National Poetry Writing Month, Day 30

If Delhi was a character from a Mir Babar poem
I would describe her as a single lady in her 40s who’s frequented by lovers past nine
and falls asleep at midnight, knowing,
that the streets running down her veins
will choke with the vermin of its inhabitants

Bombay is a boy who lost his father at a Ganpati Visarjan
he lives behind a 30 by 30 Shahrukh Khan banner
and insists to pay for your cutting chai
his dreams keep him up all night
and are washed away in the monsoon rains
which drain down into the Arabian Sea with a thousand Ganpatis floating upside down.

Agra is a an old man, with a male lover
his skin is parched and he goes on a morning walk in his goldstar shoes
he belongs to a royal family and speaks of a tongue that has been long been buried under the
thumping footsteps of the soldiers
that reside in the Red Fort
Taj Mahal is his adopted daughter at the prime of her youth whose lover moved from Mathura to Delhi in search of older women.

Bangalore is a man in his late 20s,
who has started to forget how to write in his own mother tongue
when the city chokes his throat at the silk board junction
he calls up his old mother on the excuse of knowing a certain recipe that he’s decided to cook
his mother knows that he longs for her voice.

Madurai is young girl with a gajra tucked in her hair
she wakes up at 5 for her morning prayers
and then helps her father make Kari Dosai for his lunch home
She wants to be a writer but her father is not very keen on her education
her mother buys her used books,
the girl shuts her father’s door when he’s asleep, and reads third world english authors with a help of a tattered Oxford dictionary.

Kolkata is a man in his 40s
and he’s been 40 for centuries now
he writes small poems and takes cold showers thrice a day
his hair line has receded and he keeps telling you about how he had a spiritual awakening after listening to Pink Floyd
he walks you through the red lights and tells you that 10 million people were killed in the Bengal Famine, but the state grew up on its dead.

Written by Peeyush Chauhan

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