The broken vase that I mean to repair everyday
keeps getting neglected by my secret awe for bone china
and its story of unbreaking.
There were happier times, when you stood perfect
in your shape, your blue clay nape more elegant than
a swan’s neck.
There were even happier times when I found you
in a heap of pottery, one among many that your maker
sold as antique.
To me you were new, new even after you accidentally
slipped from my hands when I carefully tried to wipe
the Delhi dust
that clings to you and me like camel-brown film,
like innocuous powder; transparent and deceptive
My vase has other memories too, that of love, loss –
of the flowers that I put in you with intensity of a father’s
love for his child
who has been taken away from him by his mother
to a place so cold and so far, that even words
There are scenes I painted on your earth-skin, words
I wrote, etched in, fragments of poems left unfinished,
encoded secrets that only I knew and understood
in spite of gossip’s glare and jealous chatter —
too much talk,
idle babble leading nowhere and everywhere —
excess waste like flagging prose trying to force-fill
a required word-limit.
Maybe today, I shall bring out the Super Glue
or Fevicol and try to make amends. Quickfix might
bind too, perhaps.
But I would like to splurge on a rare metal –
silver or even gold, to seal your cracks and fill them
with molten healing.
I understand that you may look even more
beautiful sometimes with these unrepaired fissures
But anointing you with gold, memory, love,
with desire, devotion, affection is better than
of your prior shape. Unbroken, poised as it was,
unhurt love is not necessarily purer than love that is
Kintsukuroi* is a prayer I remember and practise.
My vase deserves the lacquer touch of a silver-wish
and the purest of rare gold.