Letters from Karachi

Please do read Sarover Zaidi’s beautiful post. For instance: “here too the frangipani nights and wicker chairs adorned long-leaf tea and conversations about London and New York” – her poetic words carry forth such soulful imagery.

Chiragh Dilli

ab toh yahaan ke mausam mujhse aisi umeedein rakhte hain
jaise hamesha se main yahin hoon Gangaji aur Jamunaji
Amrohe mein Baan nadi ke paas jo ladka rehta tha
ab woh kahan hai? Main toh wahin hoon Gangaji aur Jamunaji

[Now even the seasons here have such expectations of me
as if I have always been here, Gangaji and Jamunaji
The boy who lived by the Baan river of Amroha
Where is he now? I am there only, Gangaji and Jamunaji]

—Jaun Elia

Image 0.jpg Alleys, Amroha.

‘Yeh watan kamzori hai hamari…har saal aana padta hai—this watan is my weakness…I have to come here every year,’ says Mamma Chacha. We are standing in the courtyard of the Katkoi Imambarah in Amroha, it is the tenth day of Muharram and the morning is still, holding within itself all our mythical and real battles and exhaustions. I am thinking of Jaun Elia and Sadequain, two Amroha boys, and…

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