Skip to content

Tag: #PinjraTod

Reel for Delhi in Springtime

When I tell you what it means 
to me to live in Delhi,

I won’t use trending music
or a dozen flashing photos

approved by the Ministry
of Tourism—

just a few words 
to conjure images--

that pair of young women 
brushing shoulders 

as they sip tea on the edge 
of the dusty maidan— 

or the thin, strong man
in the next lane over

who right now
is stripping off his shirt 

as he assesses a growing 
pool of stinking water—

and on a good day,
this might be enough

to get you to consider 
one or two simple ideas:

we can remake this world;
we can, and we must, my friends.
Leave a Comment

Abolish the Delhi Police

-for Natasha Narwal and Devangana Kalita

Maybe it’s just habit,
but even all these months after
they locked down the city
and took away friends of your friends,
sometimes you still float away 
at that moment when light’s fading 
and the first bats are flying;
and when you wake with a start
it is already dark—
you’re not sure where you are,
but you hear the door bang—
and then you’re relieved 
to find it’s a friend 
who wants to play cards—
or the newspaper man,
bringing the bill—
not someone who’s come
to take you away:

we don’t need police,
they spread only fear.
Leave a Comment

Pinjra Tod

-Delhi, August 13

Rain drenched the city 
like a bite of ripe pear 

after a hot, oily meal,
and there was no dry path 

through the narrow lane 
behind the masjid,

so two giggling girls 
picked their way 

through the muddy 
maidan—

shoulder-to-shoulder
under one worn umbrella—

while Devangana Kalita
and Natasha Narwal

spent one more long day 
in Tihar jail.
Leave a Comment

Ninety-nine Days After the Delhi Pogrom, While America Burned,

I dreamed they came to our door
and took you away at dawn.

I tried, but I could not stop them;
they were silent, and rough,
 
when you struggled. 
Tonight, friends, let us all dream:

doors open and cages broken,
cool breezes and ceiling fans—

we’ll argue and sing 
and share what we have,

(we don’t need the police,
we don’t need the police!)
Leave a Comment
>
Send this to a friend