Sapana took me
To see an apartment complex.
A friend of hers had bought
A space—she was an airhostess.
It was seventeen lakhs when she bought,
Now its gone up to twenty-five.
An investment!, exclaims Sapana.
The housing complex looks like
It fell, like a meteorite, from the Soviet Bloc—
grim, grey, blocks and blocks.
Grilles bar the balconies.
It's a gated community.
My spirits sink as I look at it.
Prison! Hell!
Sapana says she feels comfortable
In these spaces, that's the kind
Of place she lived in the US,
She says. I don't know why the idea
Of being cooped up like that
Reminds me of chicken cages,


Animal enclosures, tin cans—
Modernity and progress leaves me
unmoved. All I want, I think,
as I smile and wave and promise
to think about purchasing an apartment--
is the beauty of my little garden.