Eid Mubarak (Even If There’s No Emergency)

A poem for our times

The stain of a fallen jamun. Credit: S. Anand

The day of the Emergency, the laburnums were taking their leave
and jamuns had burst upon the streets
purple as govt-issue stamp ink
Drunk, Bhimsen was giving his best to Yaman

I was not yet two, and my brother
was kicking to life inside my mother
my father, with no prompting, got nasbandi done
Bend turned to crawl, walking came at a run

All the same, a peacock lumbered, sudden
out of a canopy of green, not a tail-end of its thousand
eyes turned to me, and I counted myself lucky
for such blessings against a westering sun

It’s the season of sweat, of mangoes, of Eid
A human sacrifice is the new style of greeting
Does brutality blank the meaning of beauty?
Things happen on time even if there’s no emergency

June 26, 2017
New Delhi

S. Anand is a frequent contributor to The Wire.

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Categories: Rights

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