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"What Color is the rain you see" Poems from NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Four

Rain washes over the pomegranate battlefield by Aadrit Banerjee

The coagulated

blood thaws,

deliquesces, as the

rain washes over

the pomegranate

battlefield. The rain

glissades across

the blue horizon,

sensuously, like

your lips moving

down my scarred

chest tracing the

horrors of police

brutality. It descends

with an aphrodisiac

vigor over the couples,

in coitus, buried

beneath the fresh ruins

of Mariupol. Emaciated

bodies, infected,

deceived by an apathetic

government, turn cold

over smouldering

funeral pyres, and

sleep peacefully in the

rain-fed lassitude;

a mute Ganga flows

by, pregnant with floating

corpses and deities

sculpted in clay. The

raindrops shimmer on the

divisive temple walls,

purblind judicial scales

and on our broken

spectacle frames. Blood-

crimson, kingshuk-hued

rain endlessly

cascades down the skies,

your eyes and mine, red

silent tears of eternity –

falling helplessly

across barbed wire

fences, besmirching

ink-marks on paper maps.

Rain goes puddle hunting by Shriti Chowdhary

"We're out of groceries",

Thunder calls out,

"No oceans this time,

My blood pressure

is galloping at 210 miles per hour and

I hate inhaling whale snout."

"Take Zelda too", my wife flashes

a wicked smile

"Enjoy your father-son retreat,

While I bake some cookies

Soaked in country wine"

We embark on estates unknown

Watching sunsets from water slides

Dipping toes in freshwater lakes

The smell of fish a welcome sight

We swim in balcony jacuzzis

Mediate on ice glaciers

Moments before the crack.

Play tic-tac-toe on wet rocks

Near babbling brooks,

I buy a coconut (not really)

And sip on it with bamboo straws

Zelda insists we jump on

tiny puddles, too small for our paws,

1 2 3.....

Splish, splash, splish.

At last, we chose our

Dinner, skydiving headfirst

On the leeward side

Of the mountain,

As we gobbled with all our might,

Rainbows breaking out

At the prism of light

I realize I'm no color

To the human eye,

I'm transparent, pale, emotionless,


A clean slate, like the gods they worship,

Eager to be pleased,

But to the one poet

Scribbling away her thoughts

On the terrace,

I'm deaf, yet mischievously

Noisy, like blue,

A splash of yellow,

Like tiny flowers growing on algae paths

Too slippery for their own good.

Even red, when the wavelength

Of my arrival notifies many a

Peacocks before I dine

In real-time,

So I bend over her shoulder,

To read more, and

The paper disintegrates,

Under my fluid scrutiny,

I hear her laugh, a defeated

Yet full-throttled, feel it in your belly giggle,

Maybe I'm no primary colour,

I'm the menace that kisses itself

When two worlds collide,

Orange, violet, green,

As I piggyback my tired son

To her mother,

I steal a tangerine raincoat from the

Humans to keep his cloud mouth dry.

It rains in colours by Arya P D

Birthed in the realm of blue

Caressed in the viridescent beds

Partially inheriting shades

all along its life

The colour of rain is relative

to every eye that beholds

and to every heart that effortlessly weeps

It bleeds in red

In solidarity to an unapologetic woman

To silence the silence weighed upon her

Soaking herself completely in gibberish

Like a strong wave that hit the shore

slowly letting it all sweep away

From bindhi to alta on her toes

Redefining her worth

Where words are no more a spare tyre

and anger being the only rescue

She now wears it like a scent on her clothes

In spring, it has the colour of love

Vivid as a fifty year old tale

exchanging glances and giggles

Vintage shayaris carved in rust

Adding more colours to life

What is a rain that doesn't evoke music within you

like a spirit of rhythm that pours into your heart

A souvenir of first love, for some

The rest of us are graveyards of lost dreams

A familiar clack of boots screaming "I am home"

Or maybe a letter from the beloved

that blankets you in comfort during the heaviest of falls

At those doors that await homecoming

where hopes still remain a luxury

Each drizzle comes with a tint of greyish white

testifying that every cloud has a silver lining

The entity of rain is hence a mirrored canvas

reflecting the depth of one's life

Through the eyes of a five year old

where broken crayons still paint their sky

Self-Portrait of a Sinking Orphan by Srishti Saharia

it is summer,

my mother is wearing a quarter

of her watermelon ice pop like

cherry chapstick over her lips,

and the sun is throbing inside

her throat as she narrates to me

tales about the sea beneath us,

playing kabaddi with our native feet;

her eyes morph into christmas lights,

as brilliant as the sun crawling,

and crumbling— almost birthing,

from inside the belly of her mouth

when she is spinning yarn with

the memories of her maiden days

which she had spent devoted to

the sea like the water was

a prophetic cult in vogue

and she was the most swift,

fanatic of followers,

and the blindest of believers.

she is threading gauze-like

syllables with her teeth to dress

the wound of shame my naked

body is— a mass of evidence,

and the witness that confronts

and confirms the life she could

have lived had i(t) never been

excavated from the ruins of her body.

