Somehow I never learnt to write in Urdu

Thoughts about my language.

Art by Emma Pham

I held the language in a fountain,

bathed the sparrows in the foam of Urdu,

a language laced with religion,

not with Raat Rani* or Sitaphal* sweetness.

Why did they bring God here?

Is he allowed in the garden of languages?

Will I know my lovers in Urdu?

Is Urdu the end of my independence?

Is Urdu

             as liberating as English?

             (why did I ask this)

Backyards burst during aurora,

 no one could make my hands write the names of God in Urdu.

 I want to write in Urdu   

the revolution 

the love   

 the recipe for kohl

                                            anything but God      

anything but the quiescent shackles that smash your heart.

Raat Rani: Night-blooming jasmine

Sitaphal: Custard apple fruit

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