Saturday, November 28, 2015

Both of them liked being out on Delhi roads

at dawn.

As they reached the DND flyover from Sarai Kale Khan
they could see a red sun over Okhla,

and as they went down towards Ashram, she said -
if only this Yamuna had a little life in it, no?

He got a little bothered
at this sudden, pretentious love for nature -

I have come all the way from Yamuna Vihar,
the petrol's almost gone,
and you're thinking of the river.

How many cities
will we move in this one city

to look for a place.

Tr. from Ravish Kumar's लप्रेक ८

Ravish Kumar

Friday, November 27, 2015

To escape the rain

tr. from Ravish Kumar's लप्रेक १२

To escape the rain,
he parked the scooter
under the Moolchand flyover.

They were so lost in each other
they didn't even notice
all the other scooters
waiting around them
for the rain to end.

For no reason at all,
he kept on trying
to become her umbrella,

and she felt good
under an umbrella she didn't need
below a flyover.

All the people around them
stared as if they were a
leftover cloud.

Ravish Kumar

Thursday, November 26, 2015

I have that small town feeling today

tr. from Ravish Kumar's लप्रेक १

I have that small town feeling today...
    and I feel like metro.

You know, whenever you pass by South Ex, I feel like Karawal Nagar.
    Shut up, you're crazy. In Delhi, everyone feels like Delhi.

That's not how it is. Not every one in Delhi is Delhi. Just like
everyone doesn't have love in their eyes...
    okay, but then how am I South Ex?

Just like I am Karawal Nagar.
    You're right...

you know, if this Barahpula flyover wasn't there, then the distance
between South Ex and Sarai Kale Khan would've been too much.
    Are you in love with me or with the city?

With the city; because my city is you.

Ravish Kumar

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


tr. from Ashok Vajpeyi's 'आओ'

like darkness comes near darkness,
like water runs into water,
like light dissolves in light,

come, wear me,
like a tree wears the bark,
like a mud-path wears the grass,

take me,
like the darkness takes the roots,
like water takes the moon,
like the infinite takes time.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

You walk in

and my eyes catch fire, you touch
me and my skin's live wire,
and no matter tonight
how much I deny
her, I think I
am going
to die of

Friday, November 6, 2015

In Delhi, last winter,

we needed a photograph
for the poster of your talk,
so you suggested -

"Take any from my FB album
in which I am wearing enough clothes
and not making a face,"

which left my choice, from among hundreds,
to about two.

Finally, we chose you in purple,
smiling, and sitting against a wall
in what looks like JNU,

you are wearing a silver hoop in your ear

and after looking at this photograph many times over,
I know why your name meant 'loved,'
I know why this memory is silver, I know
why this memory will now always be silver.

("Kaush, pack your best clothes,
Thanga would have hated if any of us
are badly dressed for the funeral.")

Thanga, I have two winters,
and terrace nights, and songs with you,
I have a midnight dance with you,
and because you thought we 'Indian fuckers'
were 'too dramatic,' I will, for your sake,
keep safe in my hands, all the evenings
that won't let you go.

(for Priya Thangarajah)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

कि कुछ तो असर हो जाए

कि कुछ तो असर हो जाए
बस वो रात बसर हो जाए
कविता से उतना ही होता है

कि उस रात की पौ तो फटी
जैसे भी हो, रात तो कटी 
खैर मनाओ
कविता से इतना तो होता है

(नताशा के लिए)

Sunday, November 1, 2015


कुछ तेरह दिन हुए
आई.टी.ओ पर रात ही नहीं हुई

छात्र अपने थैलों में
मुट्ठी भर उजाला जो लाएं हैं