Winter x Memory


Art by Aishwarya Raghu

Winter is a memory by Saumya Rai


The winter wind carries,

The scent of night jasmine,

The moth balls that I buried with my sweaters,

And freezes flower petals I find beautiful.

It makes me try Maa's old tea recipe,

And find comfort in baba's blazers.

It takes me back to deep sleep and warmth,

And I revisit dreams I smiled at when I was little.

It makes me live in these memories,

I thought I forgot forever.


A Care of One’s Own by Jerin Anne Jacob

Some folks bring in the difference, some be it.

She leaves the music on for her dog and plantlets,

A bowl of water nuts, for the regular kitchen visiting imps.

Green is the color of memory, the code-key to caring,

Comfort is always a priority, only to be bent for one in need

'How many tickets to the tree-hugging, Miss. E?'

Teens write stories with her aid, their drafts graded in geometric code

Student notes and postcards adorn her shelves. Warring care couplets,

Teaching is almost a novice’ religion - Om Mani Pae Mey Hun

Home is subtle, a sombre-like cacophonous pastel hued space

A vintage memory’s tribute to marked viridescent tints

She dreamt of hairline passes and desired her own bird-song cafe-library.

When you ask me where I’m going, nine times a day

I’m already there - breathing at ease, uniformly in stanzaic prose

My narrative thrives on winter skies, here I pen a verdant care palimpsest.



The Day I Found Out About Your Accident by Jona Ray

for AM


I was lying on the bed halved the same way,

by the same winter sun that had lain across us.


A common friend monotoned about the bus

that hit you and the minutes you lay bleeding.


I remembered that first time you went missing,

and later, my screaming, “Where were you?”


You had understood then the cobra strike of memory,

of mother dead that winter before I reached her.


I watch you today as you lie strapped,

your urine leaking out of the catheter.


When did we become so busy measuring

the hurt that we forgot the want behind it?


A memory of season by Tapas Das


When winter never disturbs anyone

It barely touches summer

During those days I began to notice

Part of myself which I never touched

Like a folded cloth falls from the pile of others

A cup of tea and a quiet afternoon

When the wind touches the tree and flutters the leaves

The memory of you comes back from the attic of trauma

I close those memories but it sits on my head

And moves to choke the life out of me

When I don’t budge it becomes my tears

And slowly receding into memory again


December is a Memory by Vanshika Randev


This cold leaves us numb, like all bitter things do.

December - as if made up entirely by Sunday nights.

And crimson cheeks and moments frozen in time.

Our words suddenly sharper, rough, more pronounced.

Leaves turning with the wind, passing over forgotten things.

Our dreams, slow cracks across a frozen lake,

As we settle down, for the temporary end of seasons.


Winter, the sudden knowledge

That the past is not permanent but a lens,

Through which we still choose to look.

December is a well of the past, and

We paint this year white with our memories.

Hibernating and remembering.


December is not seizing, but a quieter longing,

Leaving the window slightly open

to the cold, big world.

Hope, hanging on doors like wreaths.

We trace shapes onto car windows. Sit on the edge of beds.

Looking back in reverence and remembering,

Another year turning and retreating at our heels.


We sit inside, under mistletoes

laced with regret and wonder.

A hot cup of chai against cold hands,

Holding onto the feeling of something ending.

Our best, most presentable moments wrapped

Into baubles and lights, strung all across the apartment;

This home, a love letter to the seasons passed.


This winter is a lesson in self-preservation.

Looking back, an excavation of Novembers.

Wondering if every winter feels like this -

How remembering is a circle that

we cross a line through, every year.

We notice the frost on the window pane.

The memories coalesce and crystallize.


A storm howls, ravaging the quiet night.

You could feel a heart shatter.

Or hear yourself think.

You and silence and thought,

the only three living, waking things.

I stay in bed, silent, listening.



December Wound by N.Sehar

The memory of a loved one lost

last winter rises from the surface

and I tell the rest of the dead

in my dreams

how much they mean;

choosing better synonyms

for the verb, emphasising parenthesis.

I wonder how much our loss

takes the shape of a wound?

How much of this grief

is untasted cold longing and the love,

plain grief of not loving enough?


Of forlorn winters and heartbreaks by Aindrila Banerjee


Imagine it's December again, the sun is about to set

The city draped in a tangerine glow is sprawled at our feet like a mystical land

We sit quietly

Our feet dangling off the cemented terrace,

the descending evening a witness to the tenderness that's gradually moulding into these fragile skeleton cages

There is a tacit agreement between us

To not talk about the cut on my elbow

How the tissues tore apart and blood oozed out

When I fell off the bike last night

It's strange isn't it?

