The Kite Flying

The Kite Flying

Kashmir the mountains  stagger under your  breath, heaviness  pounds, and the heart  barren, enemies infiltrate  scattering ashes. The number of deaths  lose count among  schools burnt — what will they learn? Mannequins in  closed rooms discuss  the future, a wild catcall in the dark. Come, be the beautiful valley  you are, interspersed with ravines and mountains scaling almighty …

A Season Named Fall

A Season Named Fall

  Saba Hasan, Untitled, 2014           a season named Fall                                   fall blown umber Summer burnt out fall the sky’s razorblades tin in winter bolt of leaves rot bitter dying sharpen                                         true December steel—   fall entrails of summer’s Beast scattered wound of summer’s Dog                                          …

Demonetisation – A Poem

Demonetisation – A Poem

Cycle rickshaw-walas support demonetisation. Their earnings have halved. Some days they don't have any work. They think it will be over, soon. In a month or two, hopefully, they say. They are doing it for the country, right? Maybe they are. Mandi waalas support demonetisation. Their supplies are short. And what they have, is rotting….

The Lord Comes to My House

The Lord Comes to My House

The Lord comes to my house. Delivers the message from the bank, “My account is short of minimum balance.” Late in the afternoon, I get a call from the Seven Angels: I have sinned for not submitting my income tax on time. Ashamed of peer pressure, I drink, dance, and sing Merry Christmas from my rooftop….

An Insistent Music

An Insistent Music

The music was always in our ears goose-stepping softly to a distant military tune but the madman who perches by the signal he could never hear it then another beat rose to reverberate in our guts drums and synthesizers in riotous processions from dusk to dawn, emptying the streets into the sea. the air thick…

Two Poems

Two Poems

                Stories We'll Tell our Grandchildren   We know now for certain that the world is coming to an end and that we are the bricks falling apart. Eighty years on when we sit with our grandchildren under a smoke-stung sky for a heavy medicated drink to keep…

Winter Light

Winter Light

        It's afternoon, dark already at the cross roads, A sudden storm of bikers, men in leather, motors snarling, Flags spurt skywards I freeze in place at the metal barricade, the seam of sense unpicked, Brown body splayed. In the aftermath of light, what proof is there of love— Buoyancy of the…

Reflections of a Cartographer

Reflections of a Cartographer

Through the thick magnifying glass— Veins in my honed eye Streams of red—the contour Lines are taut webs, gradients Coalesce from blue to green, To the burnt sienna of dry blood, To spurs concaved and drowned, To bludgeoned, pocked scarps, To another fresh mound On the ground and a single flower. Each year the lens…

Another Way

Another Way

To swing yourself from moment to moment, to weave a clause that leaves room for reminiscence and surprise, that breathes, welcomes commas, dips and soars through air-pockets of vowel, lingers over the granularity of consonant, never racing to the full-stop, content sometimes with the question mark, even if it’s the oldest one in the book….

Ghazal: A Shriek About Kashmir

Ghazal: A Shriek About Kashmir

To Abir Bazaz, Javaid Iqbal Bhat, Hamzah, and all my Kashmiri brothers How do I see, think, dream, or speak about Kashmir? One more ghazal shall I tweak about Kashmir? Another bloody summer looms over the Dal, Wani’s died and been deified this week, about Kashmir. Vani is also "voice" in Hindi and Sanskrit, There’s…

Poem by Saumya Baijal

Poem by Saumya Baijal

Henri Matisse, 'The Reader, Marguerite Matisse', 1906 / Hugbear   अख़बार   रोज़ सुबह अख़बार  आपसे मिलने से पहले खुद से मिलता है । रोज़ सुबह ख़ुद में कई बदलाव पाता  है ।   ख़बरें नहीं, शायद अब आंकड़े बताता है, आज ८०, कल ९० । इंसान के साथ न रह पाने की कमज़ोरियाँ, अलग…

Poems: Salil Chaturvedi

Poems: Salil Chaturvedi

Paul Cézanne, 'Bibemus Quarry' / Ibiblio here    I     am longitude 70o 30' east latitude 28o 2' north (roughly) in the month of October          having gone around the sun forty seven times but always, always, through new territories in space.          having been fascinated, neutral, then disgusted by tele-vision     and many other visions. having…

Poem: The Extremes

Poem: The Extremes

​Susmit Panda​ Igor Mudrov, 'Walking in the Rain' / ego-alterego.com Again and again The thousand lips of the rain​.​ I had not yet learnt the alphabet; The voice against the parapet Was the raindrops'; A's drenched the trees, B's wet the bees; I shuddered under the frightening Ampersands of lightning; Sudden commas of breeze Paused…

Death of My Newspaper Hawker

Death of My Newspaper Hawker

Monoranjan Thakur Amrita Sher-Gil, ‘Hungarian Village Church’ / Lifestalker My morning is faster than the seven horses of the chariot Sun, But only my newspaper hawker brings the day’s excitement and fun! Waiting for whom eagerly at the front door, As the country roads bend in the far. Do you know my fragile looking brother?…

Poem for Manipur

Poem for Manipur

Ananya S. Guha dogged valley your ribs are a cage the sloping mountains riddle you with the heavy past their blues trace your body to the ancientness of myths and even as a new script is grafted onto your people you fast for justice and death those chains, those fetters binding you deep to the…

I am language

I am language

(Her Voice in First Person) Keki Daruwalla 1 I am language I don’t just speak I also hear. I must hear the street listen to the trapped air hissing up from under the flagstones; Keep my ears unplugged for the grind of the cane-crusher, rice-huller river and watermill; not to forget the friendly cry-and-chirp of…

I Am Not Your Data

I Am Not Your Data

Abhay Flavian Xaxa I am not your data, nor am I your vote bank, I am not your project, or any exotic museum object, I am not the soul waiting to be harvested, Nor am I the lab where your theories are tested, I am not your cannon fodder, or the invisible worker, or your…

The Art of Living with a River

The Art of Living with a River

Salil Chaturvedi Image via India Water Portal Eight I was, when I met her first, And she? I imagined an eight thousand years! A summer dawn and my very first river Calm and deep—an eternal giver Around a fort and by a hill Flowed she, gently, almost still. The adults haggle and strike a price…

I Speak in Colour

I Speak in Colour

Shrenik Mutha Image: Jacob Lawrence, ‘Brownstones’ / Whitney Museum I study at a law college. Last term, I faced harassment and ragging by a classmate. The ragging was based on questions and issues around my body and sexuality. The issue was taken up after a formal complaint was filed.  However, due to ‘procedural’ and ‘technical’…