Winter by the sea by Zeba Imtiaz
A faraway friend asked the other day
after a brief lull in conversation,
“It’s winter isn’t it?
Is it getting any colder?”
I told her,
winter’s not really a thing,
when you’re 2 kms away from the Arabia sea
warm, sticky nights
and the morning sun so bright.
While I silently remember,
the few winters unlike any other.
Winters straight out of a movie ,
night after night walking chilly streets
3 sweaters and hot chocolate
turning the cold sweet
and made even better by detours
in love with Christmas
we stared at balconies luminescent with stars
Now those winters have passed
I live again by the Arabia sea,
Winter used to be nothing
and now its quite something
A time of yearning and basking
in memories that wont quit burning.
December, Mumbai by Krutika Zambre
David Sassoon Library corridors
Intricately carved windows
From whence sun reaches
the time tainted floors
with its mysterious photon snowflakes
Embedded in these walls are bricks of paper
That hold lifetimes, ravenous I seek
A balm in someone's clock bounded travail
held sweet in hardcover apothecary
My company, coffee and it's bridal veil, steam
a sufficient nod to the blanket of Arabian sea breeze.
Keeping the shore land from biting winter
Of Saint Petersburg
Where Dostoevsky dreamed of life's meaning and purpose
And must have written it down somewhere...
somewhere right here
Maybe, just maybe in this hunt I'll accrue
That blistering fog annotated in this journal rendezvous
You know how the aphorism goes
If the path is clear, it ain't yours
I look at the lucid clear sky, temperate and sigh
This ain't mine.
thawed pine tree lanes; pashmina
and cashmere clad cozy
Coves; the first gush
of snow and reacquired hearth
Frost crystal monkeys that cling to breathe and beards
A distant dream in this torrid city
Of dreams and sweat and tears and corporate chores
I yearn for my Becoming
As the coast yearns for winter
Nipping every other city 'cept my own
Ghazal or A Mild winter’s tale by Brian Desouza
Returning from holidays, I find my verandah colonized by the most domesticated in the animal kingdom.
Mother Cat and her trio of infants, playing hide-and-seek – and taking shelter from winter.
I switch off the fan and pull the duvet up to my chin.
I cannot bear the chill of winter.
The street-side dweller crawls out of this lean-to by the side of the highway, Turns in again and disappears under a blanket because he can’t bear the cold of winter.
The room’s embroidered, see-through curtains flap in the cool afternoon breeze. Cannot keep out the elements, much less the chill of this year’s winter.
I take out my guitar and sing to myself my bonnie lies over
The ocean. But will it keep me warm in this horribly cold winter?
Political icicles develop as the voters gather in their thousands in shamianas to hear messages. Will it be the Big bad party’s summer or will it be its winter?
Comparing people’s characters to the weather may not make sense at all----- But here’s one I read: he’s as mild as Bombay winter.
Winters in Mumbai by Eepsita Gupta
I want to tell you a story
Of a winter morning
Us Bombay folks, we don’t really know what winter is
How cold it can really get,
What layering up means
We’ve generally looked at layers as a stole
Winter has never really held a place in this city
Maybe my dog, Fluffy,
Because as a furry little girl, it must’ve been a pleasant time for her throughout—not just when the AC was on
She must’ve really liked winters, because that’s when she’d smell love throughout,
in previously-worn T-shirts
She must’ve really liked winters, because that’s when we’d begin celebrating her birthday,
Smuggle the tiniest pieces of plum cake in her mouth
Had little jingle bells and balls tumbling around for her to chase (ok, I lie, this was through all seasons)
And have friends and family over.
And how she loved showering affection and demanding not belly, not chin, but butt rubs from every person.
She must’ve really liked winters,
And for that, we let her go in times she loved the world.
On a pleasant winter morning,
She left the distress of her 14 year old body behind,
And hopefully took with her love, bells and lots of plum cake.
We’re still in Bombay, all of us
I saw my mom take her jacket out,
My dad wore his waist coat
My sister hasn’t been out of the hoodie she’s had pools of tears absorbed in
As for me,
Today, I feel cold.
About the poets:
Brian de Souza began his journalistic career with Reader's Digest. He writes occasionally for newspapers in India and has worked with the DNA newspaper and as an automotive journalist. You can read his writing here and here.
Krutika Zambre is a 20-year-old student of physical sciences who aspires to explore layers of awe through her scientific and poetic endeavours. She writes poems that are unabashedly feminine (beyond the confines of gender) around the themes of mythology, cosmos, homing, and rebirth on www.faedess.in and on Instagram @faedess . She is the winner of Gold Poem of the Year 2021, India Film Project. Her poems have also been published in the anthology Euphoria Vol-II and in The Wire's Live Wire.
Zeba is an educator who enjoys writing and doodling. She also likes cats, coffee and clutter.
Eepsita Gupta is a traveler and creator. The mountains stir her soul and bring her humility, knowledge and compassion. She loves herself a warm cup of tea, a book and fresh air. You can find her @eepsita on Instagram and Twitter.