of Pisa leaned

a little further out

by another 1.29 millimetres,

the Danube poured

two hundred and three cubic kilometres

of fresh water into the Black Sea,

the hole in the ozone layer widened,

the earth became poorer

by two thousand seven hundred plant species

Kala Ghoda


The clock displayed outside

the Lund & Blockley shop across the road

is the big daddy of all clocks,

and will correct me if I’m wrong;

but I think it’s tonight already

in Tokyo

where they’re busy polishing off

sliced raw fish,

sushi balls and tofu with soy sauce;

and the emperor’s chopsticks are poised,

at this very moment,

over Hatcho Miso, his favourite dish.

In a restaurant in Seoul,

a dog is being slowly strangled

before it’s thrown into a cooking pot