By Yash Pandit
(For Apurva Jain)
Out of focus, a young man sits,
Learning to breathe on the lip of his maiden,
Trapped between the grips of fear and ecstasy
I can tell by the crease, his shirt is new;
Her dupatta undulates with the evening.
The onlookers are not fooled;
They smirk and poke elbows,
Gossiping about young love,
And the odd fickleness of it.
Perhaps he hastens into it –
She slaps his wrist,
And moves away.
Her eyebrows cringe in anger.
Behind on a forlorn radio,
Plays Rishi Kapoor’s song from Bobby;
And like all young men in love,
This shayaar chants a poem in her ear.
She laughs in adoration;
And the sea cracks behind her,
foaming with joy.
For hours, there is nothing much to do;
But to watch their silhouette,
As her head drapes over his shoulders,
Looking out into the horizon.
And to listen to the cars howl over the tarmac.
And to watch the rising heat,
As corn roasts over glowing coal.
If only somehow you understood
The modesty of my dreams
To meet you in a place
Where we do not need to speak
Where your friends do not convince you
Of my being not good enough.
And people do not stare
At our odd imbalance of worthiness
You being worthy of so much more
And I, worthy of so much less.
Had we only enough
Turns on the clock,
I would resuscitate
The farthest of summers
Just to warm your wrists
On these winter evenings
But now the season contrives
Only songs of withering…
I sift through the sands of time
And feel them slip on my fingertips.
If we hide long enough,
Surely, time will forget about us
In The Rain
The moon turns black, this moment enshrined in the rain;
Skies tremble with feelings undefined in the rain.
In this sapphire monsoon, the sky wears a veil.
Nor can I see; neither am I blind in the rain.
I reconstruct hidden crevices of your skin,
They say one can leave all ghosts behind in the rain.
A hundred-year-old hunger haunts my broken heart,
I search for doorways to escape my mind, in the rain.
Cities stand still, the homeless run for shelter,
The troubled, the deranged, quarantined in the rain.
The moon wears mascara, and umbrellas unfurl.
I look for destinies intertwined in the rain.
In the grand scheme of time, everything’s forgotten
I bear witness to what fate has designed in the rain.
When the heart craves warmth, it borrows some from the past.
Always time finds a way to rewind, in the rain.
Yash Pandit is an 18 year old student hailing from Bombay, India.
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Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine on ‘Bollywood Nationalism’, edited by Dr. Roshni Sengupta, Leiden University, The Netherlands.