Delhi’s Bandaged Heart – Chaitanya Kaushik, Jangpura
Poetry in the city.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Lawyer Chaitanya Kaushik, 29, spent his childhood and the first flush of his youth in neighbouring Faridabad. “I then spent five years at a law school in Jodhpur and a year in California.” All these places are so different from each other, he observes, and each contributed to different experiences in bringing out poetry from him.
And now he has said goodbye to Faridabad and moved just a week ago to a third-floor pad in Delhi’s Jangpura.
Mr Kaushik used to think of his old town as “absolutely soulless.” His feelings have evolved. “I think one is born with an innate attachment to certain aspects of a place, be it old architecture, or music, both of which Faridabad lacks. However, I have gradually learned that there is beauty in the most common of things.”
Taking of his approach to poetry, he says, “I generally end up writing when I am abundant in emotion, and I have to let it out somehow… I must create something, and bring that emotion to life, give it a shape. There are so many unfulfilled, unresolved parts of myself that I can never understand. I live through them every day, through day and night, and yet I don’t recognize myself in whole. And I like catching myself with a surprised recognition, ‘Ah! I knew this all along’.”
Unfortunately Mr Kaushik has stopped writing poems since some time. “I no longer want to be too much of a pondering type.” He pauses for a while. “I’m patiently waiting for the desire to write again. May be Jangpura will help.”
It might. Because his bedroom window looks to a splendid Gulmohar tree.
He shares a poem with us.
I accidentally spilled beer over my poems
now they are wet.
I wish I had a long string and some clips
so I could dry them out in the sun.
And I could wear them to the market,
and tell the world,
look! they fit me better than my own clothes,
they look good on me!
These large, obtuse stains, flowing on paper,
like a basin
and a traveling bird.
They are like a large bed,
on which a kid sleeps,
and he wets it,
in his magical, surreal dreams.
But his mother still loves him,
and forgives him.
They like to get drunk in the night, my poems,
little romeos, don juans,
always hungry for some more,
sometimes lecherous, walking around,
with a stinking breath.
And they wait for me to get drunk,
so they can laugh at me when I drag myself to the bed.
They are like the night watchmen of my street,
always sleeping on the job,
infamous, dirty and vile.
But they are my poems, and I love them,
my golden piss,
flowing as a large basin,
like a traveling bird.
A poet, formerly of Faridabad and California