Dada

Did you ask for your ashes to be dispersed in the Indrayani 

Or did we assume you’d like it that way?

We opened our fists, 

and a thousand grey, powdered yous 

didn’t even so much as touch the surface of the water 

Before flying away in a thousand directions

Like truant children.

 

I find them now and then.

 

In the white hair of the rickshaw wala’s ears 

standing at 180 degrees in the November morning breeze 

In the brisk unsteadiness of a morning walker’s absent-minded refusal 

to touch his walking stick to the ground 

In the sudden whiff of Old Spice 

As it creeps up on me in a quiet lane 

In a three year old son’s left hand 

casually tucked in the pocket 

In the inflorescence of the canon ball tree 

welcomingly strewn on the school grounds

In the immaculate recitation 

of Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!).

 

Urn or grave couldn’t compare. 

 

Saee Koranne Khandekar

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