Behind the Podium (July 18th 2009)

With spoon and fork in your hand
You eat your breakfast in the finest suit
Your leather shoes inside the table shine
Like you mother’s necklace.
With ease you eat the noodles
With the chopsticks
You learnt it from your Chinese students
Without uttering a word,
From your laptop, you read the headlines,
News from home,
A letter from graveyard.

You hit the table with your fist
The servant thinks he hasn’t put salt in the omelet
You say to him “I must go back home
It is turning into a graveyard”
And your phone rings
You say “hello”
She says “hi”
And you smile in air
With your eyes glittering
Like a child with a new toy
And your love blooms out of the bowl of noodles
Your heart brims with love
Like the glass of warm milk.
And you say “I was never happy with the girl from north”
And you hang up the call
Wiping the last drop of milk from your moustache
With your perfumed handkerchief
Saying “ I am going home, home is calling, take care.”
And you blow your nose
Till the tissue tears apart

With all your good smell and ironed shirts
You fly home with your flamboyant accent
And there you stand behind the podium
In front of Meira Paibis
Delivering great speech like Martin Luther King JR
But all that you lack is a dream that share with the women
And all that you have is self obsession

Dusting yourself standing in the heart of the land
Saying, “Ah! It smells home”
You book a flight to capital.
Once the plane takes off
You say goodbye to the mid air
And it says back “Coward! Coward! You Mr. Professor”
And there you reach safe and sound
And all your loyal servants who have betrayed the land
Seeking its meaning in great books of philosophy,
Psychology and theatres,
Come to hear from you
And you say you are disappointed with Draupadi
And your loyal servants say “it is disappointing “
And now you are filling forms to get the money
That you spent on flying to and fro to the land
Just for its aroma that you dusted off again
And your loyal servants too are filling forms to fly back to the land
To stand behind the podium
And deliver your speech.

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