Evenings after Office at Abulane

Some evenings after office I go alone to take strolls in the elite pavements of Abulane, Meerut. Like, I did in C.P when I was in Delhi a year ago.
A year ago, I was just the same, the throbbing pain that refuses to heal and leave, my head. It clutches me as tightly and fearfully as a new bride clings to her newly wedded husband, just at the moment she is leaving behind everything. But, what am I leaving behind?

Nothing and everything.

I sit and stare from the glass window of the café I am in. Moving cars, bikes and bodies, some dead and some moving. Caked faces with powders and lip stained with bright colours. Indeed, women are getting bold to wear such seductive colours in the broad daylight. I wonder how many men would be desirous of getting kissed by those lips.

I sipped my coffee.

My diary lays in front of me, the papers are calling out to me to write verses. Perhaps, I fail to convey that it’s an old friend and lover, who has taken over my mind like it did two years before. My words are failing me like they did before. I am forgetting verses and words are fading from my head. At times, it is difficult to remember a simple spelling. No matter how hard I try it won’t come to me, then infuriated, I’d open the dictionary and things would settle, momentarily. How can I forget the spellings like that? Years of education and personal readings have done nothing to me or its just I am failing at everything.

I took another sip from my coffee.

The nervous waiter appeared, he enquired whether I need something else? I stare into his eyes as if he is asking for my life. I wanted to reply but I could not find a pretext, I don’t know what I want. Am I not human anymore? Humans have unlimited wants, but what are my wants, I don’t know, it’s long back I stopped expecting things and when they pop out from life at times they make me anxious or at times they fail to baffle me. Because I know it’s a trap and I will not fall in the trap. I have to move and keep moving till the day I succeed. Succeed in something that I don’t know, but there must be something I must be good at.

The waiter was panicky, I think it is his first job that’s why his hands are shaking, the way I was shaking when I first delivered a speech in school on republic day. The way I was shaking when I was in college and was asked to give a class presentation, the last day waiting for metro when I left college and everything changed. Breaking from the train of my thoughts I questioned myself Do I look like Medusa with my dishevelled hair, after a busy office day? Of course not!

I broke into a smile with these thoughts and he smiled back.

I always hate to look at fancy menus. So, I asked him straight away do they serve Brownies? He approved with a nod and I was again lost in the outside world. When did he come and go, I do not remember minutes later I discovered a bowl of brownies with ice cream rolls. I despised that sight till now.

How long it has been since I had an ice cream last with a merry heart! No, I don’t have any haunting memories attached with ice creams, it’s just we don’t hang out anymore. Ice creams too dislike me like the rest of the world. In the heat of the evening ice cream melted away, untouched. As people like me die every day without poison. To fade out one doesn’t need a reason even I don’t have one for me. People say I overthink, but that’s how I understand them where their words fail and I interpret their silence.
Silence have more stories to tell that the words can convey. Just like my professor in creative writing class says, “at times fiction goes deeper than the truth.

At Abulane there comes elite people and there are malnourished children just like you see at C.P or outside the metro stations. They are the children of God, hope and future of our nation. As soon as these elite ladies step out of their cars these children surround them and her pretty babies, begging for few coins, but the men shoo away the future of the nation and go inside the five-star hotel. At that point, my phone rang up and heads turned towards me. It always happened, Slash’s guitar can’t go unnoticed especially when its ‘sweet child o’mine.’

It’s Tasmia on the other side of the phone. Tasmia is my little sister, though elder to me in many aspects. It’s not that she is dominating, she understands things when I fail, moreover, she got a special talent of swiping my stuff at one go, from the little corner which I managed to get for myself after much struggle. She dislikes my ways as Maa does. The way my papers, books and dairy rules the little table in the large room. She swipes it off at one go, no matter if I had arranged it the way I wanted. But, I love her. During the days when I was I Delhi we had frequent conversations, where she just asked me to come back. Then, the warmth of her voice was the only essence of home.

I said hello! She asked me to come home soon as it’s getting dark. I nodded staring out, getting no reply from me infuriated her. Though, she just exclaimed get something good to eat! I said I will try to and hung up.

I stare back to the fading bowl. I wish the waiter had known me he would never have served me ice-cream. I asked for the bill, I paid for the bowl of ice cream as well. I said the coffee was good he smiled may be, he will sleep with a smile like that knowing he is doing well in his life. I think he is not married yet, though it’s his age. Well, he turns back and vanished into the kitchen.
I picked up my bag and left the café on my way back I get some delicacies packed for my sweet child at home.


Verses from Bharat- Unplugged, a collaboration with Pratik Gulati

1. I gaze stars in the daylight,

Like my dreams

Saying hello from the future.

~ Asna Azhar


 Don’t you know
I have spent an entire
Lifetime waiting for you?
I drank cups after cups
To illuminate the dark corners of my heart.

~ Asna Azhar



“Khair se lambi rato ko,
Roshan kia hai mitti k chirago’ ne.”

~ Asna Azhar


“Mitthi k khurak na bulo,
Laut k Isi mein tumhe samana hai.”

