Poems by
Varupi Jain

My Little Wordsmith

a poem by Varupi Jain

We were playing Scrabble,
My nine-year-old and I,
Look Maa, I formed a word,
Justice! He said.
My little thing knows that big a word?
Yes Maa, Daddy told me what it means.
Its about being fair and nice,
Rightful and lawful.
See Maa, I even know what it means.

I wondered.
Fair and nice and
Rightful and lawful.
Then why did the Concorde crash yesterday?
Why does Radha clean our house and
not play Scrabble with her mother?
And why did her father lose his crop in the flood?
And why does he beat his daughter-in-law
For no fault of hers?
And some get quaked and flamed,
When its about being nice and fair?
How come
the best don’t always get the medal,
And love is often unreturned?
Some just sit around fireplaces,
dissecting lofty words,
or coining clumsy verse,
sipping sizzling potions of elitism.
While others,
auction their flesh, kidney and blood,
to calorise the remains of their body,
and can never afford
the expense of a thought.
Why is logic so moody, so random?
Why aren’t clowns allowed to cry?

But I only wondered.
My son is only nine.
His little picture-lexicon has every word,
lack of use has fogged in mine.
Now you form a word, Maa!
He said.
And we played along.