Coloured lives

Two stairways go to the temple door
Standing up on the lonely hill:
One from the east by the waterfall,
One from the north by the bathing pool.
She sits below the eastern steps.
He sits below the northern ones.
Each with sindoor in little heaps.
Each with a music in their hearts.
She sings the songs of hilltop Gods.
He strums the tunes on his Single-string.
And both call out to devotees
Who dare to climb the hundred steps:

“Bright red for the worthy Rama,
Vermillion for Sita Maa,
Deep red for brother Lakshman,
And Orange for Veer Hanumaan.”

They sell packets of rupees ten,
Coloured powder in paper white,
And barely make three hundred each
On the best of weekend rushes.

When the sun dives into the pool
And visitors into their cars,
They walk into the waterfall
And rub their colours on their cheeks
And laugh and do things couples do
And walk the long way back to home,
Where she lights up the candlesticks
And he washes the coloured clothes
And she cooks what all they could buy
And he does all the dishes then
And she brings out the silver cup
And he brings out their special drink
To celebrate another day.
And why not? They have such a life!
Every day is a Holi day.
Every night, a Diwali night.

%d bloggers like this: