When I was in Puna

Glistening naked boys running along the laughing beach
of Mumbai,
sitting in the third class women’s carriage on the train,
oceans of miles
a snake charmer at the police chief’s birthday party
throngs gathering
when I get off a train,
geckos scurrying across
my bedroom walls,
monkeys at the screen windows,
water buffaloes, not friendly,
mimicking curious children to make them laugh,
a visit to a Maharaja’s palace,
white marble, glimmering in the sunlight
dozens of preening peacocks on the lawn, luminescent,
rickshaw rides, tonga rides, dusty scooter rides,
bacshish memsab, bacshish,
I give bacshish
though many disapprove
Air India, the stewardesses
in luminous saris,
Mumbai – Windsor
so many, many time zones away.