Marine Drive at Oberoi’s feet
The Arabian lapdog holds in its teeth
Tetrapods of the sheriff’s shit
A grasshopper bred in the municipal waste
Guards the entrance slits
Of Kamatipura’s mannequins.
Ten million scavenger ants dream
Their delirious dream
Of feasting on the chief minister’s
Succulent, gelatinous body.
The red smoke of AK 56
Rises in concentric circles
Inside the Amul butter domes
Of its Gothic heritage buildings.
From the cigarette and country liquor halitosis
The satanic verses of the
Rigveda invoke a somnolent Mumbadevi
Irani restaurants and their
Black tentacled vegetarian crab chairs
Glare behind the ailments
Who collect money for Ganesh
Parents break coconuts
On Tuesday nights inside
The Contractor’s obscenity
Called Siddhi Vinayak for
Topping in courses that taught
Their wards how to pee
Just like their fathers did.
At the Worli seaface
A Titan quartz melts
In sadistic copulation
With the sterile virgin from Mahim.
Suburban Boddhisatvas check out
Against the rock cunts of Bandra’s bandstand
The third phallus they bought
To substitute their two-inch complexes
From a quack in Mazagaon.
Putanas fan out into the gullies
Suckling proliferating fetuses
With growl tiger’s bile.
After a meal of Deonar’s asuras
Bhima farts ammonia yellow
In nuclear Chembur
While Benazir burps her
Crescent green in Bhendi Bazar
Red is the cheapest colour
White is superabundant
In a billboard painter’s
Raved exhibition at Jehangir.
Over this mulch of oneiric ecstasy
The rainbow-coated fruit-fly
Buzzes a Bollywood tune
*This poem was first published in Virgo Publication’s Voices in Time as one of the 67 shortlisted poems in a British Council and Poetry Societyof India annual competition in 1994.
Harish Nambiar is the author of Defragmenting India, a narrative non-fiction book about a bike ride in the middle of the worst Hindu-Muslim riots in India; in it he attempts to meld reportage, myth, beliefs and data into an ugly installation. He has won no awards and has not been published in any journal you would recognise but pens Culture Counter, a fortnightly column in The Economic Times Magazine