Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bizarre Bazaar


Walked down Mandi Bazaar
Window-shopping in lazy leisure.
All around on the crowded streets
Colour lived in strange ever places.
In stained glass windows
In paan stained teeth
In henna stained hair
And in chocolate smeared faces.

Saris hung in neat pleats
Billowing gently in the breeze
In flamboyant dainty creations
Of sunny yellows, bloody reds
Celestial blues and earthy greens.
Ahhh! the tempting array of sweetmeat
Oozing yellows, peaceful whites
Brown delights, all silver topped. 
I glide down the road ingesting sights. 

Then I spied on the side
Under a gigantic black umbrella
An old man and a flowing white beard
Dressed in a white kurtha-pyjama.
His eyes caught mine
And I was drawn to his side
That look? Was it a plea or a vision?
He had as companion, a little green parrot
In a cage so very very small
Sprayed before it was cards of future.
Wispy spirals of incense
Wafted into the air around
As I worked myself into the mood.

I placed my money 
And reeled out my story
To the parrot and to the man.
They looked each other in the eye.
Then at me looked, four burning eyes.
The door opened and out stepped the parrot 
to pick my future on a card.
The old man looked hard
at the card and then at me.
He spoke at last in a voice
that cracked and crackled
"Young lady!! You are floating!!
on bizarre streams! 
with weird people! 
in a bizarre boat!
with weird animals!
Where bizarre thoughts are flowing!!"
I smiled and thanked him.
His words I soon forgot 
in the mundane sane bane called life.

And then one day 
the cloud clearing
The libretto boat sailed into my life!
And by the river so turbulent yet calming
I sat writing about my world
Bizarre and vivid
Weaving dreams and thoughts
Into poems penned
Straight from the heart.

That old man and his parrot,
They were so right!
Oh! My bizarre weird bazaar!!
That old man and his parrot,
They were so right!
Oh! My bizarre weird bazaar!!

(July 2006, Nellore)

© Nalini Hebbar/openmind/2009 - all rights reserved
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Rinkly Rimes said...

I wonder if this is a true story! You told it so beautifully and with such conviction that I'm sure there must be an element of truth in it!

Nalini Hebbar said...

@ Brenda :)....Imagined in vivid colours and sharp pictures...wish I has met this old man!

Matty said...

You have a lively imagination. Interesting that the bird picks the right card, and it all comes true.

Parth J Dave said...

Wonderful, Nalini, wonderful!

I could actually imagine the scene with all the beauty and descriptions. The words were, as usual, riveting and engaging!

This is just too splendid!

Karan Agrawal said...

@Nalini: One of the most fabulous posts I read in recent past. You took my mind to Crawford Market then to some! Could literaly see the man, the parrot, the mandi bazaar... Good one!

Nalini Hebbar said...

Thanks guys...thanks for the comments...A poet is gratified if the picture she paints with words becomes a picture in the inner eye of the reader.

Iniyaal said...

Lovely poetry. I could imagine the bazar and the old man right in fornt of me. The last part is so very creative.

Chakoli said...

Is this a true story?

well...every fiction is a true story of some or the other !!!

but words are just put in beautifully :)))
loved it!!

Vinita Apte said...

The picture of the Bazar, the old man and the parrot all stood clear in front of my eyes. The sarees and the sweetmeats. Lovely poem. You are a very gifted poet Nalini :)

Neha said...

you left me speechless with your brilliance Nalini..wonderful minutely observed events, vivid description and a picture perfect package :)

Americanising Desi said...

loved your vivid imagination :)

The Speaking Wood said...

I always find your poems so vivid Nalini, it is like seeing the scene actually happening right in front of you, a wonderful gift of creating art with words, lovely! :)