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Shalini Rao

The Bribe

Funny how the grime suits temples.
The Gods seem aloof otherwise.

While I pray,

A lady jostles through mass hysteria
And bribes God with a coconut
Let her daughter marry.

Another eyes her son and daughter in law
cuddle oblivious to the crowd
and sighs
May she have a grandson.

God is not too sure about this though.
Contraceptives do work, you know

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Of late

…and singe the night air with embers
Of my ego plastered with Paris
Past lingers on, the perfume stays in bed
All day to wake lazy toes.

I'm a dew dropp on the autumn leaf
Afraid of smiles that wade through
A sea of thoughts
Interrupted by the doorbell.

Wait a while stranger.
Let the trees bathe in the blue
And that whisper of light stay.

I want to sin.

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En Route

Today, the 8.10 local from Badlapur
Solved the mystery of the unwhistling pressure cooker
Where in the knit there were two purls
And three dropped stitches.
Why the maid ran away with the watchman
And how the boss said ‘good morning'
To the giggly bank clerk.
Missing the 8.10 is like missing your period.
Honeymoons are a bunch of photographs
With the husband's arm around the wife's shoulder
And nostalgia for other women.
Honeymoons are Ooty, Kashmir and Kodaikanal
Where the idea of a stranger making love to you
Is something to get used to because he is the husband.
Today the 8.10 had a panty seller
Who sold pink panties for Rs.30 a pair
And screamed that pink was a colour
Husbands liked as a rule but never said so.
Today the 8.10 had women with
Thinly threaded eyebrows

[...] Read more

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