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 preparing his MA entrance exams and giving a helping hand to his father’s business of “supplying disposable items.” Chatting on WhatsApp video late night from his 2nd floor apartment in Gurgaon’s DLF Phase 4 in the Greater Delhi Region, he got the poem’s idea while on a fellowship programme in August last year. “We were all receiving training in pedagogy and education over online platforms.” He was inspired by the repeated structure and sessions of those days, he recalls, “especially since we were not leaving our homes at the time.”
He kindly shares this poem with The Delhi Walla.
In Continuation of Forever
Today was just like yesterday just like tomorrow just like day after just like day before just like yesterday.
Everyday now is like every other day,
sleep and time are social constructs,
the car in front of all our schools and homes hasn’t moved at all, its tires are punctured and its driver acupunctured.
We are in a time loop, meant to live and exist and exist and live.
We live. We exist.
There are no I’s in a loop, only some we’s and a lot of us.
We are in a construction loop.
So everyday, we fall apart and build ourselves up week-by-week.
We lend each other bricks and cement.
We aim for the skies and like all skyscrapers, we lay our foundations thick.
We are all hotshots,
snapshots of sunsets and clouds,
and cable wires and snails,
Touch us not, these are pandemic times,
but touch our hearts, they are used to it by now.
We are on a merry-go-round,
so we don’t fall off, ever.
Instead, every time we need to, we scream.
And we take one handkerchief, we wipe our tears, sanitize it and throw it to the horse behind us.
We’re all rough-riding down less-travelled roads in diverged woods.
We’re all walls, white walls, blank walls, brick walls, walls built of us and for us.
We are painters, caps low and brushes dripping.
We are yellow and red and orange and pink and purple,
we are canvasses to mandalas, doodles, music and ink.
At the corner of every single world,
there exists a field where there’s no right or wrong, just music.
We live there.