Ponds spring overnight
Slick mud of our palms,
Our lilies spreading wing
Lines to walk,
The music listening.
All in circles, a perfect
Symmetry at India Gate,
This village mud,
The pond by the planting, perhaps
From Ramkinkar’s haunts.
Dilli wallahs, here we come
The city is being taken over, again!
By the aesthetes, the artists, the slippery
Watching from the bushes…
I make way.
into the undergrowth.
Through solitary leaves, I peek
of skin, brown blending
Our eyes meet.
We gaze in the
of the universe
Where nothing happens.
Just an old year gently turning.
A new year hums
We fled, fast as legs could carry. Word grew of the mob coming. Then remembered, grandma
We turned back, carried her out to a safe backyard verandah. She lay curled on a round cane
chair, a soft ball.
We took positions, the two of us, behind the walls. Behind those houses, where we used to
pluck fresh, juicy guavas.
We covered each other, each step a whisper in the dust. We would take them one at a time.
We flashed our knives in brisk lightning strokes, silent, straight at the throat. We waited, forever,
measuring each breath in moments,
We knew what was coming. To run would be to leave grandma behind.
Amlanjyoti Goswami’s poems have appeared in publications in India, as well as UK,
Africa and USA. A bunch of his poems find place in ‘40 under 40: an anthology of Post-Globalisation Poetry’, published recently by the Bombay-based poetry press, Poetrywala. He grew up in Guwahati, Assam and lives in Delhi.