KV (05-12-1973 / Muzaffarpur)

King Of The Ephemera (Ode To Media)

On this perpetual stage of chaos
actors come and dance
deliver a line or two
sometimes rehearsed
sometimes oddly extempore
before subsiding with a whimper.
here characters jump onto the stage
with the euphoric drumbeats
as accompaniments
inching towards your chest
suppressing the beat inside
only to be pushed aside
by some other “breaking” characters.

Here the suta discusses
the movements of the dancers
of their unusual attires and speeches
with the sincerity of a modern day priest
who chants mantras selectively
to cut short the rituals
like the classical vocalist
reciting only breathless raagas
transcending the preparatory slower ones
before an audience
too keen to hit the climax.

A picture too perfect
shot from a camera
which does not commit mistakes
of accommodating things out-of-focus,
here never would find
an unrecognised arm creeping into the frame
or eyes awkwardly closed of those being shot,
for this king of the ephemera
takes care
only those alive and alert
make it to the frame
before bowing out of it
into oblivion.

First Published in 'Media Spectrum', New Delhi,2004

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