• Apples of Kashmir

    Susmit Panda

    August 1, 2017

    Image Credit: Shoili Kanungo

    Calm down, Kashmir, sit for a while
    by the Dal tucked aside
    like a cold meal by a captive;

    look at us, we the forbidden fruits, scored
    with ash, grime and gore,
    sweet anyways, if not alluring;
    come, pluck us, sin!

    The half-burnt chipmunk caking
    beneath the chinar, we know, is your wrath;
    the skeleton peering back
    from a fading shikara, we know, is your right;
    the wax-drops of the candle
    around which you camp, and rub
    sulphur into the gob of a doped Allah,
    we know, are the tears of your faith;

    come, pluck us, strike up
    the uproar of a bite; let it rip through
    the pashmina smog of your song
    made of fire and tear and gas,
    alarm God and rouse the alarm
    for another Lal Ded,
    another Kashmir,
    another world where…


    Susmit Panda was born in 1996. He began composing poetry at the age of fifteen. Since then he’s been trotting out poems recklessly and his first book, titled 50 Arteries, was published in 2016.

    Donate to the Indian Writers' Forum, a public trust that belongs to all of us.