After Adil Jussawalla’s “Bells”

Veena Kumar


How little it takes for a day to be extinguished. 

Thumb and index finger pressed against a flame, and it’s gone.

What a miracle to be alive.


Here the evening draws to a close so quickly. The tropical sun slips out of sight.

Blink and you miss that sweet light upon the walls.


From lightness to dark and soon just the moon for company.


Yesterday the tree down the street was aflame with orange. Today it is bare,

littered with crisp yellow leaves at its base. Tomorrow there will be new shoots.


It’s hard to keep up.


Entranceways are washed — a bucket’s waterfall crashing across the cement –

and rangoli is dropped in curves of rice powder: such a transient art.


It’s all a kind of faith, and a willingness.




*Line from Adil Jussawalla’s poem: …how little it takes for a day to be extinguished/ how long for bells to make us believe it has gone.