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Lucknow walks with me by Shatakshi Whorra

Art by Lakshmi Ramesh

A clenched part of Lucknow walks with me,

In the strange and even stranger Galis of Delhi,

A morning full of smog hangs low, creates:

A visual of a wintery morning,

But the temperature deceives, it’s humid;

The hawa of Dilli is asphyxiating,

The mahaul of Dilli tends to balance anonymity: it’s humid;

The blind spots of surveillance becomes our adda,

And the rattling arm of the benevolent father,

Weighs our thumping feet; we’re in the 80’s,

When “the lost glory” of Ramjas heaves,

My chhatt is bouncing off the trickle of azaadi through lingo and memory,

The cold spillover of a silenced tongue like a shackled dog,

That has been beaten into silence without any marham to occasionally soothe the pain,

Words quell as much as the end of a stick and the back of a gun; it’s a blow,

The Dandelion that is plucked and isolated under the protective baobab; you’ve been infantilized all the


The distance between Dillli and Lucknow is roughly 500 kilometers,

And the speed limit is hushed tones unless you speak the language of the majority.

Broken windows, blackened faces and unfaltering voices resounding of the same name,

A call for Azaadi.

A call for Not in My Name.

A cry for Insaaniyat…


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