Blood Journeys

Manto too left on a long journey, all the way, from his beloved Bombay to the other side, Karachi, Lahore, only to die there, of a broken spirit.

The Weight of the Salem Express

the first ‘thrain’ lisped from your stories, how as a child you enlarged two anna coins on the tracks with the weight of the Salem Express then tossed them into the pulp of the Cauvery for the peace of your ancestors;

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.