Cities aren't cities,
The people are the cities,
she'd say, and I didn't understand
what she meant until I realised
That Hauz Khas was our first stroll ever,
Khan Market- our best cup of coffee,
Humayun Tomb- our first stolen kiss,
Dilli Haat- our first quarrel,
The Lodhi Gardens- our biggest quarrel!
The Jama Masjid was where we'd always make up.
Now I know which market sells her favourite
bags, which gully keeps the anklets
she loves most, which discrete stall in the
by-lanes of Old Delhi is her best chaat-wallah ever,
Every nook, I know by the fragrance of her memory,
I try forget, I try erase,
But oh, I remember,
For she is my Delhi
Delhi is her, only her,
The city of first love, first dreams,
a million rights, a devastating wrong,
The city that now stings with the thorns
That make my feet bleed when I try to enter,
Even with my back turned,
The city hurls
Stones at my fragile heart and screams at me
to never return.
*I'll never return.