Delhi's Bandaged Heart - Esha Rajan, Najafgarh

Delhi’s Bandaged Heart – Esha Rajan, Najafgarh

Delhi's Bandaged Heart - Esha Rajan, Najafgarh

Poet in the city.

[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]

She is a poet and she lives in Najafgarh, so it is logical to call her a poet of Najafgarh. But the assertion holds true only up to a point. True, Esha Rajan has grown up in this zipcode far from Delhi’s city center, and she does know the gallis and gateways of Najafgarh, and she fondly talks of its winter-season mustard fields. But her true karma bhoomi, the land where she came of age, happens to be the campuses of Delhi University. Esha became more deeply acquainted with herself at Jesus and Mary College in the South Campus, where she graduated, and at the Arts Faculty in the North Campus where she majored in philosophy. This afternoon, strolling along a Najafgarh bazar alley, she recalls the college’s poetry society, the open mic sessions at Lodhi Garden, and the evening chai with poet-friend Aan — how they both would read aloud their poems, correcting and improvising lines.

Some weeks ago, Esha was sauntering along an Old Delhi lane when she spotted an elderly man jotting down things on scraps of paper. Such a solid analog-era sight set her on a particular course of thoughts, prompting her to write a poem on something called telegram! Do you know what it is? Have you ever received any? Esha hasn’t. She agrees to share the poem with us.


A _telegram_

Symphony of thoughts

Weaved with the intricacies of self

The ink that unfolds stories less told

_Forgotten_ ? A thought.

Amidst the cacophony of busy streets

Waits the red post, to be fed

Of the connections left to steep, on crumpled coffee sheets

The _ink_

Has begun to fade

Aromatized like earth, dancing in rhythm with the first rain

Grey shades of dreams like an unfolding cascade

_Old city_ of people

Of bustling streets, entwined with horns echoing music of chaos

Of boxes they live in, whispers!

Whispers desires that twinkle, the old city sleeps


Am the telegram

Breathing the grace of dust, my companion in silence

Waiting in the embrace of moments untouched, I watch


Brushes the long lost credenza

A fleeting glance that lift his brows, he sighs

Perhaps, I am a fading memory or a flame left unhealed

_I, the telegram_

Am the echo of unrevealed mysteries, imprinted emotions

Unheard in the chaos embracing the city

Unloved in my lonely solitude of dust