Metamorphosis: Srijato

The problem is that Madan has not been speaking since
This morning. Absolutely silent. Perched on a wall
He’s feeding dogs, birdwatching, but no, not a single
Word. At first no one gave a damn. But when it became clear
Even late in the morning that Madan, who untiringly offered
His considered opinion on everything from a short run to Pokhran, had still not said a word, rumours began to fly
People gathered in ones and twos around Madan, who was
Oblivious, impassive. Some said, ‘It’s the shock of love’
Others, ‘This is what comes of thinking too much’ And so on
But when Madan didn’t utter a sound despite the crowd
They got busy trying different ways to make him talk
‘How about some tea, Madna?’ asked Keshta. Madan was silent.
Debu-da said, ‘Look Madan, there’s Mitali.’ Madan was silent.
Nidhu decided to take a risk. ‘Madan is a baaaas….
…tard.’ Madan was silent. Madan was silent, silent, silent.
Now the people got angry, it started with raw abuse
Then they tugged at his clothes, and finally they spat on him
And now, in the evening, the situation is so bad that
Nearly a hundred grown men and kids are sitting by his feet
Tearing their hair out, sobbing, writhing on the ground
While Madan just keeps feeding biscuits to the dogs, and
Constantly counting birds

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