On a fine spring evening,

When a stranger walking by,

Would remind you of me,

With the same cologne which,

I always wore, while making love,

Or going to war,

Rush home, Run home.

Because memories are like relatives,

Who just refuse to die.

By every word, every poem,

That still lie huddled in your breasts,

Like Jews inside trains whose final stop

Was the end of the world,

I swear to you my love,

Men like me, can pour petrol

On a blooming red rose,

Do not come knocking on our doors.


2 (1)

And here I am,

Writing about my favourite hell.

Holding a tourist brochure in hand,

I wonder at the delusion,

Proclaiming, ” Welcome to heaven on Earth.”

You see, in heaven,

Gods don’t crack down,

On Angels shouting- ” Azaadi! Azaadi!”

In heaven,

Tombstones have names.





I switch between two languages

While writing about you.

Between Faiz and Shahid,

Between nights descending on Lahore,

And evenings on small pubs in my neighbourhood.

I slice open with words,

Dark nights, and paint brush them,

Over your city and mine,

Sprinkling stars over Urdu,

Over English.

I switch between two selves,

When writing about you.

One watching the river go by in Banaras.

The other burning in Kashmir.


You’ve been growing on me,

1Like wine,

Like Jazz,

Like expensive perfumes,

Like charming old Paris,

Like legends which no one believed,

And like family history everyone did.

Like the illusion of greatness,

Or the idea of a prison break.

You have been growing on me,

Like the sea swelling at high tide,

Or the night lamp, post midnight, gaining courage.

You’ve been growing on me,

With every hammer of the second’s hand,

And every turn of the table calendar.

-Sayan Aich

(Illustrations by Shreemoyee Banerjee.)

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