winter— lazy and unoriginal—

brags about the snowfalls

santa's reindeer drag in

in nordic countries and we

load up our bags for a fortnight

like every other year we can afford

the freedom to fly and hibernate to

where the foreign birds flee from.

my mother plants her heart in ice

and waters it until it grows

we spend our gloomy monsoon

afternoons sleeping in,

my mother's hand on my heart

is a prayer i memories like a promise

and all of the two-hundred and

six bones i inherited from her are

safely tucked inside the fortified cave

carved out from her abdomen and arms.

when the first lozenges of rain

sweeten the earth outside our house,

she sneakily and softly drops

the love child of pink cotton candy

and satin silk on my cheek and

baptizes it a kiss before running

barefoot to snort four ounces

of petrichor like a junkie for a fix

i wake up with a sun-tinted stain

of my urine on my bed the size

of my grief that i cannot gulp

like i have been taught to

swallow my thirst;

my hunger for her tenderness

is only as valid as my will to

mortgage my mouth to

the crown of cutlery.

sometimes i feel like i can go

to war for just a glass of water

that does not taste like war

because, you see,

the flood of last summer did not recognize

her scent of history and misread

the hymns of my mother's devotion as

her consent to be consumed

and the last breath that fuelled

her lungs was a cry for help

that drowned unheard with

the limbs of her body i am made of

and i look like i have been dissolving

ever since

she used to count the pennies

of rain like we count our gods,

her mouth was only as big as

the prayers that feasted from

her palms. my mother pickled

her tongue with salt and water

so that whenever she breathed

on me, i felt the roots of my

hometown written on my skin.

but there grew a mole on my body

wherever she kissed me,

and now my body is saran-wrapped

with the map of the maze i am

trapped inside with the teething

monsters of her memories

and my mourning.

what i mean when i say

i am blind to the colour

of rain is that when i hear

the rain banging on my doors

i find my mother's sun-dried

face plastered against the windows—

she looks as foreign as the language

of my grief and the absence of

her skin and my faith;

i look for her, to find whatever

is left of her but i avoid the water

to avert my gaze from meeting

and feeding on the eyes of

my reflection and inevitably

digesting that all that is truly left

behind of and by her is my body,

and that one day

with me,


an addict who used and

abused till she overdosed,

will finally cease to exist.

Journal Notes to the Rain I See by Prashanti Chunduri

I learn that colours have feelings,

at my grandmother's lap,

when she points at the mango

my tiny fingers are scrambling to hold,

and asks, "Does yellow feel happy?"

And then I learn that colours are feelings.

The fog-laden air

one dewy summer's day,

giving way to a five-minute cloudburst

as I made my first friend

was silver.

Silver for the delicate, gossamer fairy wings of first loves,

for the flinty shale rocks we went hunting for by winter seas,

for the worry-tinged teenage dreams we whispered about,

for our thunderclouds, stitched together by human linings.

Silver was the colour of the rain,

when I learnt about the impermanence of milk teeth,

and the permanence of friendships.

The bright spring day when I first spoke to you,

was the day I learnt the meaning of sun showers,

as we raced under shop awnings, 

past fish mongers, 

across damp zebra crossings,

and the fat, memory-tinged raindrops

that splashed under our Converse

were blue.

Blue for the steadying coolness of your palm in mine

(both of us ignoring my sweat as we listen to too-loud adults),

for the hue of the expensive china

I insisted we bring out

when your family came to visit,

for the edges of my heart when we decided

we couldn't stop growing up (and out),

for the exact shade of paint we chose

for my new bedroom when I moved 2100 miles from you.

Blue was the colour of the rain

when I learnt about the exhaustion of time,

and the rewards of patience.

The air - heavy with dust motes 

and light with the sound of music and laughter -

when I move into my new house, 

the cracks in its ceiling, mossy and damp,

the wallpaper pretending to be royal, 

the fake plants in the doorway featuring worn plastic,

are all green.

Green for the succulents and cacti

that now thrive under my care,

for the hue of the raindrops in fall

as they splash across my stained glass window,

for the colour of the walls of the library

where we meet again after too many days (months? years?),

for the flecks in your eyes

when I finally learn which colour they are,

for the mint chocolate chip ice-cream we share 

(amazingly, the flavour is called Serendipity).

The colour of the rain is green

when I learn that hope can be tangible,

and as warm as our hugs.

Now, we still have a million colours to discover,

most of them weaved through

the strands of our unwashed hair (memories?),

the stains on our carpet (footprints?),

the blots on our ink-stained fingers (dreams?).

But I still wonder:

what colour is the rain you see,

and can you write to me about it?

Then perhaps I'll look

for the exact hue of feeling in my palette, 

and try to write back,

by pigeon post,

so that it will be drenched in the rain -

kaleidoscopic with the colours we both see.


