A Sadhu

Sadhu, smoking, chillum
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A sadhu knows how to be indifferent to the spectacle around him - but he also knows when to pose for the cameras.

My ash-smeared body
a tika on my forehead
a chillum between my lips
I sit on the far bank of the Bagmati
watching corpses burn on the Aryaghat

I hear the mourners’ wrenching cries
as I meditate on death
and what follows
mobile rings
breaking my meditation

Seeing foreigners with their cameras
I refill my chillum and pose for them
blowing smoke in the air
sculpting monuments
of different shapes and sizes.


Madras Courier originally ran as a broadsheet with a poetry section. It was a time when readers felt comfortable sharing glimpses of their lives through verse. If you too have a poem you’d like to submit, do mail us at editor@madrascourier.com.


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