Export quality cotton shirts
arrayed for sales, heralding Madras Summer.
Juicy water melons and tender coconuts,
coloured drinking water with a dash of lime
delicious and cold,
tempting weary wayfarers.
The sun beats down in
Scuttling men into sanctity of homes.
Here the poor old man
presses his famished frame
into the narrow confines
of a shadow cast by concrete blocks.
There the opulent rich
comfortable with fan and cooler,
deciding on Ooty, Kodai, Barjeeling.
Tic Tac Toe.
The middleclass man
weighed down by duty
takes the early bus home
hoping for his spouse’s cooling smile,
confronts instead a shreiking nag.
“Is there no holiday school for your naughty brats?”
Tempers are frayed
as presipitation runs
and the Marina beckons knowingly,
with malai kulfi and mango slices
cut like teeth on Halloween masks.
The barometers soar and the papers proclaim:
“The hottest day in so many summers!”
Man and beast, burnt alive
squint at the sky.
If summer is here,
can the monsoons be far behind.
By: Gulsum Basheer. Published in youthink. The Indian Express.16-7-86.