A WEDDING CATACLYSM
Scene 1. A chap explains his elopement plan to his lover on the day of her wedding, before the ritual of the seven circumambulations.
“Stay hidden in the dressing room
To spike the sharbat of the groom;
Then at the yajna, hold your spot
Until you hear the pistol shot,
And when the crowd has gone amok, reach for the gate
And quickly run towards this sloop, where I will wait.”
“But be aware of old Mithoon —
Your father’s proud and bulbous goon;
His message spreads faster than light,
So warily sneak past his sight.
If that is done, no other hindrance will befall,
We’ll flee this gaon and none will know a thing at all.
Scene 2. Moments before the seven circumambulations.
The groom was drugged successfully,
The bride was where she ought to be,
The gunshot thundered — dishkiyaow!
It caused a violent rowdydow:
The timid father buckled from a heart attack,
This sudden mishap turned the maiden’s vision black.
The chap deemed something wrong, he reached
At the marquee and loudly screeched,
“We don’t have time, run, Savitri!”
But old Mithoon thwacked at his knee.
The youth faced depreciation and was later jailed —
A dad was floored, a crowd was shocked, a plan had failed.
Yajna — the sacred fire by which Hindu marriage vows are taken
Sharbat — Urdu for “juice”
Gaon — Hindi for “village”
Dishkiyaow — a nonce word for the sound made by a discharging firearm (a gunshot)
Rowdydow — a commotion, a state of panic
THE SLEEPTIME TORTURE
Please slow down, wife; there is no hurry.
You must digest each grub you eat;
Remember, this is chicken curry,
And I don’t want you to repeat
That act which nearly ripped my brain
By turning our quilt’s flowery scent
Into that of a sewer drain
With your sound-muted bombardment.
The puny, blackish, winged bull
Kept daring me with overfull
Aplomb within its turgid eyes
While sitting on my bowl of rice,
Then rubbed its hands as if the boss
Of hooligans, and planned to toss
My peaceful supper time away,
And fill me with intense dismay.
So, then I thought to swat it flat,
But did not have the knowledge that
Its feelers were more active than
The mere five senses of a man —
I missed. It flew, hid in my hair,
And God knows what amused it there;
Annoyed my scalp for quite a while,
Then flew off with a mocking smile.