I woke up with a start.
The room was a sea of smoke.
Who the hell would have had the itch
to burn trash at midnight, like this?
A blue wisp curled out of my mouth.
Might be emitting from Pirana*, you dunce!
Smouldering thoughts got a welcome relief.
Communal tiff towards Millatnagar
from a stray mischief?
Didn’t I take a shortcut from there last night,
about ten past ten? But there was nothing then.
No telling when a flash turns to fire these days.
Snap a finger and hungry Holi blazes away.
The Sabarmati burst out on my skin.
But no, wait! Could be a gas leak,
or a short circuit in the shacks?
Bloody they are awful,
public nuisance, heck.
Can’t hear any uproar though? Forest fires?
What’s its name… conflagration?
Have they even heard of climate change, those men?
Fuming, clenching jaws, I came out.
A clear sky on the wings of chilling breeze
landed on the balcony like December dawn.
In a huff, back inside, I muttered.
Must get to the root
of this massive bunyan,
this billowing unholy river,
this great ariel flood,
clutching the little finger of eyes,
the invisible propeller of smoke,
speeding like a crazy firework rocket
but in reverse motion,
engulfing, anaconda fashion,
its undulating spiral of slipstream,
zoomed in and sank deep
in my chest panting like bellows.
The walls in the room burst out
in green, tender sallow.