Citizens and the winter rains

Tender and shimmering,
 The winter morning rains,
Sudden—fierce,
In Delhi,
Against a baby sun,
Smiling pale-faced,
In the grey sky,
Buffeted by the
Cold winds,
Rains, heavy
Rays, weak,
Blended well,
An impressionistic painting,
Made by divine hands,
And beating down,
Furious,
Upon the homeless,
Couple cowering,
Under the green plastic
Sheet held up,
By a pair of the
Quivering,
 Gnarled hands,
On the manicured
Lawns of the imposing
India Gate;
Fancy cars
Glide by,
Oblivious to the
Presence of
Two doddering citizens
Of the Republic,
Huddled together,
In the gathering,
Slow mist.
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To my Valentine dear

Love is—
Beyond the glitter
Of the yellow metal,
Advertised furiously,
On TV/print space,
Or,
The diamonds that
Gleam under the soft lights
Installed by the clever jewelers
To entice via messages of love;
Love is not thus commodified,
Rather it is—
Reaching out to the silent other,
Crying out silently along
With her, on moonless nights,
When bitter winds roar
On deserted streets and ruined homes,
It is sharing anguish felt like a cruel stab,
When she suddenly remembers a 
Recently-deceased mother,
In far-away home that was
Left years ago,
When she was a mere teen;
She chokes, tone thick,
A grieving daughter remembers, while
Others mostly have channelized or 
Erased her;
It is, love, my dear, —
Opening of the secured heavy doors,
Before your Valentine even rings the bell;
Talking to her, quietly by her side,
Busy in the humid Asian kitchen,
Preparing the hot dinner;
And, gazing lovingly,
Again,
At her tired oval face,
With long fluttering, 
Black eye-lashes,
That tenderly cover a pair,
Of pure almond-eyes,
Reminding you of the young doe,
Trapped in an urban jungle,
Full of ugly predators,
Masked as friends and co-workers,
It is gently caressing her prostrate,
Worn-down body,
Like a tender mother,
When she is asleep,
And roaming in a 
Free, equal,
Different world,
Where she ceases
To be, for an instant,
In a strange dream,
No unpaid
Unacknowledged
Constant care-giver
To a demanding, forgetful family.

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