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Rain Poems, 2022

To the girl living in apartment no. 02 by Aishwarya Roy

It's three in the night.

The sky's dripping into your mug

and you taste rain.

You throw it away and shut your windows.

You hate the audacity of raindrops!

Falling so effortlessly,

Without the slightest promise of a safe landing.

Your mind amuses me;

The way you think, the way words tumble, fumble out of your mind,

Like freshly squeezed orange juice.

You still manage to treat people like beautiful artifacts –

Objects you'd cherish to keep for the coming seasons,

Despite being treated like temporary mental notes,

Messages people leave

in order to remember something.

Your days taste cold and bland

and so does your fragrant teabag.

The nights smell of chamomile and meltdown.

Puffy eyes, lips quivering – like the flickering of an old tubelight.

The dark clouds bring heavy grief

I am trying to figure it out.

Like Polaroids exposed to water for months, your memories begin to fade.

The way you cry into your palms and your pillows, it's almost like

your sadness suffers from stage fright.

The night is spilling into morning,

and you're staring at your ceiling, which resembles a zigzagging chaos –

One that imitates a maze, but has no exit.

You are trying to figure it out.

It's three-thirty in the night.

I'm listening to Cohen's songs of love and hate

and weaving a blue raincoat

with the leftover tarpaulin.

For you.

To the little girl living in apartment no. 02,

My veins still run like the arbitrary Tram-lines,

But my heart sobs,

Like the dripping Maidan.

I will not hurt your paperboats

your shiny white shoes.

I will cover my potholes

and ugly nook and bruise.

Maa won't scold anymore,

If you play with me.

I promise.

We will look for patterns in clouds, music in waves,

Poetry in a person.

don't grow up, don't grow up.

The roads are empty,

And the hearts are full of longing.

It's four in the morning, and I'm brewing us some tea;

Loose leaves, fresh milk, and rainwater.

And pouring myself in two claypots.

As you wait in anticipation

of the rain to stop,

Dressed in yearning skin,

My tired fingers are writing this poetry for someone,

They can touch the whole universe with.

With a drenched raincoat that promises to keep you dry,

Your rain-soaked city.

C/O Kolkata

The Sky taught me Origami by Shama Mahajan

As the sky folds the clouds into a boat and pushes them over the cliffs

I see the green iceberg sink,

It's only here that Titanics won't be found as ruins but as oceans

Oceans that overflow each time the iceberg sink.

The sky keeps tearing at the clouds turning them into art

And we sit by the window of this art gallery like statues floating in the ocean,

With a mug of camomile perched in our hands, the life jacket strapped tight,

The hazy dreams trying to anchor the capsized ship

The world today has turned into a giant submarine,

I see the ocean seep into my ceramic mug,

Everything tastes slaty today.

It's like the sky is crafting a voyage and we are the storms

The clouds know how to rig their sails

They aren't worried by the puddles but by the Conifers.

The honking cars breaking the sky's concentration

You can see its anxiety in the half-bloomed flower that appears midst the ocean,

The discarded shreds of paper land in our garden resting on the rose petals.

I watch the origami class in motion

The unicorns riding the sledge on a melting iceberg,

The broken guitar with its strings on fire,

I can feel my veins throb to the tune of the clouds' drum beats

While the gramophone in the kitchen sheds its music in silence.

I look at the piece of paper in my hand

It's a letter...the last one he wrote telling me to not wait by the window anymore

I fold it into a bird and let it fly from my balcony

The sky taught me the art of origami.

I sit by the window as the sky hangs the bird in its art gallery.

I know I am ready to take a dip in the ocean at whose bottom lie no ruins just

Soaked pieces of clouds blooming as dandelions.

What Monsoons Mean to The Crow and Her Daughters by Shreya Chadal

I always thought monsoons unravel secrets of the most stubborn hearts. This time of year is when every woman in my family turns into a storyteller.

Nani is always the first one to go, perhaps because she's many storms older than the rest. They called her 'The Crow' in the 80s for her cacophonic voice, but we call her The Crow because no matter how bad the storm, she perched on.

Every first rain to Nani was a sign of her freedom incoming, a heaven-sent veil. The sound of rain was a choral curtain used to conceal the cries of her household from the neighbors- the only time she didn't need to curb her caws as her husband's belt carved her wings into compliance.

