top of page

2020 Memoirs by Utkarsh Sharma

Updated: Jan 25, 2021

Art by Léon Bonvin

January 1, 2020

This is not my tongue.

These sticks and slashes

Are not mine, yet they tumble off my tongue

Like scandalous gossip and

Poses of reason

Like my snobbish neighbour.

My tongue curves and coughs

Its way to obscurity --

Its taste unfelt, its textures unknown

Save for legends of

Its youth in the deserts of yore.

Is it possible to borrow one’s tongue

Or have I leased mine

To sleep in homesteads in the metropolis?

I have been brought up in my neighbour’s house it seems.

April 15, 2020

My bones have grown old in your pain --

I learnt to gulp it down with concoctions from the market.

Tonight’s a new night --

With the cold prick of your sight

Let me sew my greening wounds up.

Is it too much to spare?

Or did I jump a queue to be served?

Passion is being rationed tonight --

Since the casks of my heart lie full,

Just smear a little on my flesh.

April 18, 2020

You walk in concrete meadows

And make them bloom.

You smile at showroom windows

And profits boom.

At night you wake up to dreams

And they come true.

At noon in my arms you sleep --

Life in times few.

In the streets you hid your hands

Streaked with scars.

On my chest you cried your pangs,

Old love’s memoirs.

Time has been tough to us, yes,

Owed li’l, coerced heft --

Future receding, ceaseless,

Who’re you not to love yourself?

April 26, 2020

My uncertain perch

Nesting over lost absolutes,

I mourn my balcony’s crisis

Of purpose.

It rains acid tonight

Over the neon mascara of the city,

Bleeding grimy rainbows

Into overflowing gutters.

Souls unwound and alleys unfound

Where sundry lives lost like

Tears in the rain

Dissociated away like consciences shooed.

It was an evening such as this -

When the skyline was pelted with

Frigid tears. Children had gathered

To collect the sublime then.

Electricity came and went like

Thoughts of my lover -

Antagonised by the tv’s, the console’s

And city lights’ perfect utility.

My mind ghosts into metro stations and

Web searches on Bombardier.

Working from home does afford one the

Luxuries of time.

The night rumbles as candles are lit

To remember those who fell to

Coughing - the wind is too strong

And the flame’s intent too weak.

What if I took flight?

Will I float away in this upturned dream

Or splatter on the concrete

And dissolve in this rain?

At least this balcony’s worth something -

To bang plates or shoo away spectres of death.

Mr Prufrock would be proud

Of his rich tradition.

May 18, 2020

It has been a century

Of motion

Smitten with the inertia of love.

All children grew up and died

Lonely or alone.

All our trees perished

In the draft of civilisation.

It has been a century

Of time being kind to you.

People were buried under asphalt

Like pillaged booty

And you think they can be exhumed

With the ballot.

It has been a century

Or just a night’s sleep

And yet you dream

Of loot.

It has been a century

And you haven’t long to live.

June 19, 2020

It was a debate for another time --

“Am I or am I not?”

Today, there is no conjecture,

There is scientific precision.

The fights go on with me or without,

But once do I recede, so I’ll never be.

June 29, 2020

I closed my eyes yesterday

And summer was over.

It was you I saw last.

Who is summer?

Your back glistening under the morning

Sun - not the best time of day

In these parts of the world.

Time unwinds like the ball of yarn

Under your cat’s paws.

The fan atop the table shakes its head -

Humming its displeasure as the

Bottle of water sweats.

Nothing changes since everything changed.

The clocks are broken and yet we age,

Thousands must die and a dozen must thrive,

You sob but never let out a cry.

Till when?

July 20, 2020

We were moulding leftovers from

Yesterday’s plate -

Kind enough to be spared a day

And a day’s meal and a day’s change.

Yesterday eschewed and threw us away -

The sinews, the broken bones and the sucked marrow

To be served in dustbins of the past.

The cackle from

Yesterday’s feast still lingers like

Sirens, regretful.

That was when I met you -

Still ululating and

Reading in the libraries.

Utkarsh Sharma is a postgraduate student of English at University of Hyderabad. Willing to pursue literature further and fascinated by its role in people’s movements, he can be found reading, debating and sloganeering. His writing can be found on The Hindu, The Medley and Prologue and Kitaab.


Blog: Blog2


Blog: GetSubscribers_Widget
bottom of page