There is No Pause | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 02, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:48 AM, January 02, 2021


There is No Pause

Away from Agra, with its fortress of mahals, brimming with Earth's treasure, gardens and illusions

from the eye of the vulture's flight,

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past the roadside dhabas,

past the colossal statues and solitary temples, dotting the horizon resting

comfortably atop Bygone mosques,


Defiantly stands, cradled in History's arms,

The city of rallies.

Unfazed by time, while holding a universe in its palm.

A tapestry of stories is continuously woven from all corners of its body.

Growing, thriving, collecting,

souvenirs from eras gone by,

the city dons the crown of long perished Kings.


There, in the heart of hearts,

resides a market, blanketed from time's current, where memories are bought and sold,

a market of dark alleyways submerged in the past.


Hovering in the distance, dominating the skyline, watching over the tents and carts,

The Jama Mosque made from red and white, basking in its grandeur,

bedecked with the din from makeshift stalls and bargains.

Fragrances of uncertainty and vibrantly glowing kebabs,

traverse through the narrow, pot-holed roads, concocting a cacophony of tunes and stories.


In the landscape looms a bastion

guarding icons, cities and bazaars:

A fortress of royal fields, courts, thrones and stories.

In the younger parts, skyscrapers sprout and smog encroaches on the land.

The gate of heroes is only partially visible.

Straight along, at the end of the Rajpath, magnificence emanates from the palace of power,

sand coloured and a copper-dome top from the coronation.


Groves of trees with husky, jaded canopies, painted red by the advent of winter

are abodes to gods and goddesses.

They lead to the astronomy stairs where ruby-red stairs wind up to the constellations.


Here, in this Dynamic city,

Inside the overlooked Chuasath Khamba,

hidden behind arcades containing stores of rose-petals, books and sandals;

behind the tombs of saints and their boundless followers,

isolated, inside the small courtyard,

underneath the marble art,

underneath the holy writings and garlands of roses and flaming marigolds,

rests a soul,

only defeated by his being. 


Aryan Shafat is a young Bangladeshi poet. He is a second year student at UWC Atlantic College, Wales.

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