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Image by Bernice Tong

A Thing of Joy

Day 1

Haikai Utsav
a travelogue

in the lens

The guide grins at my Hindi dialect -'aapki Hindi itni shudh hai!'. On and off he hides the betel nut stains on his teeth.

spring colours ...
bougainville scrambling
        everywhere

Our eyes reach his hands pointing at the 90 feet tall Victory Tower. We reach the sunset point at Chittorgarh which houses the largest fort, the Chitor Fort in Asia.

watermelon sky ...
the langurs don't mind
us at all

Day 2

As we walk up the limestone powdered lanes and bylanes at Udaipur, the guide narrates about the City Palace built atop a hill providing a panoramic view of the city.

long history ...
the grim pages of war
dark and deep

Day 3

We set out early for Mt. Abu, driving through the monotonous steep curves. The FM radio plays the Ramacharitmanas. The driver stops for a short tea-break and he grabs a bun from the shelf.

roadside dhabba
the clay oven set aflame
for an early lunch

The car stops for refueling. As my eyes reach afar, the wind blows with it a huge ladle of brown dust. My heart calls out. The Thar! Almost there and yet a few miles to go....we get back to our rooms. The communion of stars breezing out a peaceful night ahead. 

Day 4

desert sunrise

a strange silence 

in the emptiness

 

We mount the camel, Babloo. She takes us slowly on the dunes as the cameleer sings the tales of the land unseen by millions. His song gets buried in the sound of the jaguar that rips the sky into a distant thunder. As one more day cuddles into the silvery sky, my eyes droop off into the quietness.

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Introspect

Dark clouds in the distance. He is not allowed to be here, but he needs to earn money for his medicines. He opens a school bag and empties the contents - the shoe stand, hammer, awl, a knife, a cutter, glue, needles, tack hammer, etc.. 'It's going to rain, chechi. Come tell me quickly what is it that I need to repair? Oh! Is it your umbrella?' He quickly takes it from my hand and starts to mend it. 'Chechi, you will need the umbrella in the next few minutes. Here it is, see if my job is satisfactory.' The job is done. I hand over a fifty rupee note. He stretches to get the remaining amount from the pocket of his shorts. This is when I realize that the pocket through which he puts his hand has no leg.


 

gathering clouds

i cup the shape

of a heart
 

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Lakshmi Iyer, a homemaker lives in Kerala in India. She came across haiku five years ago and liked its minimalistic form, the way it could see the unread and read the unseen. She likes to live in the breath of words that speak of her observations, the experiences, inner silences and the elements of nature that resonate within her. She feels blessed to have known many senior poets in the world of haikai who have generously mentored and guided her. Her haikai poems have been published in journals and anthologies worldwide

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