Table of Contents
  About the Poetess
  My Father's Country
  Azadi: 1989-1995
  The Yellow River
  Summer Rain
  Mother's Day USA
  Bride in Red
  My Dream
  The City of Dread
  Kashmir Today
  Sukeshi has a Dream
  Autumn Rain
  The Story of Ganesha
  Washer Woman
  The Ever New Poet
  The Yogi
  The Rishi
  My Death
  Self Spectre
  Autumn Song
  Book in pdf format

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri




I took pride in your
natural springs,
your navigable river.
Every April we went
to Mattan, offered libations
to the dead: my father's dead
my mother's.

No dead of my own then,
life was eternal.
I could sense it when we
gathered blue lotuses
to lay at a gold plated 
doorstep, bronze sun disk:
majestic, bedazzling.

Thirty years journeyed
past us, leaving behind
hoof taps on stone.
Spring and autumn skies
grew old, listening
to night ragas.
Un-chronicled silences
of a very cold moon.

Apple trees you planted
in the backyard are tired 
of bearing fruit.
They no longer blossom
in early spring; 
their leaves look pensive,
yellowed at the edges.

Whoever opens the front gate 
will close it fast in my face, 
without asking my name. 
Still, my expatriate feet drag me 
back to you.

Evening shadows stare at me 
with blind eyes. Cool breezes 
say: may be, only may be,
we knew you then.
What of that? Now you are
a stranger, an enemy.

Piles of garbage along
the hospital walls, broken bottles,
blood soaked bandages.

Black curtains on windows
tell me to go where I came 
from. Children stare with
suspicion. They have learnt
to hate; they are afraid.

Hollow eyed ghosts 
walk the streets
beneath a thin moon, muttering 
curses, adding up the dead. 
The hill looks like a camel's back.
It is haunted.

[© Lalita Pandit, August 7, 1996].



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