By Himadri Lahiri
In the worst of times my specs too have betrayed.
Only the day before yesterday
it fell from my hand, lost its shape and swayed.
Though the lenses remained intact
the frame lost its right angles, to tell you the fact.
It being the worst of times, you cannot visit an optician
and get it mended – or go for a new acquisition.
So I continue wearing my specs bent.
And lo! Visions become unbelievably indecent.
White becomes black, blackness receives a jolt.
One who has been a friend so long seems a foe –
he appears with a false show.
Stranger still, how can one elected in a fair poll
inevitably turn into a mole?
Philanthropes, I believe, are god’s messengers.
How then are they trapped in messy affairs?
They appear as crooked as my neighbour
who for me holds nothing but a sabre.
Hilariously, men and women with sure stigma
are wonderful people – how it happens is an enigma –
who run errands for the aged
and reach out to the caged
during the pandemic, the worst of times!
These visions reversed
must have something to do with the specs perverse –
since its fall it behaves strange.
Hope, you’ll excuse me for the change,
for I have nothing to do with the detriment.
Blame it all on the instrument.
Bio-noteHimadri Lahiri is former Professor, Department of English and Culture Studies, University of Burdwan, West Bengal. Currently, he is Professor of English at the School of Humanities, Netaji Subhas Open University, Kolkata. He has written extensively on Diaspora Studies, Postcolonial Studies and Indian English Literature. His latest publication is Diaspora Theory and Transnationalism (Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan, 2019). Contemporary Indian English Poetry and Drama (Newcastle on Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2019), co-edited by him, has also been published recently. He writes book reviews for newspapers and academic journals. He writes poems at his leisure hours.
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