Delhi's Bandaged Heart - Shahana Khatoon's Poem 'Almonds', Shaheen Bagh

Delhi’s Bandaged Heart – Shahana Khatoon’s Poem ‘Almonds’, Shaheen Bagh

Poetry in the city. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] The evening sun is setting behind the Metro station. The adjacent drain, clogged with plastic bags, has turned ethereal in the twilight gold. In her early 20s, Shahana Khatoon is unhurriedly walking…

Delhi's Bandaged Heart - Kandala Singh's Poem Birdwatching, Munirka Enclave

Delhi’s Bandaged Heart – Kandala Singh’s Poem Birdwatching, Munirka Enclave

Poetry in the city. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] Kandala. Such an uncommon name. “It means ‘golden’ and suggest someone who has the properties of gold, such as beautiful, precious, rare,” says Kandala Singh. The word is from Punjabi, her mother…

Delhi's Bandaged Heart - Aryak Ray's Song on Lockdown, Palam Vihar

Delhi’s Bandaged Heart – Aryak Ray’s Song on Lockdown, Palam Vihar

Poetry in the city. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] He’s a writer—Aryak Ray works for an ad agency. He plays the guitar. He also sings. And it’s the first time he professionally released a song he wrote and rendered— on YouTube…

Delhi's Bandaged Heart - Isha Ahuja's Poem on Post-Recovery, Janak Puri

Delhi’s Bandaged Heart – Isha Ahuja’s Poem on Post-Recovery, Janak Puri

Poetry in the city. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] Her life is returning to some sort of normalcy, but the recent days were a nightmare. In April her “Nanaji” was lying terminally ill with cancer. The whole extended family was attending…

Delhi's Bandaged Heart - Siddharth Sethi's Poem in Lockdown, Kailash Colony

Delhi’s Bandaged Heart – Siddharth Sethi’s Poem in Lockdown, Kailash Colony

Poetry in the city. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] While Delhi passes through one of its most tragic times in living history, it has citizens distilling their experiences into art. Isolated within home in Kailash Colony, actor Siddharth Sethi, 20, is…

Delhi's Bandaged Heart - Raj Tekwani's Poem to 'Forever', DLF Phase 4

Delhi’s Bandaged Heart – Raj Tekwani’s Poem to ‘Forever’, DLF Phase 4

Poetry in the city. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] As we reach the first anniversary of the coronavirus-triggered lockdown, here’s a poem about our housebound days, then threatening to go on forever. In his early 20s, poet Raj Tekwani is both…

Delhi's Bandaged Heart - A Poem Written During the Metro Commute, Vikaspuri

Delhi’s Bandaged Heart – A Poem Written During the Metro Commute, Vikaspuri

Poetry in the city. [By Mayank Austen Soofi] She is an engineer in a Noida-based multinational, but has been working from her home in Vikaspuri since March last year, because of you-know-what. But Jyoti Vij Ahuja is also a writer,…

Delhi's Bandaged Heart - Ghalib's Coronavirus, Ghalib Academy

Delhi’s Bandaged Heart – Ghalib’s Coronavirus, Ghalib Academy

Poetry in the city. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] What if Mirza Ghalib were alive today? How would Delhi’s great shayar (poet) have coped with the pandemic, and the consequent khud alhaidgi (self-isolation in Urdu!)? What ghazals and…

Delhi's Bandaged Heart - On January 1, a Poem on Departure and New Beginnings, Gurgaon

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,…

Delhi's Bandaged Heart - Ode to High-Rises, Gurgaon

Delhi’s Bandaged Heart – Ode to High-Rises, Gurgaon

Poetry in the city. [Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi] The first time he saw a host of buildings that “almost touched the sky” was when he was just 18. He had gone to Calcutta from home in Dhanbad,…