TRANSVESTITE

What lurks behind his eyes?

Seems to me like a woman’s pain –

The burden of carrying lifelong lies

Amid an urge to live again.

His eyes were once so full of life –

He had family, friends, a thousand dreams;

But now, in this time of strife,

Nobody seems to hear his screams.

So what if he’s a transvestite?

Why should it be so disgusting?

They seem so irked by his delight

And turn chiding eyes upon him.

Life’s been unbearable, of late –

They turn away from him in hate.

With an utterly unabashed lack of feeling,

They engage in petty mud-slinging.

No one tries to cool his sighs

Or cares enough to look into his eyes.

A long, lone path awaits him

Powdered with ashes of departed dreams.

 

REPUBLIC DAY

January twenty-sixteen –

And we’re busy preparing

For another Republic Day.

Tiny tricolors hang,

Jubilant, from glittering

Strings that have been

Stretched taut from pillars

To posts or even the bare

Skeletons of trees that shiver

Along the wintry road.

Festoons flutter madly

In the cut-throat wind.

Amid loud song and music

We’re quite satisfied

To join our voices in

An unanimous roar of

Raucous celebration that

Nearly hides our dismay,

While dirty politics, crime,

Dishonesty and terrorism

Still hold sway.

It’s yet another Republic Day.