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Poem: An act of plundering eggs

eggs in hand

Once upon a time
I plundered eggs
from a rickety khokha
in my village
nestled in the hills
and ran into the corn fields
though chased by hounds
and a gaunt owner.

Hardly had I tasted
the albumin and
chewed the yolk
when a bolt of metal
incapacitated me
flattened me
amid the leafy stalks.

Moments later
my eyes found me
laid beneath
the perforated tin roof
of the khokha.
The wrinkled owner
caught his breath
in relief and asked
if I was ok.

He said
he didn’t mean
to hit me hard
but was in anger.
then he tendered  me two eggs
wrapped in a newspaper.
He was about to cry
when I told him about
my Brahmin family
wherein eggs and meat
were a forbidden fruit.

Reined in by the desire
to taste eggs once
I risked my life
for a pair of eggs.
But I never ate one
after that incident.
My palette could not develop
taste for the semen stored in shell.
Now I don’t steal
Now I don’t fake
Now I don’t cheat
Now I don’t risk
Yet I simply lead a life
of an average middle class Indian.

But an act of plundering eggs
is much more than my past.
It’s a moment
I did not regret.
It’s a chapter
I do not forget.
I only wonder
how an act of stealth
can help me in life.



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