Delhi’s Bandaged Heart – On January 1, a Poem on Departure and New Beginnings, Gurgaon
Poetry in the city.
[By Mayank Austen Soofi]
On a cold evening, with Christmassy lights hanging from buildings, Florian Morin is standing by a footbridge in Gurgaon in the Greater Delhi Region.
“I like walking around,” he says. “In 2020, because of the pandemic, I learnt to explore places when they are less crowded — in the night and early mornings.”
In his early 30s, Mr Morin, a writer, has been living in the Delhi region — “on and off” — for six years. For New Year’s Day, he agrees to share with The Delhi Walla an untitled poem he wrote some time ago.
“It’s not related to the pandemic,” he insists shyly. “The ‘you’ of the poem is actually a younger me. It’s about departure and new beginnings.”
You had to leave and so you left
(You’ve heard of others who did this before)
Enough of the kid waiting on the shore
Enough of the words already said
Enough of the walls and of the locks and of the doors
When you shivered in the house and you shivered in the bed.
You hope to see the world on your way to nowhere
(What else if not a fraud could you soul have become?)
There’s a pledge on the road, a secret in the shed
A flock of graceless birds you think you met back home
And you carry these words people say and forget
“Farewell” and “Lullaby”, “Love” or “Melancholy”
“What somehow was lost somehow will be regained”
– They would say anything you see
Like if no kid at all had been left on the shore
Like if fights ended war
Like if you could be rich when you know there is poor.
Yet you swallow their words, whether kind or unkind
As they push you away – when they really hate that you go
But sure you’ve been told black from white
Robin from crow
And if kid is waiting, well
Kid is in a row
For they could be many on the shelves of your mind
Just hoping to be found or named or filled inside
When blank, at times, feels like sorrow.
Take a chance, depart, beam as you go!
For there could be – who knows?
Some far-off songs of whistling trains
The smell of earth drenched by the rains
A nameless shrine no one adores
Or some hands to hold yours
They have all sorts of lights in the countryside
They say: love of another kind
And you’ve read about it, and you know there is more
Than phantom kids lost on the shore
You leave because you cannot stay
But on the way
Maybe you’ll find something true
The violet cities you were looking for.