Himachal Pradesh, On The Road, Sacred Walks, Travel Poems
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A date with Pluto at Bijli Mahadev

Lets start from where we ended. For twenty-seven nights, I was the only one living in a wooden balcony that hung facing the jungle on a whole mountain. The moon that I saw on the forehead of a mother in the town, i saw a similar one on my lover. But her eyes were set against the only window the first night. Pink walls. She told me she wants to scream. Now! I said. She smiled. Fire. She kept looking in my eyes and started screaming. I closed my mouth. I opened my eyes. It was winters. It was cold. And you know when it is winters and when it is cold how heavy the rains hit. It confuses the heart.

It was sunny next day. Pluto arrived. Nara, let’s go meet the man who sneezes forty times. He does that once daily. We left the two limping dogs behind. It was a beautiful walk. We reached. We sat outside Daulat Ram’s home in his garden on uncomfortable plastic chairs. An old brown cow whose back had curved in like a hammock, stood between us and the old Vishnu temple. After we all stopped talking, Daulat Ram turned his face and started looking towards the sun. We both waited long time for him to start sneezing forty times but he slept. The moment we heard his first long snore we left and started walking back to where the bus will come at six. While walking down it happened that I realized my hands wanted to touch every passing tree. That feeling to touch trees again and again grew so much that we started making our own road in a quest to touch, our closest relative’s skin. We missed the bus. Or so it looked. A girl kept looking and told us you can catch it, if you want it! The moment we learnt that we started running so fast on various varieties of mountain stairs that no one could have come closer to whisper but the wind, “swallow the world, swallow the world and fly”.

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