The City That Loves Her People

Mumbai speaks as many languages as she holds people, but ends up screaming in one rather unnoticed tongue that I caught myself talking in the second week of my internship. This poem is the result of this observation.

Parth Rahatekar
(Batch 2020)

this city loves her people
enough to teach them
a language she’s crafted
on her own
she speaks in apologies in
unbearably slow
fill their bags with them
and dispense them every time they
bump into each other
a little hastily
tongues wrap and unwrap
and wrap again
a thousand times a day
entirely on their own
in tight metal boxes
they lay their
heavy defiance.

to rest
tie down bundles of
till they spill
into the saline
heavy on their mother’s
and collect like brine
under their lover’s eyelids

bombay loves her people
enough to choke
under their bodies
groan unnoticed
and slip into
their veins easy enough
to call them hers
she watches the sky
melt into the sea’s
and cries celebration
of her breaking
her undoing
is her cherishing
the unwavering of her
only a mask
hiding her

Parth Rahatekar
(Batch 2020)