The past is no strange country
In this nasty, languid land
Where yesterdays drag aimlessly
And tomorrow’s forever at hand.
Ragers rage against the breeze
The breeze smiles sweetly back
For the left hand sees what the right hand does
But no one’s keeping track.
People are what people aren’t
And if they are they suck
When they get things wrong rather hopelessly
They blame their bloody luck.
If shoppers were to stop each time
This nation sat to mourn
Hungry men with exquisite
Would drive up the price of corn.
Language has its many tongues
And so do comfort words
Speeches spew in many hues
But gaalis have their curse.
I knew someone who wished a
Would fall across the map
The funny thing is that he is dead
While others take their nap.
Book-reading men who have the time
Play cricket with the mob
The mob then turns and eats
With relish, roti and kebob.
If the road that leads to the garbage dump
Is straight and wide and true
The rubbish turns to champa
And you’ll be seduced too.
Bodies, bodies, bodies, bodies
They either walk up or down
They curl, unfurl, unload their shit
Move from B- to effing town.
Candles burn to help them grieve
And some are shoved inside
If remembering was so easy, pal
In you I would confide.
God and gracious gentlefolk
Both mean too much too well
But if verse is cursed, it’s not your worth
Then, boy, I’m bound for hell.
Let’s line them up these precious dates
Let’s string them to a tune
The lampost’s there, under Nehru’s care
And there’s always the Ram dhun.
The farmer’s as much a scoundrel
As the worker is a whore
And a rich man’s son is a rich
I guess life is just a bore.
So next time when you read for fun
And try to decipher things
Know dead men have no better choice
While live men sprout their wings.
Have heart, my friend, it’s not all lost
There’s joy in living lives
When Asha sings, real life begins
So what if she hits them high.
Match them with your walls
The line’s too long, the fools are sharp
And no one takes your calls.
There are pros and cons of prose and roses
But nothing matches verse
When sense is what sense you make
Of beggars wearing furs.
If still you’re with me on this trail
I hold you to my heart
Knives are spoons and spoons are knives
Hey, you can still tell them apart