Tuesday, January 01, 2013


As an old year draws to a close it’s time to sit back and ruminate on how a slice of time, of a lifetime of measured time, has been allowed to slip past. I am reminded of a stanza from T. S. Elliot’s poem “The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock” that runs thus…
The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And here we are, poised and looking forward to a new year – a brand new yellow fog, while the breath of the old yellow fog still lingers around us, embracing us in its reluctant brace and…

Seeing that it was the last of the days of a chilly December morning,
Sat up with a start, startled by its cymbal of thoughts,
Lent itself against the wall, tail in hand,
Pondering the dark alley, to slither into the gloom,
Turning its soot covered back,
To a year marred by the oddities of human nature,
Of smiling faces and bedecked bodies, but savage cores,
Of fire spewing machines, felling people,
(Don’t we too savagely fell the trees and pull food out of the seas!)
And women with wild hair and white sarees, running sailing ships aground,
And men in white caps, white silhouettes, white cavalcades,
A beatific smile on their faces to greet the faces that they meet,
Dancing a wet Monday morning pantomime,
Limbs askew, gurgled speech, paunches filled beyond belief,

And me, sitting by the doorframe, framed by the alleyway,
Seeing the smoke rising from the butt-end of each day,
And the yellow fog, burdened by human foibles,
Slithering past the darkening alleys, past the faces of stone,
Past obscenely loud TV sets, past the clinking crystalware of the rich,

And what do we presume?
Shall we treat the new yellow fog, bright with the vigour of youth,
Newly appointed with a tailored suit, with boots of leather to match the gait,
Any better than the fogs of the past? Or shall we…