It's Summer in Nagothane

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By TK Thomas

( Summer is really hot in Nagothane where I did my first job. This was written at a time when the going was difficult and I was trying for a job change.)

In this enclave we live,
a hot boiling pot
carved out of rocky stock
and surrounded by grey hills
once green and adorned by
silver streams.

Once it was wooly mist
filled in the ravines, but
now it's smoke cloud
formed from the wild fire
which propagates to my heart
where it may prey my sagged plants.

Really dog days are these
dusty and dry.
Tangled in the sandy whirl winds
my eyes turn red and watering.
( Hey, who says it's because
I remembered something left behind
the sentinel hills, on top of which
they made the watch-towers ? )

It's night.
The sky's clear, the stars
twinkle and an aeroplane
sails between them;
Some of them are passengers
studded on to its tail and wings.
Where's black sun
hides behind the glittering stars
and emanates heat waves
aiming at my body and soul ?

It's hot in Nagothane,
it's summer in Nagothane.
It's wild fire in the dry meadows
and on the hillocks around
not the new bloomed flame-of-the-forest.
It's not chirping of a different kind,
but panting of a migrant bird
caught its wings burnt in the bonfire.

When will the rain clouds stop over the hills
and the silver strings pour down
connecting earth and heaven,
to wet the hot terrains
and to quench my drought-ridden heart ?

( March 1993. First appeared in IPCL's newsmagazine. )

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