Place: between the lines of The Hindu

‘Impossibly thin
Enviably engineered’
declares a Hewlett Packard
laptop advertisement
Deepika Padukone;
Carmelite Alumnus
Sweetheart of India
gazes seductively at me
with her impossibly thin arm placed
on her enviably engineered butt.

Warren Buffet
smug as ever
is quoted
in a real estate ad —
“Never depend on a single income
make an investment
to create a second source”
the ambassador of the entrepreneurial spirit,
espousing propaganda of greed.

(Sandalwood actor)
son of Kannadarashtra
has a public feud
with his wife on Television.
‘He is news again
for his offscreen performance,’
A versatile actor
switches and shows seamlessly
his virility
in all media.

The tiny articles
are packed with information
to churn your intestines
(and your conscience)—

A lov(n)ely lady
(recently separated from her husband)
“falls off” her hostel terrace–
the sound of a bag of meat and bones
(and hopes and desperation);
recognised by it’s dull thud
against the concrete pavement.

A bag stuffed
with the mutilated lower half
of a human body
is discovered near Hebbal
recognisable only
by the male genitalia

(Hon’ble Chief Minister —
Siddarmiah reminds all the readers
“A responsible citizen
always segregates his waste)

I flip the flyaway pages shut
& ask you why
a newspaper is the only piece of literature
consumed so devotedly;
it’s unfolding, a ritual for so many

You reply,
the holy light of the smartphone screen
lighting up your smirk
“It makes you feel like could (have) be(en)
Buffet, Padukone or
(gods forbid)

The human desire for
escape and tragedy
all compressed
in 24 sheets.