Poem – Octet 

You don’t love me at all? O God. O Shit.
You still ‘respect me.’ Thanks. I value it

About as much as one who’s asked to use

A second hat when he’s in need of shoes.

Since, I discover, my own self-respect

Is quite enough to keep my spine erect

Why is it true my ample self-affection

Will not suffice to buoy me in rejection? 

Mistaken – Vikram Seth

I smiled at you because I thought that you 

Were someone else; you smiled back; and there grew 

Between two strangers in a library 

Something that seemes like love; but you loved me 

(If that’s the word) because you thought that I 

Was other than I was. And by and by 

We found we’d been mistaken all the while 

From that first glance, that first mistaken smile.

Distressful Homonyms – Vikram Seth

Since for me now you have no warmth to spare 

I sense I must adopt a sane and spare 
Philosophy to ease a restless state 

Fuelled by this uncaring. It will state 
A very meagre truth: love like the rest 

Of our emotions, sometimes needs a rest. 
Happiness, too, no doubt; and so, why even 

Hope that ‘the course of true love’ could run even?

How Rarely These Few Years – Vikram Seth

How rarely all these few years, as work keeps us aloof, 

Or fares, or one thing or another, 

Have we had days to spend under our parents’ roof: 

Myself my sister, and my brother. 
All five of us will die; to reckon from the past 

This flesh and blood is unforgiving. 

What’s hard is that just one of us will be the last 

To bear it all and go on living.

Round And Round – Vikram Seth

After a long and wretched flight 

That stretched from daylight into night, 

Where babies wept and tempers shattered 

And the plane lurched and whiskey splattered 

Over my plastic food, I came 

To claim my bags from Baggage Claim 
Around, the carousel went around 

The anxious travelers sought and found 

Their bags, intact or gently battered, 

But to my foolish eyes what mattered 

Was a brave suitcase, red and small, 

That circled round, not mine at all. 
I knew that bag. It must be hers. 

We hadnt met in seven years! 

And as the metal plates squealed and clattered 

My happy memories chimed and chattered. 

An old man pulled it of the Claim. 

My bags appeared: I did the same.