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tS Cityscapes [Delhi]: it comes and goes

tS Cityscapes is back with poetry and photography that seeks to  vivify cities and give both outsiders and insiders unique perspectives on what defines life and living in them.

it comes and goes
Photo h/t: Abel Thayil ( Abel Thayil is a physics graduate from Delhi University, on the lookout for good music, poetry and ideas.)

a square sky matted in orange
would cast its net every night
on our halls and corridors
the land locked eyes, the rain
- that passed quickly.
and we craned our broad
happy necks and lay
on wet grass, itching,
because that’s how one must
arrogate we had heard
delhi’s vast, lunatic
vijaynagar was barely a shape

now when we have moved out
or hung close - it matters little -
to the sign boards and the poles
that slant carelessly away from the sun
we have learnt to name its parts:
“single storey” “double storey”
we pronounce carefully
in reverential tones;
we have learnt to tell the back-lanes
of hudson from its crowded shop fronts
and which turn will take us past
the fly-over, to model town.
now, vijaynagar beckons
with its luminous reds, its
green and yellow pools of light.
secrets have swelled now, the langour spreads
we build our claims painlessly, brick by brick
unseasonal then, your return after all these years
to lean into the brief winter afternoon
watching the light depart from once familiar streets
with your steady warm gaze
unseasonal the blank noise the bird cries
filling my ears, this garden variety
oblivion. and as i watch the very
color of the trees buckle
under your pressure, as you half
turn towards me and part your lips
there is this we must remember
these crowded tenements these
liquid colours that unmoving chain of traffic
that lives, that grows, that watches
and turns away, all too knowingly.

(thanks to arctic monkeys and father john misty)

- Poetry: Sthira Bhattacharya | Photography: Abel Thayil  

PS: If you’re a photographer or a poet keen to document your city in images or words, please drop us a line at:!

Sthira Bhattacharya

Sthira Bhattacharya recently completed her postgraduate studies in English Literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University. She lives in Delhi, testing the Mphil waters and puzzling out the promises of political transformation that the everyday holds out - single-mindedly unsure of how poetry fits into all this.