This almost looks like a lovers' meeting

The sky, the terrace, the cigarettes

The soft sighs leaving our mouths as we stare dreamily at the horizon

Yet we have only just met

You are yet to know about the wrinkled notebooks that I keep on my bedside table

about how my heart isn't capable of holding love anymore

That I gave most of it all to the last boy who claimed it like a sole warrior in an unprotected battle ground

Like he knew I'd never win

And the remaining oozed out with time

That this body is now a hollow shell

That drifts in and out of places

Always replaceable, whose absence never stands out


The sky is now a Monet painting, a rare combination of myriads of hues

The unusual quietness engulfing this town is a stark contrast to the warm festivities

December pays an ode to unrequited love,

the heartbroken romantics come together and mourn the demise of yet another what-if


So I break my name into syllables and hand them over to you

Slowly, cautiously

I tell you about the scar on my elbow, how I'm still afraid of falling

Off bikes, in love

And you smile

Softly, warily

A shy grin slowly taking over your features


I almost reach to trace the curve of your lips;

Almost

But I don't

Tomorrow I'll tell you about my favourite book b

And how this city in winter is warm cosy coat with pockets full of surprises

Then I'll leave

The heady wine that came with candid confessions will bring back stray memories on my home

Conversations gone awry come back in flashes as the eveving coffee brings back sobriety,

The lush festivities will wear off and the evening will finally settle in :

heavy, solid, dim


The neon lights are bright as ever now

Their steady platinum flicker takes my fuzzy mind home

The wintry night stays: a sole witness to the fading euphoria

A distant, frenzied dream.



About the poets:

  • Saumya Rai (she/her) is a second-year UG student pursuing B.A. (Hons.) Applied Psychology. Based in Lucknow, she is a poet and a writer who tries to see the best in people and things, and shares this perspective with others by writing on pretty skies, cold coffee mustaches, and warm hugs. She hopes her work makes people think and find happiness on tough days. You can find her on Instagram at @saumyaaa_12 and read more of her work at @flowerbetweenbooks

  • Jerin Anne Jacob is an educator-researcher-poet based in Mumbai who loves to squeeze in a story or poem into every conversation. She researches and writes on retold contemporary narratives with a focus on biblical literature. Follow her on Instagram @evanne_jerin or connect with her via jerinannejacob@gmail.com. You can read more of her works at bit.ly/JerinJacob_Portfolio

  • Jonaki Ray was educated as a scientist, worked as a software engineer (briefly), and is now a poet, writer, and editor in New Delhi. Her work has appeared in POETRY, Poetry Wales, The Rumpus, Indian Literature, and elsewhere. Honours for her work include Pushcart and Forward Prize nominations, as well the 2019 Iceland Writers Retreat Alumni Award and First Prize in the 2017 Oxford Brookes International Poetry Contest, ESL. Her debut poetry collection is forthcoming in 2022. You can follow her on Instagram at @jonaki_stories, and read more of her work at https://jonakiray.com.

  • Tapas Das is based in the outskirts of Mumbai. He works as an account manager for a digital space. Instagram: @88tapas_das

  • N Sehar is a poet, student, and avid reader. Based in Kolkata, India her poem is set to appear in Remington Review. You can find her on Instagram @seherism

  • Aindrila Banerjee reads to escape and writes to cope, has a penchant for book hoarding and compulsive daydreaming and is a caffeine addict. Instagram: @messed_up_community

  • Vanshika Randev is a 22 year old writer from New Delhi. She did her BSc in Psychology from the University of Bath, and is currently a Junior Editor specializing in health communication. Her work has appeared in Sunday Mornings at the River’s poetry anthology, ‘Look What the Night Dragged in,’ the Honeyfire Literary Magazine, and The Latte Press Journal. She writes prose, poems and micro-essays, documenting the everyday and often drawing on portraits of hope, remembering and moments of transition. You can find her on Instagram @letters.to.nostalgia, on Medium, or email her @vanshika.randev.27@gmail.com.'


About the artist:

Aishwarya Raghunath is a 28-year-old Academic Writer from Bangalore, India. Her work has previously appeared in a number of magazines such as Glass Mountain Magazine, the Louisville Review, Ink Sweat & Tears, Hoot Review, aaduna, and so on. She has also been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Forward Prize for poetry. You can find her on Instagram @ai.shwar.ya and @aishwarya.raghu