In between the sporadic bursts
Between the heckling customers
The intimidating bosses
The gossiping colleagues
In between the drudgery and monotony
I doodle faces on bits of paper.
Faces of men and women
Full face and left profile –
I have grown up with these people
Though they remained the same -
Adults passing through youth.
From behind notebooks, inside novels
Corners of text books and on pages left blank -
From every possible piece of paper
These Picasso profiles stare up at my face.
Most of my women are beautiful;
They all have full lips
Wide-eyed with long lashes
Wearing Bindis and ear-studs
Hair wavy, they all glance
Off-centre, over my shoulders-
Rare are the ones who look into my eyes.
Men mostly sport a moustache
Thick eyebrows, thin-lipped
Pleasant to look at but -
Grim and somehow sorrowful.
They all are so familiar
Though none like another.
Doodling, I brood over my men and women.
Are they the ones
Who come in my dreams?
Are they the ones from my lives past –
Or the lives yet to live through?
Are they the shadows
I sense, flitting behind me?
Are they, the unknown and strange
Souls I see in my own self?