GRISHMA, BARSHA | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 10, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:04 AM, June 10, 2017


The azan goes

round the city

in a rousing relay.

In the eastern sky

the grey of an old man's bottom

gives way to baby pink.

How about a conservatory

for muezzins?

Badshah Akbar had instructed

that the dawn azan

should be delivered

in Raga Ahir Bhairo –

it still is in Old Delhi,

a glorious aubade.

It's cool, it's warm, it's hot:

it's summertime.

The clock seems awry:

it's summer time

for the first time


          Everything's late.

All the frogs in Rajasthan

married off –

                        and still no rain.

The cattle all scrawny,

Krishna missing from Vrindavana.

Radha's prayer song's

a big hit –

                   and still no rain.

Down in our sultry delta,

under a leaden sky,

I toss and turn and slip

into a sleep of hopelessness.

But the waking up's

miraculous –

the monsoon's upon us –

a month late –

and desperate

to make up

for lost time,

wind and water

playing furioso –

azan soaring 

over rain clouds –

and Krishna's flute calling

Radha, Radha, Radha...


Kiaser Haq is professor of English at the University of Dhaka, writes poetry and translates

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