2009:5 – This Land, This Place

Walking with Cristina on Burnt Oak High Street

As you crossed the road, without looking,

the cars stopped.  How could they not, as aspirations float and the wind too finds its path through trees, and between bricks, it must move, must be allowed to move, apparitions which carry gaps of breath, that space which contains you is sacred to...Read More »

Heart Place

In an issue about place, to talk about placelessness is about the most obvious thing I could have done, and the most boring.

But this is just what I am going to do, and like most things, it has an odd reason. A few years back at my Rhodes scholarship interview...Read More »


ہم پہ جو ہنستے ہیں ہم ان پہ ہنسائیں سب کو
آؤ، نکلو، ذرا آئینہ دکھائیں سب کو

آج بے خوف و خطر کیوں نہ سرِ عام ہم لوگ
سارے راز اپنی محبت کے بتائیں سب کو

دین و دنیا...Read More »

Transformation, Emancipation

On July 2nd, 2009, the Delhi High Court ruled that the law outlawing homosexual acts was discriminatory and a “violation of fundamental rights.” The ruling overturns a 148-year-old colonial law, which describes a same-sex relationship as an “unnatural offence.” The recent ruling decriminalising homosexuality in India, being touted as India’s...Read More »

The Weakling's Register - Canto 36

It had to be explained that black eye
not normal they said in a child of that age.
He repeated a fall, an accident on the stairs

coming home in the afternoon
but the neighbour heard the screams
and the mother denied everything: he’s a child a bit careless

cuts the corners...Read More »

The Weakling's Register - Canto 30

Are you happy to come on this ride he said standing at the till
with the queue of people waiting to get on the carousel
and he held him by the shoulders to stop him going off

while all around the attractions, all the sounds of the funfair.
I don’t understand...Read More »

The Weakling's Register - Canto 1

Order in dressing is needed, coherence in deceit. He repeated this
smoothing with his hands the edge of his jacket, the lapels,
the shirt untouched around the collar

too tight and yet just right for the image in the mirror.
A sweeping gesture, a touch to his hair perfectly groomed
and...Read More »

Sun-dried Cherry

Sun-dried cherry moist
deaths in gold sun-lit day
dancing warm shadows
baked in your wet clay

Before you, then I writhe
in cherry-coloured taste
paint me you in red ink
drawn blood in haste

my own, then you
sift through me like sand
twirl me, circle me, you
in the soul of...Read More »


Have you ever felt the ecstasy on achieving something that fell completely outside your personality? Has your fantasy ever taken you to a place from where there seems to be no return? Has your imagination become so vivid that you have failed to distinguish the thing imagined from reality?

I imagined...Read More »


Dear editor,

It is not easy being human. We are casts that came from moulds that are so perfectly set, that the cracks rarely emerge.

We are fired and tempered under conditions that are so quintessential that we automatically, eventually, resign to the informality of unerring raunchiness. It happens inevitably, for the...Read More »

'Because I am Not Catholic' and Other Paragraphs

The sun, I saw, setting  with its orange haze – it was past. I watched, collecting in my mind the colours that the night was to throw at me – blues, indigo tinted with orange, all kinds of blues, layered with black now – a Van Gogh night.

With these colors...Read More »