Amid a tumultous bazaar
a bazaar of arabesque din,
an asylum of dirham and dinar
of rue of vice of sin,

sleeps an unsold pomfret
reclining on the spine , belly up
like a corpse , for a corpse she-he is
a carcass , and yet , so plump

behind the festooned stall sits
a vendor who , has an eye for a glutton.
and however artless may he be,
is fated to die deemed a charlatan.

“half-a-kilo four hundred”
the words ensconced in his throat
“pomfret of fresh lagoons , thoroughbred”
echoes the wheedling verse by rote.

a decoy arrives , for the evening chores
a Bengali lady , rotund and plump
a veteran of bargain-wars
witnessed by a sack that overlooks her rump

“four-hundred-a-pound , did say thou ?
looka yonder, the fish brim and overflow
on a fool’s errand you are so
carrying coal to Newcastle , go.”

“a connoisseur of fish , I may be called
for the whole Bay of Bengal , I’ve grilled and charred
and every nautical creature , the seven seas hold,
towers of them fish skulls , my shelf doth lard.”

“three-hundred” proclaimed she, to the vendor’s chagrin
who twitched a nostril and still harped on
“too much clever by half, you’ve been
but throngs of lasses , damsels and ladies
preceding you , have come and gone.”

“oh come now on , then ,you awful lout
let the pomfret have her choice
for she’s the one it’s all about”
thus said , both assented and sat apoise.

Towards the lady , the fish would turn ,
bearing malice in her eye
for glory after death , she let her master burn
who cursed then , “oh foul creature , drown and die.”

The vile arbiter , along with her mistress
swam to her house , to be cooked and fried
who all her life , been a damsel in distress
now attained worth , after having died.

reaching the kitchen , she usurped a skillet.
the skin was pierced with a keen deba knife
half of her ended in a trash , nose to gullet,
the rest was savoured by the house and wife.

O foul day ! O desperate deed !
a thorn caused the savour to cease
on the pomfret as the wife began to feed,
for the dead fish had a penchant to renege.

The pomfret now, had her master’s revenge
who had been wronged by the artful lady’s
not for a fleeting moment , did she cringe
and went down mirthful , to house of Hades.


© 2017, The Null. All rights reserved.


Leave a Reply