A child wakes up , to mosquito bites,
and Christ-on-a-bike-it’s-diwali , the fiesta of lights.
the welcome vibes of halcyon tarried
as hugs and gifts and smiles are carried,
and waving her wrinkles mid-air ,daadi
says today! god , to his land was ferried.

Afar, the bronze herald of worship time,
the temple bell goes off in a celestial chime.
and cometh the priest , for the fire-ritual,
line my pockets now , come on , be spiritual.
but duh! your dhoti hast no pockets , saintly dummy;
tsk.. fret ye not , for it goes straight into my tummy.

mid-morning now , and mummy’s high-strung;
‘dust it well and dust it thorough and dust it till you burst a lung’.
‘garam pakode’ !! cries papa in his croaking tenor ,
‘but one by one’ and now he begins with the manners.
mummy is the last one , picking over the bones,
she always has been , for what a family she owns.

A muezzin somewhere cries the holy decree
heads bow down and a pigeon flies free,
from the onion dome , below the staccato claps
‘Ooparwala ! … ‘ the muezzin gasps ,
and ‘Ooparwala!.. ‘ a crowd chants in tow ,
and ‘Oops ! … ‘ the bird sheds it’s something and flaps
soars high , and takes a bow .

hey presto! the night has come.
the moonless night of the homecoming lord.
sweetmeats and sugars and syrups and us ,
laddu-barfi , well , that strikes a chord .

Lakshmi , her owl , the glutton god with his mouse ,
revered an’ pleased an’ fed an’ flattered ,
and coaxed never to leave the house
while out there , bombs and crackers burst and batter.

The witch’s hour already , and the man ain’t home yet
the lord is home , to get things straight,
while the men all out on a greedy conquest;
pennies on the dollar , unwavering faith still,
for the beckoning bait .

A child wakes up , to mosquito bites
gone now is the carnival of lights.
a goddess fled , a father bled
a child scrapes off the waxy remains ,
the leftovers of candles ,pains, and not many gains.


© 2017, The Null. All rights reserved.


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