Gulzar

“O Dastaañgo, aik panna aur kholo, aur kaho…” And we all saw, more than 1500 of us, how a relationship so fragile, so precious, so battered by an unforgettable sense of wrong, as that between Draupadi and Yudhishtira, was revived by a simple act of friendship. An eponymous long poem by Pavan K Verma, adapted…

To My Father

It has only been a year, I know, but it feels like twenty. It feels like you haven’t been around for a long, long time. I just know that I must, call those who will come, and celebrate. Laugh, talk, fuss over my guests, have a little cake, dance a bit, give thanks. (I know,…

Trigger Warning. (Sort of)

Hot chocolate, sunshine, books 3 days, trees, wood, a soft bed, a nook by the window, no network, food that nourishes a healed body, a healed mind, a healed soul. Cheese, music, wine, cool breeze, firelight, a long night, eyes not swollen by sleep. eyes not clouded by fear. eyes not glazed by memory. persistent,…

Before the New Sun Rises

Am I doing the cliché, looking at a poem, and thinking of you? Did I make you smile, bitterly, Looking at this poem, and thinking of me? There are two magical words in the language of poets: Qurbat, is one. You’d know, I’m near. I had to leave, The part of me behind, The one…

Imaginary Home

There are imaginary homes I made In a life Semi-charmed Love Was one of them; You, another.

Hyacinth

Do you see them, in hundreds? Dancing to the river’s music The breeze carried. Do you see the forevers etched in their veins? To be dead tomorrow.

Mr Natwarlal

An AMTS bus playing Bollywood hits from 1990s. A philosophy-spouting bus-driver, and a Shakespeare-and-Girish Karnad-quoting bus-conductor, named Mr. Natwarlal. 7:50 pm. November 23, 2015. Ahmedabad. For nearly the entire duration of the 20 minute journey home, I felt I might be hallucinating. I’d begun to see Mario Miranda caricatures all around me, colours brighter than…

Dreamscape

It was a four-poster; covered in gossamer netting. Delicate mulmul on the windows filtered the moonlight in. It was impossibly quiet, even the crickets had ceased their song and gone to sleep. But he lay awake. His dark skin defined softly by the white sheets. There must’ve been some pixie dust about, for she woke…