Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Srinagar, Jammu, Delhi

For a man who no longer has a homeland, writing becomes a place to live: Theodor Adorno

Two days ago I saw
My land like a tourist
On the Discovery channel

My father shouted and
Told my niece:
Look that is the Dal lake
Where lotus stems come from

In his shikara
Gulla carried
Bunches of Narcissus
Which we would decorate
In a brass plate
Along with a pen
And a coin to
Welcome the spring

Now springs are spent
In colouring rusted coolers
To enable them to
Provide succour in heat

Relatives from Jammu
Arrive every few months
Bringing with them
Souvenirs of my land
Green saag with roots
And local sesame bread

My father and mother
Arrived in Delhi
A few years ago
From Jammu

And now when
He refers to Jammu
My father says:
Back in Srinagar

And then he stops
When he realises
That Srinagar was
What he left
Sixteen years ago

And then for days
He keeps silent
He keeps on staring
At the ceiling
He also does not
Then read newspapers


pr!tz said...


Anonymous said...

quiet, strong - deep-feeling - great stuff.

Anonymous said...

I found home in your poem
for when I speak of what I lost
I am often met with a stare
when I tell people
where I belong
or who I am
they don't seem to care
I am lost and sometimes I fear
my ethos my culture
is so overtaken by a dark deadly vulture
that I am fighting a losing battle
to stand straight and proud
but I will keep on
till my mind is sound

[All that is good ..is what I learnt in my mothers lap...]

Kakshi said...

I have friends who are Kashmiris and they are very close friends, I can see the situation reverbrate