The Ridge Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India.
Crying doves and walking dogs—6 am
The Sun slows down on a dusty day
Tied by a string to the horizon.
As I pass by the forest land empty streets
a dove despairs
And wails ooh hoo hoo. A peacock soothes
And shrieks, ‘wait wait’ while
Tiny birds consternated in leafy trees
Chirp ‘yes, aye, that’s right, see see’
Some whistle in joy a passing gull
The mandir pandit as usual is singing
On the mike out of tune and dolefully
To a very patient sherawalli*
Three ladies march like cadets in the park
Breathing breathless home truths and esoteric
Recipes kids shout my turn my turn in street cricket
And the garden hose washing cars snipping hedges
And cooing babies a girl discusses her home
Work sitting on a gate step on her mobile phone
Panditji fades away blissfully into the distance
Whirring air conditioners tell me I’m home.
The title actually should be Crapping Dogs.
The opening line would/could/should be
Colonel Kaul takes his dog for its morning call.
*Sherawalli is Goddess Durga riding twelve armed on her sher (lion). Sherawalli is the one with the lion.
My mistake seems to be a tiger and eight arms. Here’s one with a lion and ten arms :-
The Tricity of Chandigarh perhaps may have given a lead to many other world citizens with its idea of numbering trees. This is stock taking of another kind.
The Horticulture department knows the wealth of its trees is safe by checking the numbers on trees. Tree cutting is a serious offence. It can lead to imprisonment. That is why the tricities of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula are so green. No one is runninng away with the trees because of this.