I remember wearing a Pheran
I remember wearing a Pheran,
In winter, when days felt shorter,
Frigid, and darker,
And work felt like torture.
When the administration napped
Under a thick fleece of snow.
When our houses, bereft
Of electricity, warmth and glow,
Got stuffed with a Chillai Kalan,
Kangris, pickles, icicles, and beans,
With sacks of dried fish,
Aubergine, and leafy greens.
When we sucked the breasts
Of our warm dreams,
Under the hanging rosaries
Of dried turnips, and moon gleams.
When grandfathers, sitting around
The samovars, wrapped in layers,
Narrated stories about Sheikh-ul-Alam,
The Partition, and the invaders.
(The Galway Review-Ireland)
1. Pheran is a traditional Kashmiri warm dress for a winter ,
2. Chillai Kalan is a traditional Kashmiri name for 40 days of harsh winter starting every 21st December
3. Kangri- a traditional fire pot used in Kashmir during the winter months
4. Sheikh-ul-Alam, also known as Nund Rishi & Alamdar-e-Kashmir( 1377-1438 AD), was a Kashmiri Sufi saint, mystic, poet and Islamic scholar.
5. Partition means division of British India into India and Pakistan in 1947.
These poems have been previously published in various literary journals, magazines, books and anthologies around the globe including the UK, the USA, India, Ireland and Canada.
List of Poems