The Vacuum Cleaner


A salesman was here today
Selling vacuum cleaners.
They clean everything,
He said.
The pelmets, the curtains,
And of course, the carpet;
Even the bedcover, the walls,
And that place under the bed
Which I can’t reach.

I wonder
If it can sweep aside
The cobwebs that blanket our lives …
… yours and mine.
Will it help me
Reach that corner
Of your heart
Which I cannot touch?
I wonder,
As I wait for you
To decide
If we need that vacuum cleaner..

                                                                                         Betukbandi  (1986)

Webs we weave

Oh! What a tangled web we weave…

So, early the other morning, as I was about to enter my kitchen, I was stopped in my tracks by something on the door frame.

Rush to get a duster? Not me! I did dash…to get my camera to capture this !

Gossamer – what a lovely word it is, too. Just delicately rolls off your tongue .. gossamer…

So is `cobweb’ a lovely word …like a long forgotten dream that tries to surface from the past…tugged at by something in the present …

This web reminded me of another web I had photographed a few years ago … equally intricate.

This was taken when we visited Bhagirath Place (or is it Palace? In Delhi one is never sure)…

This is in Old Delhi – North India’s biggest market for electrical items. The shops in this market, I presume, get their electricity supply through this (illegal?) `web’work. As necessary for their livelihood as the spider’s is for its own!

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