Delhi’s Bandaged Heart – Ankita Surabhi’s Heartbreak Poetry, Lajpat Nagar
Poetry in the city.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
It’s morning and Ankita Surabhi is nonchalantly looking at the monkey sitting just outside her balcony window. He, too, is intently staring back at her. Soon she must get ready for the day—she’s a lawyer.
But The Delhi Walla isn’t at her Lajpat Nagar apartment to talk law. Ms Surabhi is also a poet, you see, and publishes her poem on instagram handle ‘writerblocked’.
Slouching on her rocking chair, Ms Surabhi, who grew up in girls’ hostels in Ranchi and Patna, talks of a difficult chapter in her life. It made her realize the most important thing in the wide world “is what goes on inside one’s own mind!”
The troubled phase is still not over “but I have acknowledged it, accepted it and finally, I think, I’m able to heal myself… the fact I write poems helps even if the subject itself may be dark and traumatic.”
The lawyer-poet then pauses briefly, as if carefully arranging a string of words. “Words give beauty to things that may be unbearable to you.”
While Ms Surabhi may not write verses daily, she knows when a new poem starts knocking at her door. “Sometimes I’m unable to sleep until I write.”
She shares a particularly heartbreaking poem with me.
The hurt insomniac’s waking hours
I hope you never
Feel the agony of clinched fists at 4
I hope you never fight my memories at 3
I pray you never come apart at 2
I wish you never
Have to silence your voices at 1
I feel you burying me at 12
I feel the liquids burning me at 11
Because at 10,
I know my entire selfless merciless mind,
Is arrested by your recurrent thoughts
That demand execution
That demand drowning
That seek solace
That hope redemption
That dream of closure
That doesn’t arrive at 12
That is forgotten at 1
That is mourned at 2
That is fought at 3
That is immortalized at 4
A poet’s world