Sunday, January 26, 2014

For Suroopa Mukherjee

For three years,
all our mornings were you,
for three years
poems an' magic an' words
were rife, three years
it took us to really know,
that in three years
you had changed our life.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

हम हैं दिल्ली वाले जी

हम हैं दिल्ली वाले जी,
हम गोरे भी हैं काले भी
जो रंग एक बतलाओगे,
पछताओगे, ओ साले जी

भोगल में है अफ़ग़ानिस्तान
खिड़की विलेज में अफ्रीका है,
गली गली में पाकिस्तान,
तिब्बत मजनू का टीला है

"कहाँ के हो?" जो पूछोगे
किसी भी दिल्लीवाले से,
हम पटना, चेन्नई, कोल्काता
काबुल से, कम्पाले से

यहाँ एक रंग नहीं जमता है
यहाँ आसमान रंगीला है,
हज़ार किस्म के हम हैं जी,
दिल्ली कि यही लीला है

Saturday, January 18, 2014

I kindly submit to brown little Delhites

make space for you and me,
make space for brown and
all its shades, for buff and
beige and burgundy, shake
off the dust from your minds,
and take in copper, chocolate,
rust, but do not let just these
define, who you could be and I,
let black in and let whiter skin
also meet the eye, let fair and
dark and all in-between be also
seen - what's the big fuss? - as us.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Of late

Of late, being wronged was
the easiest thing to talk about
– “How I die, how I burn!” –
till I went ahead and, needlessly,
wronged someone in turn.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

If the word gets out

tr. from Kafeel Aazer's Urdu poem 'Baat niklegi'

If the word gets out, they will all talk,
they will all ask you why you're blue,
and expect to know what troubles you.

They will point fingers at your unkempt hair,
they will once look at the years gone by
and scoff at your bangles and keep an eye
on your trembling hands.

People are cruel, they will mock every thing you do
and casually they'll bring me into what they say -
don't let what they say of me at all affect you,
or they will find a trace of all we've hidden
so far, written on your face.

Whatever happens, do not ask them things
and see - never ask of me.


(thanks to Ranjani Prasad and Afzal Mohammed)


Saturday, January 4, 2014

I do not move into the new house

alone, I take several with me.
I have got Deepti's fridge
and Anusha's chairs, and
Akshara's mattresses, and
if any one looked in what
I have cooked the rice and
coffee they have been served,
it's Deepti's micro, Anusha's
mugs and Akshara's spoons -
queer families, queer weather,
we'll see many, many moons
together.