The loo stinks, the tap runs and can't be closed. The risk of dying of a urinary tract infection or asphyxiation is still the same. The sole policeman visible, young and unarmed, is ostensibly guarding the ladies' first class. The rather bright lights are a change though, but they seem to make the place seem a wee bit less crowded. Seem. There are people sitting on the platform, waiting for their trains. Many in their Sunday best. Popcorn-sellers, peanut-sellers, kulfi-sellers are trying to get me to shed some money towards them, even as I wait for the samosa-seller.
the old woman sweeps up
It's getting on eight (time for the Titwala Fast to leave), and last-minute boarders are jumping in. The popcorn-seller is taking his last chances before he moves to the 8:13 Khopoli Slow. I don't know how many of the guys around me are pass-holders or even bothered to buy tickets. I do know the police didn't fr…
The orchestra played Mahler's 4th Symphony. Timing is everything in Mahler, yet immeasurable, like the water in a leaking clepsydra. The audience sat entranced, glazed eyes peering. It was surreal, like a Homo habilis skull in the hands of Richard Leakey, glaring impassively from its eyeless sockets. Trying to tell, perhaps, of its timeless irrelevance. Irreverence even, as I come to think of it. A kind of gleeful mockery, saying that you too shall be mud in the course of time. Perhaps covered in an old cover of Rolling Stone and pissed on by passing hippopotami. You will disappear, like Basho's frog diving into its pool, and you might yet live forever, like Basho's frog diving into its pool.
the train whistles by
(Published in A Hundred Gourds 2:3 June 2013
and republished in contemporary haibun Volume 15)
Our e-book, the taste of sea breeze, was published as a celebration of two years of IN haiku Mumbai. This anthology contains haiku, tanka, senryu, haibun and renku, alongside a form which we think we invented - the renbun (haibun linked to each other on the lines of renku).
Available on Amazon.in, it is edited by Rohini Gupta (who also did the cover), with contributions from Paresh Tiwari, Mahrukh Bulsara, Brijesh Raj, Gautam Nadkarni, Sandra Martyres, Kasturi Jadhav, Rochelle Potkar and yours truly.
For Haiku lovers, this book packs a punch. There are some pleasant surprises here and I found several 'aha' moments. Some verses have touched the heart bringing to mind visions from my past. The beauty of this is that it sometimes evokes an entire thought process, different from what the writer may have meant to convey, thereby leaving an indelible mark. Not only the ever popular haiku…