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Inheritance

Sunder And Sonati

Lying with my Patti
On her kayyathu kattil
I would doze off
Listening to her saying
That is your nakshatram: Pooraadam
Mine is Thiruvadurai
Your Appa's is...

On our Colaba terrace
My father would point out
Various constellations
To my sister and me
And tell us myths about them
Until we would sleepily stagger home
Down the spiral staircase

On the Hippo Rock
The two of us would
Star-gaze with the boys
And exchange stories
Until sleep overcame them
Later
Until sleep overcame us

The Night Sky is
Our collective inheritance
Innumerable generations
Have looked up and
Numbered the stars

Alas, now, on our horizon
Are new moons
The Gundiyapattu moon
The Thekambatttu moon
That outshine the full moon
Our inheritance is being lost
One street lamp at a time

Generations to come
Will watch the night sky
On Stellarium
Or Celestia

Will they realise
Their loss of inheritance?
Their inheritance of loss?