Jayant Kaikini – Now


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

from: google images

from: google images

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

teenaged Baby

starts her labour pain

they kick her in her stomach

with none of us there.

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