Poem | Yash Pandit

Photo : Lee La


From a worn photo taken when
Trams tore the newly born streets
Of Bombay, my grandmothers eyes

Speak of youth. Her hair bound
Tightly, like an interwoven jute
Rope hangs at her waist, a petal

Or two clinging onto each knot.
"No one now remembers," she says,
"The grace of women in polka dots,

And men in bell bottoms, or
The feel of leather on the seat
Of an Impala, and technicolor portraits

Of Bachchan hanging outside
Minerva." Her memory mocks
Her perception, as she

Leafs through photos of her lost city;
The sea banging its bangles on
The shore like a widow.

But in Girgaon, should one choose
To stroll through those meticulous
Lanes can one find remnants,

Of this city she polishes in memory,
With its soul in gaudy cotton sarees
Clinging onto wooden chawls;

Bickering women and angry men,
Who contemplate cricket behind veils
Of beedi smoke. And so she slips,

Into the hourglass, draped in sand,
Hallucinating evenings when she waltzed
Between the raindrops to stay dry,

And only the sky filled her lungs.

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