He can make you sit up and shake off complacency. Yes, Jayant Kaikini in some of his poems. I guess I have lived with this poem for a long time, now. There is no argument, no ‘tear floods’, no criticism, no irony. It merely comes to us as a series of images of urban life, of Bombay, of modernity. It blames no one. It asks no question. But drops a punch in the gut.
He does that in the other poem I had posted some time ago, ‘The Script’.
Jayant, you are amazing.
* Jayant Kaikini
Now it is eight p.m. –
time for the cooker’s first whistle
from the single-room kitchen of the chawl –
time for the bathed luxury buses to leap
into the vast dark night –
time for the unsold jasmines withering in the wickers
to die in tired fragrances –
time for the women returning home after work
to be appalled in front of the mirrors –
time for the aged tiger in the zoo
to wail for its grub –
upstairs in the third gulley of Kamatipura
starts her labour pain
they kick her in her stomach
with none of us there.