It's almost thirty years by the time I get back
and meanwhile all the furniture's moved around
even the window's broken - the street lights and sounds
whatever's within, beyond, feel like an attack,
an assault on the memories and their value.
How can this be home? the rose bush in the courtyard
has been torn up, paved over with a ruthless, hard
concrete and fancy pedestal, much to-do
with a tulsi and a trident. While I was gone
someone has changed the drapes, painted the parlour walls
in a stifling shade. There are many more keyholes.
From the street a strident speech pierces known comfort zones -
intolerance wisps in the air like chloroform,
slogans shove a wet rag on the nose. This is home?