Delhi, As I Am

I am the city of cities.

A city of invaders, conquerors

merchants, immigrants––

they twinkle on my horizon

appearing, disappearing

as words written

on a palimpsest.


I am the city of ruins,

O’ mighty and powerful,

look carefully at my

mausoleums, cemeteries, tombs

count them all if you can

how many lie buried here

who ruled me once.


I am the city of Satya, Shanti and Nyaya––*

my streets bear these names.

but the Truth  is––

rapists roam my streets in peace

and my women seek justice

in city courts.


*Truth, Peace and Justice



From The Seduction of Delhi by Abhay K. (Bloomsbury India, 2014)