Satyendra Srivastava
At an Asian Girl’s Third Wedding

Under the jasmine garlanded tent
And rose watered air humidifier
They were there to see Kirpal’s daughter
Honourably married

In the reception
They talked
And drank
Talked about Somalias
Bosnias and Sudans
Described the dried up skeletons
The rapes of women
And the situation back home
Ayodhya and its cavity-ridden stone pieces
They talked miles and oceans

They talked and the girl
In the next room was
Weighed down by the golden gifts

It was the girl’s third wedding
The first in the temple
The second in a London registry office
The third here in the vast reception room
The newsagent Kirpal’s accountant watched
Noting down the expenses
On mortgage and bank loan

By midnight they had all left
Leaving behind heaps of food and drinks
And all the talks
Hunger in Somalia
And Bosnia and India
And Pakistan and Bangladesh

Once they left
Worn out women began
Clearing up the leftovers
A third world nostalgia.