Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Smell of Papyrus

As usual
a fresh newspaper
smelling of the ancient ruins
lies spread over the table of my consciousness.

Each day
the locusts of black words
flying on the wings of news
blanket over the paddyfield of conscience.

Insolent and savage news
intrude violently
into the privacy of my heart.

Thus satellite of information technology --
the modern reincarnation of Berberik's head,
looks detachedly
over the endless war of Kurukshetra.
And Sanjay
sitting in front of the blind eyes of Dhritarashtra
goes on giving running commentary
on the bombing of the Bamiyana Buddha
or the rattling gun-toting chariots
across the city of Baghdad.

The newspaper crisp from the press
smells thousands of years old papyrus.
Even the words spoken to me by my wife
smell of dried shrimps.

Why can't these news be
like the millions years old sun
that comes up anew each morning
and goes down anew each evening?

[Published in Indian Literature-228 a few years ago.]

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