put antimony over your eyes and be in disguise
vanish, vanish into thin air, where
fall you must, and that too, fall hard
for this dearest, is the land of jugaad.
Behold! the pied pipers of Hindostan,
whose tattered vestments and matted braids
dust the precincts of holy rocks
and a god as cocky as the king of spades.
a winsome land, where a casserole thou wilt
slurp down from Birbal’s a-simmering pot
lest everything, everything, everything evil
befall you with malice aforethought.
lift a veil and see a deity
a deity which lurks, on a steep boulevard
at the far end of which, phallic idols
turn up like bad pennies and, well, a wild card.
let Vincent hack his ear away
let Raphael blow his clarion call
we own things far, far more grotesque
than Nelson’s eye, Vincent’s ear and Hitler’s lonely missing ball.
over the Deccan dunes, perch the tell-tale curs
‘bring me your firstborn’, so saith Shaitan
when in Hamelin, do as the pied piper does;
et too? priest? then fall Hindostan.
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