But my mother always said it's Maa Kali weeping in the dark sky, for all the innocence she couldn't protect, all guiltless that wandered out of her womb and fell into the beds of blood-suckers. We bathe in her tears to accept her apology and forgive her failings. But I know, she actually means that it's 𝘩𝘦𝘳 weeping; her punishing her own self for all the times 𝘐 fell into bitter beds.

My aunt tells me it's showers of her youth—the giggles of a girl in a woman's body that only the sky remembers and resounds rhythmically—that dampen the dried desires of a married martyr. It's the debris of her deceased dreams pirouetting a choreography of reawakening on her rooftop.

My elder sister rives open in the rain as if she's surrendering to a stroke of her lover's lust. These droplets are her only darlings that ever dared to touch the unloved details of her body, and she couldn't bear to be alone so she pretends rain is a man. She dances with him in between breaths of sensibility and blushes while tasting the water on her own lips.

My younger sister says lightning looks like the stretch mark on our mother's belly and asks if thunder is just another sound of a woman in labour. And if yes, then rain must be the tears of a mother caressing her baby for the first time, and Earth, the berth where her sacred blood was spilled.

If you ask me, I think it rains as a reward for all the fires that my women endured.

They should've been scorched to soot, softly blown away with the breeze of a black world. But no one could've suspected that all their hearts shared a stubborn secret—the story of their birth—they're the daughters of Mother Earth, born from her sweltering core, fire was their first feed, their guide and their gut.

And when Mother Earth knows they have burned enough, she hollers at heaven to send ambrosic showers to soothe their souls to sleep.

I think it rains as their reward.

A reward for all the wicked wars my women have won.

When the sky is a soaked teabag by Ananya Dasghosh

Rain - the metaphor that stains

the chikankari kurta of a lover,

that wet the mehendi hands of

a bride. In the burlesque composition

of living, I am what a city licks

after a heavy downpour, crumbled

sunsets of the poets making fresh

flowers in a maidens hair or a Mother

balancing in the clothesline.

Everytime there's a monsoon the

sky is a soaked teabag of our

evaporated nostalgia.

In a million different ways the

news flash smelling of handwritten

letters from urdu desks or 15.6 inch

desktops with caffeine stale marks.

A lover's handwriting rage in collision

voice the deserted and fingers, shoulders,

elbows moist and dry, release and fly.

Rain is an aesthetic, a type of

survival that loves breaths and

movements, sighs and signs.

I am what you can say

a yellow body of a taxi taking

a therapy of the water in between

the limbs of the lover bidding

a final goodbye. The 10th letter

in the alphabet series is a July

where you come home wet in

ecstasy but, little does

meteorology know how

many decades the roof is humid

above us, yet we hold each other

like the sky holds the

soaked teabag.

The books with coloured spines

quivering its lusty pages

like my skin seduced by grief,

with pauses and hesitation.

Our children must know how

these pages can fly with wings

in the darkest sky. Their

hands mustn't roll paper bullets

like our skin smelling of funeral

in the paints of Picasso and Dalí.

Of all the bourgeois yesterday's

that slips like water on my lipstick,

a tomorrow will rise to move

an extra mile from the rains of

the curses, the blues, the silences,

the scriptures, the rosary beads,

the excavation, the pauses like

the foreplay of lovers.

The wet cigarettes empty this

daylight, how shameless of us

to be in comfort under the sun

and be a tyrant of the rains!

I'll show my daughter and son

how rains aren't prayers

but capitalist rebels of the

sun and sky.

And, we are just volunteers.

We will find where you sow rainbow seedlings by Heera Unnithan

Here we are, the 6 pm petticoat children

tearing out written papers one by one


it is not smudging, it is not the erasing of blue and black letter

it is a recreation in blotches of passion

step by step

we are firecracker and jasmine rid youth, yet following you letter by letter in wanton

our saree displaced off our shoulders

we are obsessed Meeras of a newer generation

we have been fed Rasleelas

our minds are consecrations of loves origin where you come from

step by step

past all that could be written

run out papers

and syllables

we come

we will find where you sow rainbow seedlings

where you sow clouds white and black

where you

sorcerise oceans to rise and fall in pitter-patter all night long on roofs of empty houses for

we are flowing with you to the gullies and nooks we are dirty bodies entangled in the mud with you we are lips full of dangling kisses of a lovemaking's hangover on every eave of a rain-washed city

we are the kumkum sun that leaks with hints of intimacies on your shoreline

we are the maverick madness that is possessed by our land's monsoon

When it rains in my city, I hate it by Nameera Anjum Khan

When it rains in my City

My hands crumble into loopholes of hydrangeas,

I slip into the sunlight - paralysed with joy;

I'm a bouquet of newspapers tucked inside a man's underwear.

