Bombay Winter poems

Updated: Feb 8


Photograph by Yogesh Rahamatkar

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

to neighbourhoods

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.


pine

for

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

In Mumbai.


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,

Liked winters

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.

[x]


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.