Flickering lights at the end of the escalator say welcome:
‘Where have you been?
Suffering in solitude, why?’
If you can’t bear it, coke yourself up.
Why is the station so empty?
A lean old man on the opposite seat hazards a look.
‘No not interested, but thank you.’
Who has time even to try these days?
‘Please mind the gap’.
The hearts pour empty,
Into our hollowed out lives.
Nothingness is all that will fill.
Even Shahid can not comfort me.
‘I’m everything you lost. You won’t forgive me.
My memory keeps getting in the way of your history.
There is nothing to forgive. You won’t forgive me.’
What is this noise, I refuse to listen?
And here you call; your name flashes on my phone.
I wait to press ‘ok’.
The moment is worth everything in the world.
The only moment, I know, you think of me.
‘The next station is Vidhan Sabha. The doors will open on the left.’
Your angry voice is cutting into pieces.
I have lost you again.
Despair is written on every face.
What has the world come to?
How could I let it happen?
How could I let it happen to me?
‘Please stand clear of the doors’.
‘Attention please: Beware of the pick-pockets.’
My hand slides down into my pocket.
It is there, fine! I smile,
a dark smile. See,
what my instincts are saving, when I have lost you
I frantically call you back.
You don’t take my calls anymore?
Did you call to say: ‘The end. Finish. Khatamshud?’
But how long could it go?
‘Please vacate the seat for the physically challenged and ladies.’
Is it really the end of the world for us?
For what crime are we put to trial now?
‘I hid my pain even from myself; I revealed my pain only to myself.
There is everything to forgive. You can’t forgive me.’
In my pocket, Habba Khatun is crying herself hoarse:
‘Which enemy of mine has tricked you away from me?
Why did you leave me like this?’
I push the book back into my Naga bag, what pretense!
I need to stop being fussy.
‘If only somehow you could have been mine,
What would not have been possible in this world?’
‘Drop the token in the hole before you leave.’