Varanasi, December 2014

You unwelcomed me with fog
on a blinding night
hurrying into history
like the feet of your ghaats

As I crawl up
the rickety slope
of your refrigerated afternoon
I am spiral and backward
in time’s forsaken bedroom

where chaste Hindi adulterates
several slips of tongues
and the languid orality of people
mulls over suicidal lungs

You rise at sundown
by the Ganges
You bathe, you shiver
urinate, maneuver
by the Ganges

Your murky bylanes
meet at the Ganges
The redness of your paans
the green of your nimbu chai
the butts of your secret cigarettes –
Your whole existence is a pull-up
with the dumbbell of a dense dream

In moments, you loop me
In moments, I loop you back

Your hi and bye are twins
born out of fog
and your river-lamps afloat
man’s finest intricacies

You will outlast me
the less I know,
the better it is.

Pune, November 2014

These are elemental fires
Stoked by the unspoken
Where the night’s forehead
Emotes every half a second

At three in the morning
The winter recedes
In all directions
Pune is cold and casual,
As if falling out of love,
The room, a silence
We climb the ramparts of
With the outstretched
Ropes of our twenties

Along the hour’s neck,
Vision seesaws on Old Monk
By its chin, a dog
Barks pointlessly
At the restaurant
That shut several hours
And a consciousness ago

The weather throws up
Like a rookie on cheap whiskey
Outside, the world contracts
Into a big false identity
Across a barricade of smoke
And a self-taught uncertainty
A woman rinses her day
Over a cup of tea
And along the descend of the balcony
Stages a cameo
In this impromptu polygyny

The spider on the wall
The half-hearted missed call
The odd comb, the wafers
In the hall: The moment’s
Makeup overall, how
I wish, was a sticker
On the desk of eternity

In this city,
A glinting test tube
Of interpersonal coincidences,
We’re all experimental
Chords of the experimented


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