My Encounters with a Peacock | Ramu Ramanathan

my tenth encounter with the peacock
 The peacock sniffles 
Into my kerchief from Karur. 
He blows his nose in it; 
Still no effect, 
He wheezes. 
I’ve muscle cramps here, 
Pathos between my ears 
All that grief... 
I offer him Corex syrup. 
He is addicted, 
Suffers from withdrawal symptoms. 
Hello, he tells me, I am not an alcoholic. 
Saying so, he slurps two more teaspoons. 
Smacking his lips, 
He says, Corex-yum, Corex-yum, Corex-yum.

my 12th encounter with the peacock 

We watch the water buffalo
Pull a simple plough through the fields.
You know, the peacock says, I’m lucky.
If I had been slightly less pretty,
I would have been doing that work now.


my 20th encounter with the peacock 
Part 2 

When It was raining 
I expected the peacock to dance 
Feathers and train 
All five feet of it. 
Instead he whistles a Mohammed Rafi song 
He heard on All India Radio. 

He winks at me, 
As if to suggest, 
You human beings, you’re so full of stereotypes.