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Pallu Portrait of Gulmohur’s Gorgeousness

Chetna Keer | July 24, 2020
Pallu Portrait of Gulmohur’s Gorgeousness

Thither, darling friends back home,

Preen picture perfect in status updates,

Lolling in Lockdown’s lusher ‘n’ larger lap of Nature,

Draped by dianthus’ pink or petunias purple.


Hither, my heart pines, O Mother Nature,

When will you smile at my micro Metropolitan window,

Caged by cold-hearted condo concrete,

Far from the promenades of profusion,

Of my Le Corbusier-esque “City Beautiful’?


Lo behold, one morning, my high-rise window,

Flutters ajar its eyelids to a kiss of crimson,

Like lips painted passion red, 

Planting their poutiness on her parched cheek,

The Gulmohur has stirred from siesta,

As a solitary summer sentinel unfurling an umbrella, 

Of radiant redness over Lockdown’s lonely bench,

Flanked by socially distanced skyrises,

Like Tabasco oozing out of a Subway sandwich.


Thither, the Gulmohur varnishes, 

The fingers of its fragile boughs, 

In a nail paint as blood red, 

As the raging fluid coursing through the veins, 

Of a bacteria-betrayed Mother Earth.

Corolla by corolla, the Gulmohur’s manicured fingers,

Unwrap the hot red fierceness of Hope, 

Against the death-like darkness of a sky,

Swallowed by an un-foreseen summer storm.


Hither, my unvarnished fingers, 

Of unkempt Quarantine,

Rummage into the last parcel,

That arrived before Lockdown bolted my door,

To unwrap that stowed-away saree,

As Lockdown lifts its lid in bits and parts.


Lo behold, the flaming orangeness and Gulmohur redness

Of its ruffles unfurl pleat by pleat, pallu by pallu,

As happy harbingers of Hope, 

Against six yards of blatant blackness!



Chetna Keer

Chetna Keer is an author, a columnist at Hindustan Times, a social media satirist,a humourist at the “Khushwant Singh Humour Fest” 2020; invitee as a guest to two “Ted Circles Conversations” 2020; and a poet. In the context of Covid -19, she was recently invited by All India Radio (World Service) & “Subtle Lyrics” podcast on Spotify to recite her Pandemic Poetry.

She is the author of two books – “TROLLitically Incorrect” in 2018 and “Veggies Go On A Beauty Parade” in 2005. She has also co-authored a travel coffee table book, “Kashi Prayagraj Kumbh”.

Having spent over 25 years in the print media as Lifestyle Editor and Features Writer with leading publications like Hindustan Times, The Tribune, India Today’s “Simply Punjabi” etc, she currently pens the humour column “WITerati” for “Hindustan Times” that critiques the warts ‘n’ wackiness of life on the social media through the scrutinising lens of satire.


Link to the “Gulmohur” poem (above) broadcast on All India Radio (AIR) World Service:


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Principal Bhupinder
Principal Bhupinder
3 years ago

This poem is akin to feeling pulse of the present ambiguous scenario where the world is in a topsy turvy state. The gulmohar is a symbol here and there is a tinge of hope. The poem has all ingredients of a modern poem. (1)symbolism (2) poetry oblique (3) Multivalent meanings (4) mythopeic (5) Alliteration

Poem is a class apart

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