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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
we will find where you sow rainbow seedlings
where you sow clouds white and black
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,
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
stay back till the sun comes