Poems | Karan Mujoo

Artwork : Chintu Das

About nothing in particular

I have just come back
from the market,
where I bought rice at a loss
but pickle at a bargain.
I went to the loo
and heard the rain song.
‘Monsoons already’, I wondered.
Then I realized I had
left the damn motor on.
There are some things in
life you’ll always be bad at,
for me it is leaving the motor on.
I meditate on a hundred
things and do nothing
substantial at all.
I have bunked work,
to spy on my day,
figure out what it does
during my absence.
I feel a bit like an intruder
but it’s alright.
I have the time today,
to hear the chirping of birds,
to realize that the
squirrel is just a mouse
with a bushy tail.
To think about the
woman who loves me
and the woman I love.
But in the end
I give it all up.
I embrace
my own private
brand of nihilism
and watch the army
of seconds go marching
on and on.

Guilt of a fat bourgeois 
or Janpath pe Lathpath

I was walking in Janpath
today drunk and stoned.
Drunk on expensive beer
and stoned on free hash.
When I came across a sprawled
baby, dead or alive I couldn't tell.
It just lay there, the little babe,
as if it was no big fucking deal.
People walked right by eating
their burgers and laughing.
I too have just walked by,
millions of times,
eating burgers and laughing.
but this time I couldn't .
A woman, head bowed,
hair matted with dirt
sat next to the babe, tired, lost.
The third member of this
unfortunate entourage was
a child or a man or a man child.
Who lay fatally and foetally.
In throes of drugs, or drink,
or just plain old fucking sorrow.

So, I did what a fat bourgeois does best.
I dived into my wallet of privilege,
took out the father of this dying nation.
And I applied a band aid
to a mother fucking haemorrhage.
And all this while the giant
Indian flag fluttered in the background.
So proud, so proud.


I was born in an average house,
with average doors and average windows.
In school, I was an average student,
with average marks and average pranks.
An average child who could just about
read and write.
In the playground, I was an average player,
an average batsman with an average average.
In love, I was an average lover.
An average kisser, with average technique.
At work, I am an average employee,
with average output and average lunch breaks.
At home, I am an average son.
Part black sheep, part decent one.
I am an average elder brother,
with average words of wisdom.
I am an average writer,
with average words,
writing this average poem,
for all us average people.

The shouting lady

There is a factory in India
that produces short, stocky
middle aged, domesticated women
wearing sarees that look the same.
One of them lives next door.
The first time we met
she was shouting at my roommate
about something trivial.
That was her thing,
she loved to shout at people.
She shouted at us, at her sons,
at our landlady, at her maid,
at the garbage guy, at the kiryana
store uncle, at the world, at the moon,
 at the stars, at God himself.
But for some reason
I never got angry when
she shouted at me.
I always smiled and joked
with her.
Slowly she came around
and I can tell you for all her
shouting she had a heart
of gold.
She doesn’t shout at me anymore.
But as I am writing this,
her son is getting an earful,
he’s giving some back,
but it’s useless,
she has too much

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