My mother, my wife, my daughter
My sister in the background--
Their sweet, feminine voices
Their typical dresses—saris, salwars, feminine shirts-pants, frocks
Now only the other species surround me in our house.
My brother, his deep voice gone for ever
Wearing a full sleeved rolled shirt, pair of trousers
and donning a moustache, walked briskly into the recesses of time.
Father, hung his boots at the onset of the last winters
Without a warning, unlike his loud and clear voice
Cloaked in pyjama and kurta, or in trousers and shirts
That woke up us siblings in the mornings for schools like daily rituals.
Lesser number of stallion pair of shoes in the house
Shaving cream of only one variety, single brush
And a razor to boot, virile underpants of single size
Soak on the balcony, reminding me of the ones that were bought for me
For the first time by father and brother
Years back (accosting me secretly into the bedroom
That summer evening, smiling as well as concerned
To check if they fitted me--myself all too embarrassed and proud and confused.)
A man-grove of males gone forever
I stand singled out in the altered sex-ratio
With my odd voice, machogears, and appetite
Like a grown-up sapling among the heap of fallen trees sticking its neck out--
My gynic life-givers protecting me heroically
Taking me for some endangered species.
[Published in the journal Índian Literature' brought out by Sahitya Akademi, India, issue no. 271 (September/October 2012)]