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Strange Meeting of the Eyes and A Hollow Socket and other poems by Faria Fatima



Strange Meeting of the Eyes and A Hollow Socket


Ahmad and Taha were praying.

It was the hour of Isha.

Assalamualikum Warahmatullah

The rocket had hit the main electric pole.

There was silence, darkness everywhere.

None of their faces are in sight of each other.

Ahmad’s face must have glistened though–

An eye and a hollow socket.

It was a strange meeting.


Alaa says she feels like running

In the street till her headscarf flies

In the sky and she flies after it.

The helicopters roaring like lions

To pounce on its prey have

Made them schizophrenic.

Alaa loved Ahmad.

His eyes.



Doomed Infancy


They had taken her out

From the rubble just an hour ago.

Ashraf left in a blaze thirty seconds

Before his wife birthed her.


They had heard the sound of planes

But Ashraf could not clear

The house within five minutes.

How could he– his wife was birthing.


Toothless mouth.

Body ten inches.

Covered in shroud, she looked

Pale, yellow and dry.


She didn't even leave a monologue

Behind for the world to read aloud.



A Mother's Delight


This was on a Thursday afternoon when

I was casting about for a document in

The Godrej almirah,

My mother's dowry.

A maroon bandhani prominent against a chequer of

Gold all over beige fabric catches my eyes.

That's Ammi's twenty-five-year-old saree!

Exclaim I.

My body and its short stature

Do not display many signs of womanhood.

But my love for sarees

Has been growing lately.

Well, I have this urge now,

To adorn the piece.


Have my bosoms outgrown ammi's

When she was my age, newly married?

Yes? No?

Why does her maroon blouse

Fit me then!

Oh, thank God, not very well though.


It's been a while since I learnt

How to drape a saree

I do it on my own.

Since I know, the folds in the front

Were enough to make me weary,

I get done with the pallu first and

Let the weariness barge in next.

I hold my breath and somehow

Manage to tuck that handful of

Carefully draped fabric

Right under where my navel is placed.

Having finished off with adjustments

From shoulders to feet,

I am awestruck.


While I embrace womanhood

With the pallu falling off of my arm, Ammi clicks a picture.

She does that without being asked to do so,

Which is never the case otherwise.

Wouldn't that suffice to prove Ammi is delightful

Now that I look woman enough?



Not-So-Alpha Alpha City


Coastal road project is a fascinating sight

Keep left tempos, four-wheels on the right.


From inside a car on the dexter,

Not-so-luxurious luxury of Kia Sonnet

One finds oneself watching–


The digital billboards flashing

Ads of two bhk in two cr

In the archipelago of seven islands.

And the glistening of sunlight

On the waters of the Arabian sea.

And the spectacular specular reflections.

Sun glitter at its best!


It glitters on the glass structures.

It glitters on the edifices.

It glitters on the structural glazing of the alpha city.

It glitters on the gallery of Antilla.

It glitters on the not-so-roofy roof

Of a not-so-homely home too.

One covered with a not-so-blue blue plastic

With a loaf-size hole in it, from where

The luminescent asbestos sheet peeps.


 

About the Poet:


Faria Fatima is an English Literature graduate from Miranda House, University of Delhi. Currently, she is pursuing further studies in English Literature at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

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