I snuck a peek at Uncle Sam's low necked daughter
sitting like Monalisa at the visa counter—
Mumbai, off the Arabian coast—
She wore in her neck
what I could only place as
the Renaissance regalia.
She was very chirpy
behind the bullet proofed glass wall.
Beyond the arabesque interiors
were the stenographers and CIA agents.
Panting about and discussing my entry
into the promised land.
I adjusted my non-existent tie
and looked closely in her eye.
I found only love, uninterrupted love.
Such love, that the breakup she offered—
A well printed, stamped and attested pink slip
A set of questions about my allegiance to world peace—
didn't mean much to me.
I walked about as if
I was chosen to go to Mars.
Only later the gloom closed in on me.
A month later, like a delayed monsoon.
I would make repeated calls to my soul
which migrated without any visa.
Friends across the seas
would make those long distance calls
before realizing nothing could be worked out
because of all the accumulated distance.
The emptiness they created for me
in their apartment, wouldn't pay the rent.
Then one day, the calls stopped.
Nothing would get them back
till the so called storm ebbed.
Meanwhile, I watched TV
and my beard grew like the
length of a daily serial.
I became oblivious to the material pursuits
and indulged in mechanical worship of God.
Nothing mattered to me
The Iraqi toll or the Afghan deaths.
My home slowly transformed into
a detention centre and parents
the conventional clinical psychologists
To pass the time, I jotted down some poetry
meaningless scribble and people awed
to cheer me up —"Poor fellow, let me throw a smile." —
I confess, I wrote nothing against Uncle Sam
or his sons or daughters.
My fear that the Japanese made TV
would be bugged to spy on me.
Then, he appeared, the Hermes
of this little Greek tragedy.
Searching for my home frantically
he delivered the missive from Uncle.
And it read
"Found to be alien
Not to set foot here
Deep space mission in two years
Be ready for the lift off"
(Courtesy: Seinfeld, George Orwell, US Consulates : Chennai, Mumbai)