Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Eating stealthily

Since we offered a rent higher
Than the market value
He took us as tenants
Even though we were pure non-vegetarians
And he was a pure vegetarian
Refusing to even eat eggs on the sly
Like others of his ilk;
He ordered us to keep the doors and windows closed
When we cooked meat or fish
"The stench is so terrible"
He snapped at us going red in the face
All the time covering his nose with a towel;
I was an asthmatic, he didn't care
If we choked on our sin;
We put up with the fumes from the cooking
The hot smell of masala and meat
As we could not forgo our favourite dishes;
What we feared more
Were the sacrificial fires he raised
Spreading a smoke that smelt of cowdung and death
Forcing us to close doors and windows
Trying hard to believe religious smoke is good
For the soul, even if it makes you wheeze ---
I cannot order my landlord to keep his smoking indoors.

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