the family photograph

'say cheese!' the man behind the lens
asked the assembly to flash grins,
and all of them did so in the sense
they tried their respective best,

the grandpa in the middle had no teeth
so he flashed his gums vacant and still,
granny beside him took a breath
and so her face looked a bit grave,

and the eldest son having arthritis
shook his right knee by his hand to ease
the standing posture,his wife beside him
was thinking about the chilli paste left
in the sink, her face had that hurried look,

their son back from college had a book
in his hand which he was not willing to keep
anywhere lest his younger sis would take a leap
for it and would take it away with her to Jersey,

the second eldest son, still a bachelor,a musician
was probably thinking the middle portion
of a song which he downloaded courtesy
the electronic device that he possessed recently,
so his face looked composed and calm,

just beside him his niece returning from Greece,
held an artefact resembling a bow with strings,
she insisted to pose with that for it would bring
a touch of verisimilitude to the snapshot,
personification of a tourist with a spot,

her brother, the youngest in the scene,
was sandwiched between his mother and aunt,
looking pacified after crying over a bottle of jam,
he held a toy of a gun in his palm,

his uncle, the husband of aunt had a band
in his arm expressing solidarity with those
killed and wounded somewhere in a Pacific coast,

the aunt from Hazaribagh on a visit
squeezed her not so slim figure into the frame,
she,  having the taste definitive a bit
held a paperback with a flashy name,

her only daughter with a habit of dozing off
anywhere anytime if kept idle,
almost to a quick nap momentarily dropped
leaning her head on her mother's lap,

grandpa's butler cum masseur cum errand man
was the lone figure sitting on the ground and ,
he held the pipe of the hookah perfunctorily-
not to smoke but to indicate his glee
in keeping everything grandpa owned
as part of his little acclaimed luxury,

at the far right sat the family's pride
the big furry alsatian, after a Persian
monarch named, who tried to hide
the bone he stole from kitchen,
not so long since then,

all these to put flippantly
made the portrait of the family.


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