Poetry

Kutte | Dogs

The futile stray dogs of these streets,Bestowed with a bent for begging,The curses of an age their wealth,A world of whacks their earnings. No rest at night, no easy morning;Dirt their home and drains their dwelling.If one snarls, set him on another—A piece of bread turns brother against brother. The ones who lap up every …

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Poet Verses Delhi

Akhil Katyal chronicles Delhi’s many moods in his new poetry collection ♦ Originally published in India Today. The last line of Agha Shahid Ali’s poem “Chandni Chowk, Delhi” gives Akhil Katyal’s new book its title, but the entire collection seems impelled by the poem’s opening command—“Swallow this summer street…” In these Delhi poems, Katyal imbibes …

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Piano

(“Piano” by DH Lawrence)

Naqsh faryaadi (نقش فریادی) (नक़्श फ़रयादी))

Ghalib – I ♦ Against which artwork’s colour does the copy complain? For each picture’s face is a paper covering, plain. Of the hard soul’s digging — loneliness — ask not! Like Farhad, carving canals for cream through rough terrain. Witness for yourself passion’s unfettered zeal: The scimitar blade drawn out, free from scabbard’s restraint. …

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Spiritus mandi

To market, to market ♦ The Defence Colony sabzi and phalwalas are a sonorous lot, with strength in numbers and vocal prowess. Mornings sound like an episode of “So you think you can hawk?” or maybe the opening song of a kitschy musical: a dim-lit stage, the low murmer of doves, the plaintive refrain of …

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