Tag Archives: Soni

A walk down the bazaar!

I walked by a chuski-wallah today
and he ran a spoon down the row
of bottles in front of him- sapphire,
emerald, ruby glinted off cheap glass,
making things look prettier than they
are, and he ran it back left, tying an
invisible noose around my wrist, and
it held me in place, peering through
the wooden planks that made up his
castle of forbidden treats and tastes.

He smiled back through, rotten teeth
bared in a weather-beaten imitation of
a welcome for an unwilling, unwarranted
visitor, and wrapped a cloth around a
block of ice, greyed and frayed with
age and use- shaving upon shaving of
feathery powder piling up under his
yellowed nails, cracked fingers prying
apart solid dreams to mould to his
own delicious mechanisms.

He looked up again, the question writ
on his face, running the spoon with
slow deliberation across the cap of each
bottle, till I nod, almost imperceptibly at
the murky brown- kaala khatta, extra masala,
and he smiles wider, approving, of what, I
don’t know, and as he pours, I walk away,
deaf to his protestations- I had promised
Ma that I’d stay away from all diseases
in the light of the exam season.