Daniel Trevelyn Joseph
Power Out - Poem by Daniel Trevelyn Joseph
Six o’clock: winter in Mumbai,
Evening hazy with mist on earth,
The sky one unbroken grey above.
Back from Lokhandwala and a two km run
Of first Seafarers’ Day was celebrated,
Will be every first Saturday of December.
No lights still, Municipal Corporation
Saves money, but should it be by time,
Or the need of the public for light?
On reaching home, I chat with Joti
Eat some sev and groundnuts,
And put on Tata Sky to watch Travel.
Phut! There was a sound,
And all lights went off,
Leaving us in darkness at 6 15 pm.
I have two short candles lit
And one more, tall on a high stand,
With Joti working on laptop light.
Though whole street is without light,
I still check our fuse-box behind door,
And find everything there is ok.
In the meanwhile, lights came on
For an instant with surge of brightness
Leaving me worried for tv, my laptop.
I quickly went to bedroom and put off
My laptop, removed the plug off the point
From connection to the power, to prevent
Type of previous incident of a Sunday
When something like this led to loss
Of seven thousand rupees electronics.
Now three candles burning on
Dining table, each of the three
Flames behaving differently.
Even the size of the flame
Differs: while one is steady,
Like the yogi in bhagavad gita.
The other shapes more uniform
Tapering towards the top waving,
Above a central luminous dark core.
Below, the wicks are short and dark
In the centre holding forth position,
Like the lingam of Shiva, destroying.
One is red wax, another in a pot,
The third is orange candle
Big and cylindrical.
I waited for long, and remembered
Many a candle-lit scene during Xmas,
And in Doctor Zhivago with Lara in
And Yuri out, on the snow with Tonya,
The melted patch on the frosted window,
Sinking deep in memory of human emotions.
Soon, the lights came, and I put off
The candles: next day, got a firing
For the wax-drops on table and floor,
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