The Desert

Readers' space Aug 15, 2020

Something tells me past these wonders Of sand
and dust, an arid land Racing, cowering
spider-webbed trees, These plateaus of red mud
are all devoid of life.

But there is life, in the harshly plain yellow ochre fields,
One from the other separated by stones, And the lone
brick watch towers, of a time gone Look out for our safe

Against my train windows, I see- rising The
unexpected Aravallis, footless, abrupt; A stark
contrast to the levelled wheat and bajras I see
myself, as if they are me and i am them.

Our speed quickens, as we pass The land of
tigers and the land of lions Of red and orange
flags, of blue peacocks Their wails echoing off
the distant purple hills.

And even when, this land seems dead There is life
here, amidst the sand and the purple hills solitary
temple walls in marble say: "Jeev hi jeev ko khoje, aur
mrit mrit ko!" (Only the alive find life and the dead