Poetry: Rimi Nath

Since/ Then

Missed calls
Long calls,
Fixed in a place
Dad’s long gaze,
Fairy tales
Letters in mails,
Bollywood songs
A lover longs,
Hand-made cards
Dolls as bards,
Cycling khaki postmasters
Dreaded wait for tuition-masters,
Exchange of cassettes and class notes
Long moon walks and eye that dotes,
Grandmother and round winter fires
Study and inefficient electricity wires,
House filled with pickle and warm sunlight
Friends, play and coconut shadows hiding light.

The road has widened since then/ And the self can be seen in fragments/ multiple places, multiple positions, multiple emotions/
Mobile phones/ Stifled calls/ Anywhere, anytime/ No soul talks/ No letters/ But webbed fairy world/ Intermittent love/
More accessibility/ Mass machine production/ Fast mechanism/ Fast food/ Fast life/
(No grandmother or her sun-dried pickle/ World with diminishing resources)

Paris of East

You do not have to look for the past
History strikes you
As you set your foot upon Ross Island -
Paris of East -
Once lighted up with modern amenities
The citadel of British power!

Man seems powerless
As nature invades with glory and beauty
Claiming the island as its own
The island smiles at the foolishness of man
And waits for the day
When nature will claim the world in its entirety
An earthquake, a tsunami
MAN, de-territorialised!

The peacock, rabbit, squirrel and deer
Walk in harmony with man - the transient visitors -
They do not fear harm
As hundreds of deer walk right next to me
I forsake the mortal world
I walk in dreams, in glory and wonder
I revel in my annihilation!


In an ancient city of holy water and sacred sites
Shiva sits, meditates and dances
The structures tell inscribed age old tales

A city where white birds adorn the Ganges
While many-coloured kites touch the foggy sky

An ancient city of holy water and sacred sites
Accommodates every creature in its rugged lanes –
Where cows, bulls, dogs and human beings
Collide with one another
And all kinds of vehicles – cycles, rickshaws, autos, cars and bikes
Create a scene of frenzy
Perhaps in tune with Shiva’s ‘tandav’
But in contrast to the Siberian birds or the many-coloured kites!

An ancient city of shops and ‘mahollas’
Of silk sarees, ‘paan’ and jewels
Takes one back to some ageless time
The spatial clock remains fixed in ancient celestial ‘aartis’ and holy fires
Civilization marches forward
Bringing subtle variations in Benarasi traditions
But as one glides through the city
Sweetness engulfs one’s consciousness
As it engulfs one’s tastebuds

A space of contradiction and synthesis –
Of spiritual and material pursuits
This paradox contains the flavour of Benaras –
The ancient city of holy water and sacred sites!

Biographical Note: Dr. Rimi Nath is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English of North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong, Meghalaya, India. Her research interests include Indian Writing in English, South Asian literature, Partition, Diaspora and Migration Studies. She is also engaged in creative writing and has published her poems in various journals.
Email id: riminath664@gmail.com


  1. Dr. Rimi Nath is a good poet. She can express her views nicely through simple words. She can reach the unreached through her poems. Her poem can touch the heart of a reader.

  2. Love the portryal of Benaras by placing opposites. And using Shiva myth adds extra dimension to it.


We welcome your comments related to the article and the topic being discussed. We expect the comments to be courteous, and respectful of the author and other commenters. Setu reserves the right to moderate, remove or reject comments that contain foul language, insult, hatred, personal information or indicate bad intention. The views expressed in comments reflect those of the commenter, not the official views of the Setu editorial board. प्रकाशित रचना से सम्बंधित शालीन सम्वाद का स्वागत है।