Indian Review | Author Profile | Shirin Bismillah started as a hobbyist writer but is now completely devoted to it and has plans to pursue a Ph.D, later. Shirin’s works have been published, or are forthcoming in Transcendence Magazine, eFiction India, The Periphery, Earl of Plaid (Royal Purple) and brown critique.
They will interrogate about his evanescence. He knew.
(Wings are untied consciously in an embroidered,
Subdued light.) She claimed her words, “We will not meet him
Henceforth, Hakim.” A sprig of lilac broken up into
Small pieces, displays a ghastly pallor of her fingers.
The wreckage of a blood-stained border now
Stares at him. (The land confiscates my remaining desires).
Hot breaths percolated through the cracks and
Inquired, “Where do you belong?” In the backyard, a mosque
Is surrounded by whitewashed niches but no one faces to pray.
Drooping roses on the edge are stained with
Dried blood. Did ever Che thought of crossing this strip?
A voice cries out, “Sir, take your name with you and never come back”.
Door of a spare room had once fallen; leaving only ash. Seated
Before the looking glass, pensive, is a shadow
Of a mourner dissolved in history. Four yards away
From the site, he witnesses a lost atmosphere of cold
Dignity. Rest on this terra firma reminds
Him of a yesteryear’s burial pit; Naeem had said, “This winter she will
Be dead”. Bits of wood and chalk, lying in a corner, reveal
A sealed memory of children walking home in a thread
In curfewed hours. (I want to gather some dry leaves
And sprinkle on your grave). Somewhere
Near an isolated bridge, the phone rings in a public booth.
(I pick up and say, “If I return I will show you my hands first”).
Sepulchral monuments, with church-like odour,
Propelled him out of a long stillness. Habiba’s mother had
Wailed for her on these aimless roads, paved with flagstones.
Chased by his own echoes, Aashir went insane. Conversations
After dinner had carried Saarah across a bitter fear. The secret
Which he had planted under the earth, opened up a dusty path –
With no names. “Why have you come back? We are living in peace without you.”
“The vaults are under a spell”, the faqir had said and fled.
Far away, a body supporting itself on crutches held
Your mourning rituals in his vacant eyes.
(I want to hide behind a naked tree).You almost want to yell.
“The cold night had ordered me to guard those boundaries”.
For some time now, he had been hunting for reassuring love.
(The fourth child cursed me and presented a flower of ice).
The peaks have now commanded to sow a new ember;
Twelve at night, a sparrow pecks at a piece of dispassionate coal.
You wake up to find an empty glass, a lazily
Turning ceiling fan and the tuneless whistling of some
Cup-companions, in the middle of
The night. They all had been leering at you. It is 2002.
(I am interred in an ill-lit tomb. Went back to sleep)
Authors : Shirin Bismillah