Hindi Poems

सावन के रंग / अभिजीत सिंह

भूख के बदन पर गरमाहट का सौंधा हाथ

परछाई के नाम पर प्यास छोड़ता है

प्यास में गला फैलता है

नगर हो जाता है

अपने ख़्वाबगाह में

काजल फैल रहा होता है

काले दृश्य सभी रंगों से अलग दिखते हैं

कविताओं में उनका अहम हिस्सा होना

चाहिये या नहीं इस पर बहस जारी है

बहस पर अधिकतर मौन भारी है

पर्दे लू से सहम कर के छोर पर धीमे हिलते हैं

पूरा कुछ नहीं हिलता नहीं चलता

न पाँव हिलने में सक्षम

न कान चल पाने में दूर चल रहे गीतों तक

न पंखा घूमने में

न नल बहने में

न दोपहर का बादल

पूरा कुछ नहीं चल पाने ने

चीज़ों की अवस्था में पीलिया फैला दिया है

वही बीमारी कि जिसमें जोड़ों में

दर्द उठता है

नब्ज़ टूटने पर चिंगारी छूटती है

मानो भट्टी में किसी उत्सुक बच्चे ने

नया कोयला फेंक दिया हो

बिना छौंके की दाल जैसा कमरा

केवल हल्दी जैसा पीला होता है

बाल्टियों से पानी कमरे का छत घूरता है

छत गुस्से में गरमाया करती है

पानी में पड़े आम

अब खुलने के लिए रुक नहीं सकते

जीभ पर सूक्ष्म इच्छाओं का जोड़ा

करवट ले-लेकर दिन बसर करता है

करवट का सफ़ेद रंग

जीभ पर नुमायाँ है

कि तभी

गरम हवा का रंग

भूमध्य रेखा पर फूल उगाता है


कोकम का गहरा लाल

दुबले होते जा रहे सूरज में बसन्त जैसा फैलता है


नाचघर होने लगती हैं

इमाम-बारगह के कोठों पर से घटा अज़ान देती है

जीभ पर जैसे नींबू निचोड़ जाता है

वही भागता हुआ

अचानक झूल रहे पेड़ों का रंग

प्यास की लहरों का रंग

गरम पानी में तर किये गए आम का रंग

हताश होते गुस्से का रंग

जाम में खड़ी हुई गाड़ियों से लग कर भिखारी के बच्चे

और उनके चेहरे से लगा हुआ जाम का रंग

यकायक यकायक यकायक

चिल्लाते हुए आकाश की ओर लपक पड़ते हैं!

और बाल्टियों का रंग

खिड़कियों से निकल-निकलकर

सड़कों पर जा खड़ा होता है

कुछ मुँह लटकाकर

तो कुछ मुँह खोले उठाए ताक रहे होते हैं

अंतरिक्ष में फैला प्रशांत

जब आता है


किसी माँग का सिंदूर अपने अस्तित्व से

अस्वीकृति छीन लेता है

उसका रंग ये रहा

देखो-देखो इस कविता पर

जैसे अनीमा पर सरिता के अधरों की छाप

जैसे पानी से पानी का मिलाप

लिपटते हुए आलाप और आलाप


दालचीनी बाल खोलती है

इत्र बन जाती है

उसका रंग

मनोविज्ञान की भाषा में याददाश्त कहलाता है

इन्हीं यादों के बक्से से

सर्दियाँ गहने पहन कर निकल पड़ती है

भारी मोटी साड़ी

ढीला-ढाला जूड़ा

पैरों में चाँदी की काफ़ी पुरानी पायल

बालकनी में सज-सँवर कर

बाहें खोल

आ खड़ी होती है

सिर्फ़ तुम्हारे लिए


कमरे के पीलेपन पर

कवि बची-कुची स्याही उड़ेल देता है

तो उधर दोपहर की दाल में

सूर्यास्त आ गिरता है

मोहल्ले भर में इस छौंके की सुगंध

अपने रंगों से इंद्रधनुष खींच देती है

कोई टी०वी० का वॉल्यूम बढ़ा लेता है

तो कोई पंखा बंद कर देता है

कहीं चाय बनाने के लिए

आदत क़दम बढ़ाती है

तो कहीं से इन सारे गीतों को छूते हुए

दरवाज़े पर एक दुलार भरी चिट्टी आती है

पर्दे हटाकर पर्दे का दुःख

मुस्कुराता है

देखता है कि

वहीं सब्ज़ लॉन पर

लू लेटे हुए है

सिरहाने सावन बैठा है

सिरहाने समन्दर के धागे खुलकर बिखरे पड़े हैं

सिरहाने बूंद-बूंद जैसी किलकारी कानों में

घर कर रही हैं

और अब सिरहाने लू के

चीज़ों की अवस्था पसीज कर प्रेम हो गयी है

ख़्वाबगाह की छत गिर पड़ती है

काजल आसमान में उड़नखटोले सा उड़ता है

प्यास जिस गले को फैला चुकी थी

वह नगर अब बारिश से भर रहा है

परछाई के नाम पर पानी रंग है



सावन संग है

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