Everyone was laughing louder,
biting their lips and rolling their eyes
like actors in an Attic comedy;
mother was sitting, with her head down
and pleading not guilty.
A visitor was sitting, biting his nails
and frowning down at innocent ants.
“She has put Urea into the tea-cup,”
my sister announced with her head high;
all the pandits nodded their heads
assuring of my mother’s folly.
That was only a decade ago.
Five years went by
without any major incident
she repeated her folly
– a narrow escape –
by squeezing a common krait
in the kitchen sink,
assuming it to be a dried stick.
Everyone was sure of her stupidity.
My eyesight is now too weakened,
and while reading, even with
my goggle-like eye glasses,
I’ve begun to miss even jumbos.
Then I see my wife look at me
wearing that Tiresias’ sinister mockery,
assuring me of my own folly
and all those pandits,
who mock at human misery.
Long live the queen!
She’s now in her late eighties.