Delhiwale: A poet of Najafgarh
Esha Rajan is a poet and she lives in Najafgarh, so it is logical to call her a 'poet of Najafgarh.'
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 locality 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.
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
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