Poem of the week: Week Fifteen.

And with this post, I’m up-to-date with time. The third poem under the theme ‘Exile’ is from Jane Bhandari’s poetry book Aquarius.

The Exiles
– Jane Bhandari

My father-in-law
Could put down no roots 
When he was exiled 
From the land of his birth.
Each temporary house
Was furnished with hired furniture
And trunks covered with quilts.
Each temporary garden
Grew seasonal vegetables,
And the impermanent papaya:
No place was home.
The flowers were zinnias,
Not roses.

But my mother-in-law,
Already exiled from her family,
Lost to them by marriage,
Accepted each change as it came,
And made temporary living
A permanent way of life:
Grew bananas, a goodly crop,
Planted orange seeds secretly,
And sometimes
Got to pluck their fruit.
And each Diwali said,
Next year in our own home,
And planned the shape of her garden.

***

Poem of the week: Week Two.

Second week of the theme ‘Beginnings and Ends’. I picked up Jane Bhandari’s Aquarius when I (finally) went to Kitab Khana opposite Flora Fountain. I had passed by that place numerous times and had absolutely no idea that it existed. Had I found it on an ordinary day, the experience wouldn’t have been anything short of finding Wonderland or something.

I have attended Jane’s Loquations meets, but had never really read any poetry of hers properly. Here’s one that fits the theme on many levels. 

New House
– 
Jane Bhandari 

In the beginning
The new house was void
Of all but light.
White walls 
Scooped light from the windows
And threw it into my eyes.
I was in a shell of light,
Echoing, bare and bright.

The breaking and the making
Are almost over.

At night I prowl
The silent rooms, littered
With the chaotic debris
Of a new-made home,
And look out
Over the sequinned city.

By day I watch the play
Of light on the walls,
Watch the house transform
Into something wholly mine,
My print on it as distinct 
As that of my hand.

Now
I shall enter my shell,
And then begin to grow.

***

I love the solitary feel this poem has. In it, there is a sense of patience and determination to start life anew.