Hyderabad remembered in verse

The hunt for home, and
the invisible Musi began all
at once. The same night,

Kohl-ed eyes of Quli
Qutb Shah, danced towards
a particular real estate agent,

Signed. Rented. Curtained.

My mother studied here, I
whisper to the autowalla,
Mahboobia Girls School.

Repeat. Mahboobia Girls School.

Like ice cream at Mauzam Jahi,
rolling familiarity, displaced by
the tongue. Then the melt,

Inside. Banjara Hills. Hardly
for nomads. Spoon of biryani at
an ex-lover’s wedding.

Thoroughly. Chewed. Sleepy.

5 Comments

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5 Responses to Hyderabad remembered in verse

  1. Neha, I have found more than a few comments to your poems that say “nostalgic” or something to that effect. I haven’t felt so, but may be they have, since they have written so. That’s not the point anyway. My point is that at least you would not have written them in a state of nostalgia. There is something typical about nostalgia. Perhaps one looks too indulgent. One seems to take oneself too seriously. But in your case (at least the last few poems), I don’t find much of it. Moreover, there is something atypical, in fact weird about your imagination/creativity, and I mean it in the positive sense. For example – noom. Not just unusual imagination, but there is something even comical about it.

    I am not whether the poems or good or not; I like the poems, though. Just that I enjoy some weird imagination in them. (And I know that this comment is more weird.)

  2. Beautiful.

    As we say in Urdu, bahut Khuub !!

  3. All the Quli Qutub Shahs must be smiling in their graves and rolling their “kohl-ed eyes” in mock horror. Lovely verse.

    But a poem about Hyderabad without any mention of Charminar, the addictive Irani chai or the pearls. “Aisi gustakhi ? Mauhtarma” :D

  4. Wow! I wish I could write poetry like that. Sigh.
    You do associate cities with emotions rather often in your writings, don’t you?

  5. Sanket: True. My poems are rarely nostaglic. I cannot attempt to remember what I haven’t at least partially forgotten perhaps. That my poetry evokes images that may construed as nostalgic is another thing.

    I write about the state of being. In a particular instant. That particular instant may be in the distant or near past. But it isn’t necessarily a moment in nostalgia. Thanks so much for understanding that. :)

    Mohib and Primalsoup: Many thanks.

    Pattu Swami: This isn’t a guidebook to Hyderabad you know. I for one never too fancy to the TOO-sweet chai. The chai that is called Chammach Khadi chai. So called because there is so much sugar that the spoon stands in the tea! But I have a fondness and weakness for the chai at Paradise.