Makarand got me Ganga-jal
After a quarrel I returned it
Today Makarand's life in Hyderabad ended
With a mat, a pillow, a linen basket
He left Ganga-jal for me.
I swiped it.
At the three-star coffeeshop
Srinu stands reverently
with the Ganga-jal in his hands
I see his hotel-steward uniform
against which the small sealed copper-pot stands
I feel tears come to my eyes
Seeing India changed and unchanging
My Hindu neighbour, a sociologist
Says: Ganga-jal is given just before death --
I hope it is the death of the burning ego
for me (and Srinu) in our friendship.
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