It rains where I am.

When my city sleeps, I lie awake

Inhaling humid notebooks;

I picture myself licking a page-

The thought sends a chill

Down my spine.

What I'm trying to say is,

Mother says that every season is Godsent,

And I'm a child who complains too much,

There's a cricket chirping in my collarbone;

I pull my fingers, and push yours inside.

When it rains in my City,

I forget to carry an umbrella, like I always have;

I drown, like I always have.

I permeate through the colourful dirt on the side of the road,

I speak the boiling gutters, a jumping child and a red car splashing water over my face;

I abuse the driver, becoming the man in the underwear;

I'm an auto driver smoking weed,

Almost hitting every other vehicle-

All around me is a silhouette

I question everyday,

including the weather.

It really does rain in my City,

When I can barely swim;

Because I'm paralysed with joy.

Why are you so afraid of the rain by Ananya Aneja

Monsoon doesn't arrive in

our colonies dressed like a poet's mirage,

But like a wicked landlord.

When your wind chimes mingle and sway,

our roofs are windblown without mercy.

The monsoon in our colonies

is not about earth smelling

more lekker than the flowers,

but wet benches and untrimmed

grass in the public parks seizing

beds from the homeless.

The Monsoon in our colonies is zalim

you will not find paper boats in our puddles

because neither there are many pages left

in the notebooks of our children

and nor much paper left in the

pockets of their fathers and mothers.

but what if they tear the last pages

with scientific facts and history archives?

how dumb of you to think you can still

sail a boat levied with the weight of knowledge.

meanwhile, the orphans sit quietly

remembering they were the paperboats

themselves, left to afloat upon these puddles

galvanized in black polythenes,

maybe because the community

dustbins were full that night.

the rain has washed away the walls,

and the names of our colony's martyrs

I am afraid if the monsoon doesn't change its way,

we would have to cremate our fathers

on our gas stoves tonight.

do not refuse a cup of tea when it rains heavily,

or else the tea seller will be asked to get

off the train coaches soon,

He hasn't earned enough to

buy a raincoat for his son on his way back.

the plight of rag pickers to find

a half-eaten packet of chips

in the garbage yards but that too is — stale.

but the greatest is the plight

of street-side vendors,

The woman roasting corns

and breastfeeding her 4 months

old son over the fire, a tender marshmallow.

She is afraid it will rain again tonight

"Why are you so afraid of the rain?"

"My umbrella is broken, the only one I had."

Indian Monsoon by Akshaya Pawaskar

How the ocean held in the clouds

falls to the ground,

How something is always dying

while something is always being birthed,

clouds, puddles,

winter suns, summer moons

and monsoon skies.

Every time we meet in June,

we are strangers.

You having travelled across the peninsula

to reach my sleepy town,

you, the rain with your mirth,

the tinkling sound of your laughter,

to the endless static noise.

The earth smells different

every time it is soaked yet

I cannot forget the way

it smelled in my childhood

when you held a different charm,

when starting afresh

was simply a new year at school.

Now though the staleness

is washed away and

the brightest green shine

of renewal momentarily takes

us back in time

to the good old

muddy gumboot days,

rinsing the dusty windshields,

you clear the grime, but

only to make way for more.

Stay back till the sun comes by Sayantika Sarkar

when you have to go but you don't want to

stay back because it is raining outside

ring the bell

and ask for an umbrella, i will pretend that i don't have one

we will lie in my bed and talk

let's talk about an endless list of unimportant things:

cigarette flavours, shoe sizes, my unfinished paintings, that one time you missed five metros,

anything happy and happy only

and when words

linger in our mouths and empty into the shivering air as dots

not sounds, i can make you a cup of tea

even if it is a bad one

we can play a game where we search for blistering lights in the cowering city

just outside the window, there is us

the rain might seep into the creases of our skin, walls

we won't be lonely for a minute

stay back because it is easier to watch the rain ferment the city and

the blurred windows

that hide our scrunched-up bodies

how like rain they are not desperately sad but clinged

almost like grief, formless and wingless

without names

stay back till the sun comes

our fingers pulling time,

my heart moves,

the space breathless and stopped

for an infinite second

stay because underneath the remains of a sky

we will forget that we are dispensable

to this world.


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