Clothesline flags

Some dreams begin on coloured sheets
Arrayed triangularly on
An ancient clothesline hardly used
Except on Ganapati days.

A pinch-out zoom reveals on them
The oily fingerprints of past –
Some tinier than memory
Of when the ladoos seemed so big.

Another pinch-out zoom reveals
A grain or two of guilty glee
On faces of two hasty boys
Who wiped their chuda ghasa hands.

Some three-four pinch-in zoom-outs show
The chairs arranged as temple frames,
The wardrobe hanger temple arch,
And cotton saree walls and roof.

A pinch-out zoom into it all
Reveals a china clay Ganesh,
Whose gangashiuli garland hides
The modak belly we all love.

A swipe to left reveals the bowl
Of disappearing boondi balls,
Correctly placed within the reach
Of that prosthetic probosis.

A swipe to right reveals the books
Which parents want the kids to read
With jasmine petals cringing at
The boring subjects underneath.

Somewhere beyond zoomable dreams
A father chants remembered words,
A mother hums forgotten tunes,
A grandma grumbles at them both.

Somewhere inside a beaten man,
A little boy is tugging hard
To keep the coloured clothesline taut
With flags of hope against the dark.

%d bloggers like this: