With Lemons and Pilfered Honeycomb

while she re-lives secrets: wedging a chair beneath the door handle, stealing offerings of orange slices out of Lord Shiva’s hand, tugging the gold watch from the dead man’s wrist, shielding her face from the everyday this-and-that.

Forgeries of Burnt Skin

In this City of Sin — Such beautiful forgeries! It’s been a pleasure, really — Lying in air-conditioned rooms, feeling the silky sheets on burnt skin, while 26 stories beneath you — a glorious carnival continues.

Ink Between my Swollen Fingers

A sad small affair Goes past In the street — men and women And budding generations Ferry along In a disenchanted cluster Merrymaking With old folk songs, timidly whining from a brand new tape recorder.

Homecoming

I came home on the first of May. The train pulled into Sealdah station fifteen minutes after its scheduled arrival time, at 10:45 AM. Platform number 9B was a petri dish full of the city’s live culture of people, teeming, bustling, and sweating, profusely sweating.

Songs for Mattur and Hosehalli

Two almost-forgotten villages stretch on either side of the Tunga. Here, centuries of exile have created a lineage that speaks remnants of a faraway tongue, borrowed vocabulary from others, made the land’s syllables her own