The 7 English poems in this collection were first published on Instagram sometime in 2020. Except Uprooted from Altars, which was revised today morning, all poems are in their original form – created in a spontaneous moment, reacting to the images and the memory of their experience which they triggered.
While it is not possible to ignore the great Taj when in Agra, most of the poems are impressions and reflections on the relics haunting the Paliwal Park. Located pretty much at the center of the city, the large swathes of undulating vegetated land and lake of this urban garden now lie fragmented by roads and indifference.
The collection is an attempt at meditating upon how memory and monuments can turn into relics as the contexts of time and society metamorphose. While they’re fodder for opportunists to manipulate meanings, the timelessness of relics can also provide for an overwhelming emotional experience.
the miserable journeys there and thereafter seem to matter little
caressing the beautiful Taj in a sideways embrace as though a dear friend
and dawn bidding farewell to the soothing full moon with soft warm sun rays
bare and barren beauty
a bridge to nowhere treaded upon by no one spanning across emptiness
the nymph offers inviting pictures to quench the insatiable thirst but just ravage her loins for now
our dreams have run aground strange carcass washed ashore though threat still looms around let’s play like we used to before
uprooted from altars
whether of royalty or divinity it matters little to statues and sculptures where they lay
the meanings invested in them or their laying or uprooting are but only time bound
take note instead of tasks taken up in the charged vicinity of the symbols
those who know know tasks matter much more meanings are manipulated
fallen emblems and floating laundry
there are many peddlers who deal only in symbols erecting and protecting imagined glorious pasts while pulling apparently offensive ones down their lives however have little meaning perhaps they never wash their linen ever
what is it?!
a mausoleum – a monument to the dead; yes, there is a mosque as well and chambers for erstwhile royal guests, but no one has lived there for centuries…
what is around?
precariously hanging, over populated urban fabric and slums to the South and South East, near dead river to the north and reminders landscape of forests and parks on the east and the west.
what does this mean?
don’t know, but it’s overwhelmingly wonderful to stand gazing in silence at its astoundingly beautiful stillness.