As the bus passes by the bridge near the Shankaracharya Hill
I must decide on the way to cross the Vitasta to be at our new home.
Up Lambert Lane past my uncle's old apartment
the Bund is full of tourists on a summer evening
the brides, looking picture perfect in their finery
with hennaed hands, wearing low saris
husbands walking stiffly by
and college girls in groups rushing in and out of stores
hoping to catch the eyes of young men.
Past the houseboats
and the handicraft and carpet shops
where tourists are still buying souvenirs
one last time before they leave next morning.
we sip tea in the courtyard at Ahdoo's.
As the shadows lengthen on the river
we hurry to the landing
and cross the river in darkness.
The doongas on the other side are dimly lit
the beautiful hanji women have suspended their war
of oaths and curses for the night
we carefully pick our way across the steep embankment
through the streets past the chimes of
the silhouetted temple.
The children are doing their homework
father is reading newspaper, mother sends me out
to buy vegetables as a guest will come to dinner.