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)