Chawri Bazaar, Delhi
Mouth-watering street foods.
Biryani in kilograms.
Two teenage boys was dipping the perfectly rolled moons
in the choolaah one by one.
A man at the next table licking out
every drop of butter masala with
the last shred of nun rotis.
At the end of an overpopulated bylane
A barber was shaving off the moustache of
a rickshaw puller - both talking in Bangla.
I asked all their names.
They told me-
I asked for more names.
They replied -
Empire Must Fall
Here in the Red Fort
the zealot guide
was describing the hall
where Aurangzeb imprisoned his father
and behind the jaalis the Taj
was brimming in the mellowing Sun.
I handed him three hundred rupees
and said Namaste
He replied, Jay Shri Ram…
I became cautious of my name.
I saw a pigeon fluttered away
dropping his shit on the broken throne
of the emperor in Dewan-e- khas.
I found relief.
Three hundred or fifteen years-
all are numbers.
Every throne can be shat upon
A city sleeps within a city.
An imprisoned emperor still laments
on the bank of Yamuna.
No one here is to celebrate the ruins of
but to celebrate the love that never ages.
Do you still need any more proof to learn that
LOVE always wins defeating ruins?
The Song of Love
I don't want to be a princess
To fit into the chest of the Taj.
I want to be a miner or a reaper or a loved wife
Of the painter or the sculptor
who hold their breath and go blind
to make every inch of the Taj.
I don't want to be buried there motionless
rather I want to sit by those artists
who has defeated the time
and made for the emperor
The Song of Love - The Taj.
What's love, Janam?
Is it the Taj?
Aren't the white marbles witness
of the restless hours
that pass into the emptiness of the
unknown queen of heart in the harem
who has been touched by many
but felt by none?
Don't call me your queen
rather let you be my touch-
What's love, Janam?
If it's not your eyes
melting into my lips
and breaking the oceans into
a rapturous storm.
Moumita Alam is a bilingual poet from West Bengal who writes poetry in Bengali and English.
A Series of Poems On My Visit to Delhi