Shalini Rao (Mumbai)
Biography of Shalini Rao
Shalini Rao Poems
The ground 24 floors below Invites you to step off the ledge See your whole life flash past In fast-forward
…and singe the night air with embers Of my ego plastered with Paris Past lingers on, the perfume stays in bed All day to wake lazy toes.
What's a guy like you doing with a man like that, you ask You mind, I love him, she says, I really do.
Almost Thirty, Unmarried
Here I am on the threshold of thirty An old maid to family, friends and acquaintances Who've toed the line and produced children For social respectability.
Funny how the grime suits temples. The Gods seem aloof otherwise. While I pray, A lady jostles through mass hysteria
My hands green and willowy Reach out and touch the sky. I always knew I existed. Now I know the reason why.
Mother, I want to curl up In your womb And not be born.
Give me the vagrant meandering of your soul The little secrets you store in recesses forgotten Long sighs of things that could be or couldn't And a look in the eye
She taught philosophy in her sexiest voice And uttered four-letter words like endearments When someone told her it was true, B-a-l-l-s, she husked, that's five.
Marriages are made at 247 Usmaan Road Under the chants of a bald man with no teeth They say he chants Vedic mantras For the happiness of the couple.
Today, the 8.10 local from Badlapur Solved the mystery of the unwhistling pressure cooker Where in the knit there were two purls And three dropped stitches.
The flame that lit silences Has burned out and left ashes For tomorrow's prayer. Treading on seeds Papa planted yesterday
Autumn, yellow dyed Crisp and crackling under feet Leaves dancing out of reach Trees all bare posing for a centrespread
The ground 24 floors below
Invites you to step off the ledge
See your whole life flash past
As you discover
Yet another irony.
You want to live.