Tuesday, October 21, 2014

STIFLED by under currents

A long day at work
finds me a bowl of sevaiyaan
waiting at home with a friend
sharing her warmth of Ramadaan

We exchange smiles and small conversations
in the backdrop of a TV closing up
on spuming swears, stones,
ejaculating blood
             -         of a deeper red
my friend wears a kameez,
 enveloping her skintone and hopes

The golden zari
delicate like the strands of noodles
sugared and soaked in the bowl of milk,
shimmer a tranquility of the evening light
that would soon paint itself
in my diyas for Diwali

I sashay between this moment and
the ones gone by…

                …The cab driver feels his Taqiyah,
answering a call for his well - being
and the curfew

…those roads to Imambara
cloaked with elusive rumours
and hasty tracks

…the forgotten routes
and bangles of Charminar

An existence
on this road feigning normalcy

I empty furrowed brows
into the Muezzin’s call,
into the sacred conch,
into the cupped vacuum of the crescent moon
invoking smiles, conversations
and a hollow resilience

Under currents of religious factionalism never die. Do they?

diya: lamps we light for diwali
Sevaiyaan: Indian noodles roasted, and cooked in milk and sugar
Imambara: A shrine in the city of Lucknow, India built by Shia muslims.
Charminar: one of the oldest minarets in the city of Hyderabad, India.
kameez: Indian wear for women
Taqiyah: Prayer cap worn by Muslims.
zari: threadwork

For dverse Poetics where Mary tends the bar. This was an old piece and thanks to Abhra's twitter feed i got time to polish this. A bit more is required, well, revision is an on-going process. :)


  1. I really enjoyed the culture shared in this poem. I love Indian food, and I think that Sevaiyaan sounds delicious. Smiles. I like the idea of sashaying between this moment and the moments gone by. I do think we do this sometime -- living mostly in today but having a foot in yesterday as well.

  2. A most beautiful poem that invites re-reading.

  3. How important it is to learn from different cultures.. so much more is the same than what is different (and most of what is different we love)

  4. a beautiful bonding among's always an enriching experience...

  5. factionalism in general it seems will never die...the more we call for unity the further it seems we try to push each other apart and separate ourselves out...religeon is one of the big separaters....and i think much comes from a lack of understanding...

  6. It is indeed momentous to share our different cultures lest we might think ours is far superior, although we are entitled to prefer it of course. It seems it has become harder to accept differences so I was glad to read your poem this morning.

  7. I love the way you stop and touch upon the beautiful intimate moments of life - very nice.

  8. Groovy form. Love- "into the cupped vacuum of the crescent moon"

  9. A beautifully worded poem that is enlightening as well.

  10. I love the last stanza of praying after the Muezzin’s call.

  11. Interesting to know the meaning of the words ~ I enjoyed the snapshot of your life and those around you Akila ~ Thanks for sharing ~

  12. I, too, really enjoy the cultural sharing in this poem. Wonderful, Akila.

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