The Blog of Cafe Dissensus Magazine – we DISSENT

Poems: The Bombay Trilogy

Painting: Osnat Tzadok

By Akanksha 

Love in the Strange City 

It started with a
cluttered head,
late-teenage and
newly grown wings.

It was on the sea-side,
with a boy in white shirt
and the city quietly gaping
but never interposing.

With wind in the hair,
sea-salt caking the skin,
intermittent supply of coffee
and chana jor garam at its edge,
the city flirted with me unabashedly,
almost like the boy in the white shirt
when I pushed him away from my lips.

That night, I kissed the city
with as much ardor as I did
the boy in the white shirt
inside a black and yellow box
moving somewhere.

Maybe this is why
they tell women to
not laugh and loiter
in strange cities
with strange people
lest they fall in love.


At the Edge of the Map 

It’s not just the sunsets.
You can sit on its ledge
anytime of the day and
the sea would graze your feet
while you flip through
a copy of Rilke’s poetry.

You can walk
with a slight twirl,
smile at the stray feline
and dance in anonymity.

The city will let you thrive,
it will let you smile and
some days when you
walk in one of its crescents
your laughter can ring.

It will be hard to resist
the delectable fling
so you will watch yourself
giving into its wink
and sometime around midnight
when the blues strike
you can walk out the door alone
and the city will soothe
your pang of loneliness.


That City I love 

I know you as the city with rusty windows,
old, tall buildings and curious by-lanes.
There is a sea and some sand I never touched.
Quaint coffee shops I want to visit,
and bookstores I lust to own.
But most of all there is a charming whiff,
stronger at some places and faint at others,
but always there, everywhere.

Sometimes I want to go elsewhere and
know some place as intimately as you.
To have a seductive fling with the sea elsewhere,
and to sit next to another silent French window,
while I pen the things running in my head.
To feel love someplace else, far away.

But I am here, staring at you up close,
knowing that there are crevices of you,
I haven’t known entirely.
That there are faces of you,
I have not looked at.
That you reveal the rest,
only when I am ready.
So I sit here,

Akanksha is an aspiring author and cat-mother. When not developing someone’s business, she is found writing poetry. She has worked at the intersection of gender and labour post studying from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. You get a peak into her life here.


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Cafe Dissensus Everyday is the blog of Cafe Dissensus magazine, based in New York City and India. All materials on the site are protected under Creative Commons License.


Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine, “Poetics and politics of the ‘everyday’: Engaging with India’s northeast”, edited by Bhumika R, IIT Jammu and Suranjana Choudhury, NEHU, India.

2 Responses to “Poems: The Bombay Trilogy”

  1. Manoj Shivamat

    You have that one kind of a textured austerity in your writing.


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