Sunday, January 29, 2012

Volunteer Our Story

In every bazaar, in various avatars, I see, I hear our story.
They sell, enact in streets & houses everywhere our story.

I have long forgotten the specific words you said.
But in gossip, in surreal phrasings I volunteer our story.

A spicy beginning, raunchy moments with musical interludes;
even to the climax, Bollywoodish seemed our affair, our story.

Quite a pang I feel when people talk about broken-hearts.
Just for variety’s sake, could have been singular our story.

‘No resemblance to living or dead’, I claim, my dearest.
On the page, I let my impartial memory steer our story.

Promise of secrecy was sacrosanct, my idol I worshipped you!
But it was my silent veneer that let the society infer our story.

Does the time travel on a Hindu bicycle: birth, rebirth, birth, rebirth?
Don’t you get bored, O Ishwar, repeating each year, our story?

Maugham’s Mildred, Dicken’s Estella, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina -
How come all the writers know the heroines insincere, our story?

Are even nations like men who make friends, foes, are born to die?
Are even nations cursed, ordained to share our fate severe, our story?

As a detached outsider, it is easy to see my voyage was doomed.
Looking back, I myself wonder, why did I engineer our story?

No disasters, animosities, no catacombs, bastards lurk in our story.
Why is Vivek writing ghazals? Has he begun to revere our story?

The poem first appeared in Indian Review, Jan 2012

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