Wednesday, May 25, 2016

टूटा हर चीज़ का आकार है

जैसे बीता हुआ कल
जैसे याद

ये अब
इतना बड़ा है,

ये अब
हर जगह है:
हम उसके टुकड़े करते हैं,
यही रहते हैं हमारे पास

बस यही हम आने वाले कल को दे पाते हैं

जो है हर चीज़ का आकार।

tr. from Kei Miller's 'Broken is the shape of everything'

Kei Miller

Monday, May 23, 2016

Nishit Saran

Half way down the Lodhi Road,
the first day of rain,

those who come here often must
be held by you, and pain,

and memory must, like memory does,
hold them in its skein,

remembering you, like always, with
the summer in your veins.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

From the TOI report, concerning "Africans in Delhi" -

"'It's been trouble since
they've been around,'
one Delhi local fears."

Jamal-ud-Din Yaqut,
Razia Sultan's lover
be like, "Trouble? For
eight hundred years?"

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Things you discover on the first day of cycling in Delhi

Cars are beasts.

You are tiny.

But sometimes, near red-lights,
you can outrun the best of them.

Cycle-lanes change everything.

The Ring-Road takes almost ten seconds to cross,
width-wise, and a life-time to go round.

Working class cycles do not have helmets and lights
and their main purpose is not 'exercise'.

From the Def Col nallah
to the under-the-flyover Saheli office,
is a slight dhalaan you hadn't noticed before,
now it comes as a welcome surprise,

you find out the inclinations of your city,
where it nods, where it raises an eyebrow,

that from the ITO metro station to the Medical College
is a slight chadhaai. You always pay for a dhalaan,
with a chadhaai somewhere else.

Things slows down, as you cycle,
you see different things, notice punture shops near your home,
one opposite DPS Mathura Road, one at the railway tracks
at the Lajpat station.

With this time, you look at things closely,
at Modi posters, at the Madame-Tussauds-trimmed beard,
at funeral processions, at bathing men,
at hypno-Kejriwal.

Rickshaw-pullers ask you
to move it.

Near Pragati Maidan, a boy looks out his school bus, and asks
with a cocky-class-3A-sort-of-smile -
"Uncle, aapke paas bike nahin hai?" ("You don't have a bike?")
"Isme gears nahin hain?"
"Haan," and looks somewhere between disappointed,
amused and pitiful, till an older boy
pulls him down.

Bus drivers that let you pass
deserve a place in heaven.

At 11 Ashoka Road, in the giant party posters,
Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani, though top-left,
feel like bottom-right, and remember the old days,

you cycle past them
as the Lutyens trees open their arms.