Silhouette of a city


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[Personification of Delhi, capital of India.]


Old woman.

A mad old woman.

 And I am afraid, she is entirely bonkers.

She, who narrates her tales to a deaf sky which is already overcast with her own suffocating aspirations…


At every corner of the rugged roads, there is a mirror where you see her entrapped and then you forget her.

For she rises from the mud, trampled under the polished cars and then very carefully wiped at pavements or dried off from some fancy doormat reading Swagatam ; for you shall disown from your sole, least your soul.

You dream of a Utopian picture and she staggers in her imperfect ways. Yet you were always her children, a Delhi, complete in yourself. For you reflect her mood swings,sometimes, bringing to her that thirst for courage, but mostly a visible form of suppressed rage. A rage that breathes for certain lost lives, however, losing itself amidst the chaos of an endless race. The same rage that had once stirred her during the advent of‘mutiny of 1857’ where her children fought but Alas with a punctured unity; And for unity, unfortunately, nothing has changed today. They come up on roads believing that it is just a serious game for when you bring protest rallies for your women’s rape; the assaulter gives you a laugh and hides within.

Anyways, our old woman has a past of frills and flattery. But it has somehow deranged her immune system so much that it brings her a lot of trouble in the plane of nostalgia. For I tell you, her tales does harass the mind of her children, who sheepishly sits by the rocking chair smoking rich cigars, whispering, “Oh the good old days”.

Like a mantra of holy Gita, she keeps on reciting just one thing in loops. Past is treasure and today is a tragedy. Always daydreaming and remembering her times of aristocracy, her visions from tallest minarets, her luxury in the arms of elites, her lavishing times beside the magnificent thrones of the Turkish emperors and that moment of peeking away shyly from the contours of Asoka pillar, now marveling the blooming gardens of Mughals but right now like any other women of her age, she is so pissed off, complaining, “Oh you are changed”.

She is that typical old Indian woman, who is central to her family but of course for the namesake. Not that the other members are very happy but at least they are spared from all the “capital” baggage. The same ‘capital’ that is personified as horrendous form of devils by the Hindu Times and Indian expressess.Her black and tattered veils called Yamuna, narrating ugly stories of all the carcasses which are dumped in the sooty nights, narrating how the girls are nabbed and forgotten in the crowd, trafficked, sold, used, murdered and then dumped.

Those promises which narrates the sobs of homeless children and dogs, alike.


And I say let her murmur in the corners, like that mentally ill women whom you call witch. The one, who shall step out of violent marriage only to become your daily gossip and like the very same one who sleeps at footpath even on cold nights hoping that her son would at last wake up out of the construction holes.

Let her murmur, in the name of the ones who are fighting with identities…every single day.





Qutub Minar and Summer rains

On very rare days, I feel I can look  into the eyes of an untamed bird and believe that we are capable of not scaring each other.

In this sandy weather, with an empty and painful stomach, I look across the heavy skies. The view from a 7 floor building is not breath-taking but intriguing enough.

The trees finally look like a group of mystical dancers and not melancholic individuals nodding in solitude. They are emerald and not to mention crisp with dusty bombs of hard rains. They move their heads in circular motions and concrete buildings began to appear as a confinement which stops them from just flying away like my head is keeping my brunette curls from flying away into the sails of nimbus sky.

Far in the sails, I see a minaret hanging. And not just an ordinary minaret, mind you. World’s tallest one of course. Watching the city like a king’s guard. Taking lives now and then. And then, suddenly, we are prohibited to see from his eyes any more. Because of the lives it took. Some say people die while climbing its (379) stairs. Others take their own life. Nonetheless, the minaret is one to blame.

In his own golden days too, under the reign of  Qutb-ud-din Aibak, the first Sultan of Delhi, it not only took the life of its laborers but also of the other builders whose jealous efforts of sculpting a more monstrous minaret ended into their own fatal fate.  Their lampooned work still stand near Qutub, somehow magnifying its glory.

Today too, its silhouette stands as rigid as ever, beaten down by hideous rains. Ancient. Red. And dusty. The green cover around it blazing as gems reflected under gentle rays and standing in stark contrast with the dark abode, above.

Standing far away at my terrace, I take shelter in history. I imagine myself as a panghat girl (Girls who brought water from far away wells.) and try to decipher the meaning of minaret myself.

A dimension to escape towards god, the place from where one could see heaven, the sleeping guardsman or perhaps a landmark.

What do you think?