An Advice to a Writer on Marriage
If there was a direction to lost souls,
then a late February wedding isn’t one.
When you showed me the mandap at Dharwad,
I was taciturn. Later that evening I swung past it several times
Picked few bottles of beer, which I knocked
watching the trucks and listening to
the tyres making a grunt noise as they disappeared
on NH 48. I imagine your names together on the marquee,
The hall decked; you wearing the brown Kanjeevaram
looking coy, him in a Raymond suit. Guests march past,
pose for photographs.
How was the journey from Dharwad to Bangalore?
Your new abode. I know you told me the nuptial night was
Uneventful. Then you both headed to the hills.
All so fast like the direction boards - knotted and fated.
The forest beholds a thousand paths. The one you chose
has breached. The crickets of childhood,
the squirrel of those forgone quarters, they grip us.
The marriage trudges along making demands of everyday
Congress, even in wrong direction, even in the crosscurrent,
it tries to stay afloat.
There is a waterfall up ahead.
The mist is arising.
You see the rainbow and then a plunge of many meters down
where a beautiful arch shaped lake awaits
just like your Bindi today.
The photographs just hold years, of another anniversary in
a forgotten corner.
Turned a year older - camphor, incense
and short prayer.
The Gods that never visited but always worshipped
protecting a shrine.
A fire that embers out.
Nothing is left but the Mangalsutra,
neatly kept in a jewel box gathering time
and a few poems, few strings breaking loose,
still holding the few furtive lies
of another day.
Your Mangalsutra annoys me at times
As it gets caught between our breaths
Our hearts race and then slows
Your careless gentle snore
And the cyclic rise of your breasts
The fan makes a rhythmic whine
I play with the beads
And try to protect
Its sanctity with noble thoughts
A delirium takes over
Always carried her Japa cloth bag
Her wrinkled fingers in it
Counting the 108 beads
With Krishna’s name on her lips
She had become a widow soon
Having married late
To my grandfather in a second marriage
She has worn white since then
When she died they didn’t dress her up
No red, no sindoor, no mangalsutra, no alta
She turned to grey ashes
With no crimson reminders
The fire burnt for a long time
They joked that her bones
Are refusing to turn to ambers
Her Japa bag now lied barren and uncared
The Mala with the beads.
I snap back...the beads on yours
Are less...not 108.
Meanwhile Radha and Krishna
Smile at us from the
Wall calender stuck
On a forgotten month
Tabebuia Avellanedae, Pink Trumpet
They say blowing the trumpet can be vain
But the Tabebuia is stubborn
Come every spring
It springs alive
fissured bark, crooked trunk
yet, resolute in an arrogance
A distant traveler of a continent far away
They say South America
The seeds now home to a new bloom
A new home, a new sunshine
Shedding dead leaves, like stalled lives
And then a burst of colour
Yet, all that lasts less than a month
But so does that moment
When we try to capture our breath
The Tabebuia will shed the flower too
And new leaves will grow back
It won’t be able to compete with the Mayflower (Gulmohor)
The fiery red will make the May sun glow even fiercely
The tabebuia will bow down and swing in the breeze
Listening to an unknown soothsayer sitting under a tree
Telling his client
“Beware of the ides of March"
Few pink flowers fall on his head
He looks up and smiles.
Bishweshwar lives in the 'garden city' of Bangalore. He aspires to write like Philip Larkin or Charles Bukowski, and dreams of clicking pictures like Prabuddha Dasgupta. He's the creative director at a digital communication agency.