Khirkee Masjid, the Sultanate and you

Khirkee Masjid. The Mosque with Windows.

When Delhi air spies upon the
faithful (windows), and breath
carries prayers. Inside this closed
(open) Mosque, I find you as I once
knew you.

If every prayer uttered
be carved upon the walls,
graffiti of the bearded Maulvis,
tickle the atheist in me, paaq like
whitewashed walls.

1380, this mosque was built,
in 2000 we met. Six hundred
and twenty times, our names
uttered, and then finally I
understand this.

Our fates, like the fat minarets
lie together, in ruins and between
library books. I have held my peace
for you, without even once holding
your hand.

The courtyard gleams with
afternoon sun. Dehydrated by
history and love, we exchange
our burdens. Witnessed by a
solitary bird.

13 Comments

Filed under Cities, Photographs, Poetry and Fiction

13 Responses to Khirkee Masjid, the Sultanate and you

  1. trust you to use “atheism” and “fate” in the same breath .. poetic license extended to tat too :P ?

  2. km

    You’re having way too much fun in India, aren’t you :)

  3. Love ye for romancing delhi thus… but obviously you have more in your memories! Ah, but they still be in this city of the old which intertwines with the new, breathing life into generations which stand witness to it, maturing in our memories.

  4. Lovely.Well structured.

  5. Sudha: Theism has nothing to do with fate. If anything, I envy people with a strong belief in God/ suchlike – because for them nothing is predetermined and things can change with the benevolence of some being. Fate, on the other hand is what a tired atheist might turn to… after the many battles. :)

    km: Oh yes!

    First Rain: The advantage of loving ruins is that one never really expects life in them. So every evidence of life – be a bird, or a bat is an affirmation of something. When one loves the thriving – the risk of dilapilation is a looming threat. Not so with ruins. Maybe.

    Cheriel: Thanks :)

  6. neha…ur coment reply meaning someone can be an atheist yet believe in fate – unconvincing.
    i go with sudha and take it as poetic license:)

  7. May the good lord be with you
    Down every road you roam
    And may sunshine and happiness
    Surround you when you’re far from home
    And may you grow to be proud
    Dignified and true
    And do unto others
    As you’d have done to you
    Be courageous and be brave
    And in my heart you’ll always stay
    Forever young.

    May good fortune be with you
    May your guiding light be strong
    Build a stairway to heaven
    With a prince or a vagabond

    And may you never love in vain
    And in my heart you will remain
    Forever young.

  8. LAK

    Beautiful, Neha. Architecture in poetry, or poetry in architecture? BTW, you live in DLF, or are you just here for a while, bec I saw some commet like”kab aa rahi hai wapas?”

  9. I like the metaphors, and couldn’t but help speculating who the ‘I’ and ‘you’ in this poem might be.

    Meanwhile, speaking of Gurgaon, I found this (a pdf file) the other night as I wandered around cyber-ia feeding nostalgia.

  10. hey, where are we going :O ?

  11. hi. wonder if you’ve come across these two brilliant books on delhi-histories with soul and life

    twilight in delhi, ahmed ali, 1940

    the delhi omnibus, percival spear et al, 2002 reprint

    i am from that city. more like the cities. the 7 cities that are delhi. so way way way beyond and more than the mall-filled yuppiedom that passes for delhi at times.

  12. Ashok: Ha! Even my comment then indulges in poetic license!

    Palantiri: I am desperately trying to figure out why a Bob Dylanesque comment features for this post.

    LAK: My parents live in DLF. Was there a week back. Back to London now. :)

    anon2: Ah! Neither the “I” nor the “You” is imagined. :) But these speculations must be rather amusing no?

    Sudha: You tell no!

    Nikita: I’ve definitely indulged myself in the Delhi Omnibus, however have never managed to give the whole of Twilight In Delhi a read. Thanks so much for the note – will definitely try and source the book from somewhere.

    In a sense – I think I am from all the cities of Delhi. Even the mall filled yuppiedom is part of the history that is spun by another set of claimants. Delhi will always be disputed territory in that sense. It belongs to no one. And yet millions belong to it.

  13. Hey cool words, cool imagery and cool images. Esp ‘the squared bird’!