Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Indian Writing Section

At the oldest mall in the city,
Ian Fleming is an Indian.
He sits firmly bound, hardback,
Between Bengalis and Marathis,
All lost in translation.

The wooden racks are a battle,
Violent as history, clumsy as rhetoric.
Forged are uneasy ties,
On dogeared pages, hostile.

The North-West corner
Stands lawless and worn,
As if Radcliffe's line is set in stone.
Bengal stands joined, not just by verses
But unveiled by proses,
Chastised, smitten, shorn.  

What is this Indian writing anyway?
All clumped together like landfill,
Tightly stacked to make another Bombay.
Haphazard as unplanned streets,
Riled with dust, a ghetto of mockery.  

You say, this makes it easy to find love.
I don't know the love you speak about,
Almost as if it is Convent educated-
Straightened, in tight files,
Shepherded as stock, covers bright.

Dear bookstore,
I like order, unlike your billing counter.
Keep away Ms.Roy from Ms.Desai,
And Mr.Seth from Mr.Bhagat,
And the poetry is by poets,
Who do deserve their fair share,
At least a forgettable nook,
As dirty as politics.
No bookstore, this is no national integration,
And you aren't a five hundred rupee note;
Though, I do pay you,  for I love you;
But you aren't my mother.

Let not the precious gather dust and crumble,
Like a ruler without progeny mumbles in his last days.
All I ask you, is to get your act together;
Spare me those bright lights and the blaring music,
Give me shelves with books, stacked right.

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