This day , four years ago, in Bhopal, we had stood in rows after rows of lamps around God’s pillar, looking for mirrors of lights in people’s eyes. We saw the pipal tree, up above, lighting with new found love for white birds that fluttered in half-sleep.
High above the pipal shone a soft full moon overseeing a thousand lights. The moon stood on the brass pillar like a bright lamp that drove away our darkness, inside our minds.
Women took the lamps one by one, neatly arranging them at the base of the pillar. The flames licked the dark air of the night , lighting it with their fragrance.
This day ,here in Hyderabad, we saw the lamps cowering behind cardboard walls erected in the temple. The flames were bright and soft as they had been in Bhopal but there was no pipal tree through which the moon supervised the lamps.
We are in a different night today ,a night made up by trains blaring, tall coconuts swaying to rain music and short walks on a patch of moss-black on a terrace roof dried with rain marks. The coconuts hang heavily on the parapet,their older ones waiting to drop on unsuspecting heads below. The guavas ,ripe and yellow, have disappeared in the parrots’ stomachs but their hollowed telltale shells are still there on the earth.
The hundred gold coins flowers are conspicuous by their absence but their fragrance can be imagined on their heavy branches near the compound wall.The cobbler is mending passers-by in their sandals under an umbrella ,with a stone slab polished smooth for the cutting edge of the leather.The dog in the second floor is hiding behind its loud barks but not much hostility is expected today ,on a cool evening like this.
We make this extended home ,immensely compressed space,a light rolled in endless carpet ,a shadow infinitely multiplied,the poetics of our home space.
Dust atoms descend a skylight, in tiny suns creating our home space,expanding eyes everywhere,corners puffing like dream cats that self-destruct behind doors.
Doors are brooms to sweep light off its shadows and shadows fall in abyss of light from a balcony to come back for ripe apple sun,to live a world by and die by moon.