In Our Colony
In our colony
The postman gets bamboozled
Teachings get confused
The sun- even he is darkened.
Our houses stand
Like footprints of cattle in the mud.
In the midst of it all is a soul
Eager to swim along the current.
A roaring, foaming sea
Of black bodies and black hair,
Wearing away in the moulds of tradition
Sinking in the soil.
The people of this place-
Carrying the loads of soft cotton on their shoulders,
Their hands rough but weak
The bangles jingling with the crooked sky
The kids perspiring all over in sweltering heat.
Some working on the open trucks
Their veins swollen-eyes half-closed
Our colony- drowned in the pegs of ‘country wine,
Subsisting on the hot chillied pieces of meat-
Floating in the spicy, hot gravy
Living half-fed despite working full hours
Yet surveying closely in the mellow light of
The candle the future of each coming new day.
Gets stirred on hearing the footsteps
Of the postman.
He is simply harassed
In deciphering the name and address
Scribbled out illegibly in purple
Got by dipping the tip of the copying pencil in saliva
The postman frustrated in searching Renu Narayan
Surrounded by naked guides
Groaning in agony as though hit on the knee
He keeps on wandering mutely in search of Renu Narayan
Bending and moving through mud and marsh
Sweating in the clumsy livery.
The search is over.
‘Renu’s granny has expired.’
The colony grapples with the message
Like an eagle pouncing upon its prey.
In our colony-
Reforms get confused
Paths are bruised, schemes stumble
Now- only now have boys started learning.
They write poems- stories- Indian literature
The axes of words fall upon the trees of tradition,
The warm, experienced hailstones
Of strange realities rain
On the dreams of literature
Once again begin
The rounds of the police and the postman
Darkness is sizzling swallowing the sun
In our colony the postman is
Bamboozled – even now.