The kabootar khaana buzzes
At the junction with
Caging themselves in
The hope of being fed.
In hope of being
As the plump businessman’s
Ticket to salvation.
To vindicate his salivation.
A thirsty tongue
Lapping up gold and diamonds
And stubby fingers
Caressing pigeon feed.
The railings of the the khaana,
Once a rusty red,
Now gleam white in pigeon poop.
(Ambassadors of peace ,
Who decided on the poor pigeons?
Now they fly on roof tops
Of the Taj Hotel with black soot
Choking their nostrils,
Blackening their glistening green-blue manes
Now they must wear ear plugs
If they have to nestle on the top
Along with gunshots and grenade shrapnel.)
The air smells of damp feathers ,
Grey stench and the smell of stained peace.
(Masakalli , sits on the terrace parapet
The white pigeon has its wings clipped.
Vain in white, it sits in Chandni Chowk
Far from black soot, gunshots and freedom)
It is a free cage
Just like the maikhaana.
Where he comes,
To cage himself
And relish the anticipation
Of unchained freedom.
Did you see that?
The street urchin crosses the street,
With a handful of stolen grains
And takes flight with
The well fed birds.