At the ministry of external affairs
In a small Himalayan city
The urbane civil servant
Told me that the local macaques
Seemingly so aggressive
Known for stealing
Stacks of chapatis
From local kitchens
Didn’t worry him a bit
It’s the leopards that
Will drag your children
Away by the throat
He said before handing me
A passport for the small
Stranger clinging to my wife


The wreckage gathers
Around your feet
Let it accumulate
Grow tall and dense
Reach your chest, neck
Encase you in remnants
Give it time
Million years
Should do
Start over


Two in the morning
In a hospital
Eight thousand miles
From our home
A sleepy doctor
Gave us the answers
We needed and the
Medicine and reassurance
Sent us on our way
So professional, nonchalant
Thank you thank you
Outside we spotted
A neon sign for
The ingeniously named
Burger Singh
A wonderful, subversive pun
A second of stillness, grace
On a momentarily
Silent street in Delhi