In Arun Kolatkar’s poem “Meera,” from his collection Kala Ghoda Poems (2004), a street sweeper puts modest piles of trash on display along the curb in front of the Jehangir Art Gallery in Bombay (now Mumbai). These “installations,” Kolatkar writes, “might as well have been / titled ‘Homage to Bombay, one,’ / ‘Homage to Bombay, two,’ and so on, / since a good bit of the city stands / on sweepings such as these.” The latter bit is a reference to the land reclaimed from the sea for the purpose of filling in marshes and inlets with rubble and refuse, linking what were once seven islands into a single landmass and thus developing the city. In her book Arun Kolatkar and Literary Modernism in India: Moving Lines (2014), scholarLaetitia Zecchini writes about the modern poet’s celebration of the regenerative capacity of objects, stating that things are never “definitely devitalized or
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