Your day is much longer than mine,
Your way back from office even longer.
I need a refuge, to run off my temper,
A long irritating unforgiving day, it’s been
This summer evening in Powai
Rings in a much needed weekend.
A crowded cafe is the cave I need.
A hot cup of coffee and the cool air conditioning
Till the humid day begins to lighten
I have lingered long past my cup gone cold
Reluctantly I step out into the evening.
Kids race each other with balloons in hand
Lovers occupy all the benches,
That the sleeping mongrels have spared
Then escaping the crowded shopping street,
I follow the first hint of a breeze,
And an unexpected snatch of jasmine
Looking for a creeper in the neighbourhood
I spot an old man selling jasmine strands
Somewhat lost in this unfamiliar terrain
Sees me; breaks into a toothy grin
I buy enough to adorn the gods
And some for my hair,
He is pleased that I didn’t bargain
I am pleased with my unexpected find,
I leave the market behind
And quicken my steps homeward
The buds are in a hurry,
Blooming one by one as I walk,
Eager to surprise, unprepared for one.
You are home early, one of those rare days
Smiling you hold out some jasmine strands
Was this indulgence, yours or mine?
The buds have bloomed, every one of them.