Monday, February 6, 2012


The other day as I walked towards the dargah

I passed alley cats gobbling down chapatis.

Nay, they were wolves dodging streams of

betel juice spat out by men with kohl lined eyes.

Their - the men, not cats - white shalwars are the opposite

of the black hearts of the infidels: white men with backpacks

and white women with non-existent racks.

The bespectacled brown boys who don't speak fluent Hindi

They also. They also are infidel.

I passed pubescent boys smoking beedis

(soon, they will find their faith in afeem while their aging

fathers will have to choose between God and the everyday).

The tired walls enclose a clearing where I skip over bits of

lettuce and squashed tomato, and I wonder whether they

play hopscotch in jannat.

Splash of cool water and I feel as if the gutters lining the

alley are not receptacles of waste from the little shops

selling trinkets.

Khadim saab: Khwaja will acquiesce if you offer him chaddars.

Flowers, in the least.

There are massive cooking pots, the size of the believers' faith.

Climbing up to look into them, I find currency.

The faithful are bent in front of the walls

Bobbing about like buoys in a sea of marble

Here, there is depth only in the sky of gold

because marble is impermeable.

Inside, I hear roaring wails and quiet sobs.

Pushed ahead by the jostling throng,

The only possible reverie is one of movement.

It is done.

The grill outside, with its red and yellow threads.

Ah, a McDonalds that is not godless.

I take the same route out.

The old men and me, we are all thinking how shabby

new world has pissed on orderly old one.

But peeing is relief inducing. And necessary, someone

reminds me.

I will not think about money and how it will be spent.

After all this Allah of ours, domiciled in Rajasthan, is honorary Marwari.

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