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Delhiwale: Meet the Jangpura Extension poet

Private capital: The Delhi you never see | One evening, we meet poet Akhil Katyal at his apartment in south Delhi’s Jangpura. He takes us through Delhi in one of his poems.

delhi Updated: Jul 10, 2017 15:16 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Poet Akhil Katyal is originally from Lucknow but has been in Delhi for 14 years and has made this city his muse.
Poet Akhil Katyal is originally from Lucknow but has been in Delhi for 14 years and has made this city his muse.(Mayank Austen Soofi/ HT Photo)

One evening, we meet poet Akhil Katyal at his apartment in Jangpura Extension. An assistant professor of English and Creative Writing at Shiv Nadar University, he teaches poems by Agha Shahid Ali and Faiz Ahmed Faiz, among others.

Mr Katyal is originally from Lucknow but has been in Delhi for 14 years and has made this city his muse.

One of his poems emerged out of his regular commute towards South Delhi’s Chhatarpur, familiar to most of us Delhiwallas as the place where the capital’s one-percenters live in the secluded luxury of their sprawling farmhouses.

HE WAS AS ARROGANT AS A CHATARPUR FARMHOUSE

He was as arrogant as a Chhatarpur farmhouse

but in the end, I figured he was just cluttered, like Adhchini.

Which I liked.

Our beginnings were rocky, we held hands, infrequently, and uneasily, like Def Col and Kotla,

but then, in some years, often and more breezily,like Jangpura & JangpuraExtension.

All those years,of romance and apprehension,he’d held me in his Najafgarh arms

and kissed me like Shalimar Bagh.

Not that we didn’t fight like Rajouri, crossing each other’s Civil Lines,

not that he wasn’t at times distant like Greater Noida, or quiet like Asola,

but always, when the worst had passed, we returned at last, to where we’d been,

somewhere near Dilshad Garden, by the blessings of Nizamuddin.