poem

Ants, Ranting and a Poem

What I said was wrong, mom.

Every time I said I wanted to leave home

I was wrong.

Hostel sucks.

My room is such a mess

I’d have to fuss

About it

But I just don’t care because

It would never be like mine back home

There are ants every where

In my jar of sugar, they’re about to get into the coffee

How do I make them go away?

I’ve drawn Lakshman Rekha in rangoli patterns

On the shelves, on my trolleys, suitcases,

Cartons and big-shoppers, even books

I’ve sprinkled some powder that the security gave

“The ants will be gone in a day” he said

Nothing went, but followed in a fit of sneezes

And a headache

How come our kitchen never had these many ants, mom?

Would you let me in on your anti-ant secret?

I wipe, sweep (okay, once in a while) and dust

But the moment I turn the other way

To wipe the sweat off my forehead

The dirt

The pile of ugly, entangled hair comes

Rollin’ in like they were never tossed in,

In to the dustbin

Even the dustbin is never clean, mom.

I leave the dishes untouched for weeks

At least until the next time

I scrape up a barely edible bowl

Of noodles or corn flakes

Or a cup of coffee

But until then the rims of the cutlery

Turn dry and impossible to wash

What do you then, mom?

I have an idea.

Write me a book, a novella

On how to maintain a room,

Beat up a cockroach when it turns up at the middle of the night

When I’m trying to cram Phillips’ Curve,

What should I do when the uncooked noodles

Gives me a stomach ache,

How to keep the swept dust from making a run,

Fold clothes in a way that they look pressed

Or accurately ration my washing powder

I think I reek of soap nowadays

And, mom, how do I stop missing home?

It would save us a lot of phone calls too

Wouldn’t it?

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