Nine more days of this lockdown to go.
At least nine more.
When this curtain is lifted,
would the sights and the sounds
that we have added collectively
have been enough to beat the virus
out of the planet?
Would the demon have understood the language
of beating drums and plates and claps,
and incandescent lights and candles,
and the blowing conches
and the chanting voices,
and the orders
and the pleas
asking it to go back?
Would these have been enough
to get the curse off our streets?
What if they aren’t?
What else is in store
when the ringmaster appears on the screen?
Would he make the clowns jump through another hoop?
Would we have to invoke the sense of smell
and burn incense sticks
or camphor balls next?
Or leave flowers on our balconies,
for those of us who have one?
Day 12 of the 21-day lockdown in India