Sunday, October 26, 2008

My Little Incense Stick

It is a ritual that I enact everyday -
every working day -
in which I take off my market slippers outside the door to my pink room
and arrange them neatly to one side.

As I step onto the wooden floor threshold,
my feet take up the blue rubber chappals that have been waiting patiently for me
since the last time I said goodbye.

I turn on the electricity to all my machines and devices,
pressing a little button
that buzzes into blue life as my computer powers on.
I then open the windows, and,
even before I sit down,
pull out a stick of incense
to light on the violet flame of grandma's gas stove.

With one quick flick,
the stick comes to rest in its wooden stand
and begins to tell its story for the day:

Sometimes
in its spicy smoke I smell amber
and myrrh and frankinscence.
Although I can't say with certainty
what amber or myrrh or frankinscence smell like,
I imagine that when I find them
and sniff them
one summer's day in Constantinople,
that they will remind me
of my little incense stick in my pink little room in Bombay.

On other days
it diffuses cinnamon and cardamom
and honey around our empty house -
almost like the ittar my mother bought in Dubai,
which I wear on lonely days,
and whose bottle - to my dismay -
rests in a scandalously shaped box
that imitates the Ka'aba in Mecca.

Today I am reminded -
in the midst of a ylang ylang, patchouli, Flame of the Forest haze -
of the Fabulous Destiny of Amelie Poulain:
the thought of spiced cookies and mulled wine
and the little girl who's face can never be painted
because the artist isn't quite sure what she feels like
or where she ought to be looking
while everyone around her is picknicking.

I wonder what she's thinking of
in the Sunday sunshine warmth
surrounded by the French paysage,
and I wonder about her day.

2 comments:

Cat-on-the-moon said...

Hi Ruchita.
We'd love to publish one of your poems for the upcoming VoiceBox magazine.
Please let us know if it would be okay?
This is Kaveri 2nd yr AFD.

k2 incense said...

K2 Herbal Incense is available in several scents all made to give you a different aroma. These scents include rose, vanilla, bay bean along with a beautiful sage aroma all combined in various ways to deliver different feels.

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