~ Asna Azhar.


“To kia hua agar na hui
Koi magroor si  koi khwaish puri meri,
Mein bachpan ka zamana je khol k jee aya hu.”

~ Asna Azhar.


“Jism bh kabhi panah mangta hai thakan se,
Par yeah pait k khwahsien bahut hai.”

~ Asna Azhar


Dwelling in each other’s arms
They have found a relationship of eternity.

~Asna Azhar



“Har traf jab they kantey
Tu meri gaud mein phool k tarah khil gya.”

~Asna Azhar


“Kissey to bahut thy mayusi k,
Par mere hatho ne kabhi thamna nh Sikha.”

~ Asna Azhar


 “They have seen not the misery but the realities.

Meet them not and know not

The truth for which the earth was thrown to revolve in this universe.”

~ Asna Azhar


I fall into the stream of delusions,
To rise with concrete conclusions.

~ Asna Azhar.


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Trails to follow
And destiny to unravel,
I wander alone
to behold all that
I can, to decorate the Ceiling of my home.

Playing roles and roles
I forget what it is to be
Like a woman.
Wearing Kohls and lip colours,
Having flowers in my hair
Making a home to relax.

At dawn,
I knew not it all.
Unless when I get crushed
Into your arms
I feel like a woman,
Once again.
All adoration came back
With your touch.

© Asna Azhar

© Asna Azhar.


Edited by TAS Editorial Team

Image Credits: Abiha Mehdi


With your curls

How often I have come to

The threshold of falling out of this universe,
But the labyrinth of your
Beholds a dire charm
For life.
How often I came across the woman in streets,
Laughing and chattering,
In exile, I think of you
Like a mist of fallen dew.
That curve spread on
Your face,
With your eyes staring into oblivion.
I think and I think of you
Measure me not with my words,
You come to me as my unrhymed poetry at midnight
Settling the sorrows,
Under the moonlit sky
Holding the paradox of universe
I fall in love with you.

~ Asna Azhar


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Photo Essay Phorphoria’s Lover

The rain set early in to-night,
       The sullen wind was soon awake,
It tore the elm-tops down for spite,
       And did its worst to vex the lake:
       I listened with heart fit to break.
When glided in Porphyria; straight
       She shut the cold out and the storm,
And kneeled and made the cheerless grate
       Blaze up, and all the cottage warm;
       Which done, she rose, and from her form
Withdrew the dripping cloak and shawl,
       And laid her soiled gloves by, untied
Her hat and let the damp hair fall,
       And, last, she sat down by my side
       And called me. When no voice replied,
She put my arm about her waist,
       And made her smooth white shoulder bare,
And all her yellow hair displaced,
       And, stooping, made my cheek lie there,
       And spread, o’er all, her yellow hair,
Murmuring how she loved me — she
       Too weak, for all her heart’s endeavour,
To set its struggling passion free
       From pride, and vainer ties dissever,
       And give herself to me for ever.
But passion sometimes would prevail,
       Nor could to-night’s gay feast restrain
A sudden thought of one so pale
       For love of her, and all in vain:
       So, she was come through wind and rain.
Be sure I looked up at her eyes
       Happy and proud; at last I knew
Porphyria worshipped me; surprise
       Made my heart swell, and still it grew
       While I debated what to do.
That moment she was mine, mine, fair,
       Perfectly pure and good: I found
A thing to do, and all her hair
       In one long yellow string I wound
       Three times her little throat around,
And strangled her. No pain felt she;
       I am quite sure she felt no pain.
As a shut bud that holds a bee,
       I warily oped her lids: again
       Laughed the blue eyes without a stain.
And I untightened next the tress
       About her neck; her cheek once more
Blushed bright beneath my burning kiss:
       I propped her head up as before,
       Only, this time my shoulder bore
Her head, which droops upon it still:
       The smiling rosy little head,
So glad it has its utmost will,
       That all it scorned at once is fled,
       And I, its love, am gained instead!
Porphyria’s love: she guessed not how
       Her darling one wish would be heard.
And thus we sit together now,
       And all night long we have not stirred,
       And yet God has not said a word!
CLASS OF 2016 B.A(Hons.) English
Special Thanks to Prof. Sumitra for organising this event.
Actors – Monib Ahmed and Humera Jamal
Direction – Aamir Jamal
Narration– Mehvish Naseem and Aman Khan
Make up – Farheen Khan and Aiman Asif
Stage and design – Summaiyah Ahmed, Farhana Yunus, Uzma Javed Arjumand Ara,
Wardrobe Courtsey – Aiman
Music and Sound (DJ) – Arif and Sidharth Rawat
Photographer – Asna Azhar

Kamli – A Photo series by Sayan Acharya and Poem by Asna Azhar


Kisi darwaish k chahhat pe
Khud ko nilam kargayi kamli,
Rasta tak tak apni mohbbhat ko
Benaqaab kargyi kamli.

1. Shreeparna

Behayai k naqaib ordhkar
darwaish k talash m Nikli thi kamli,
Bikhri zulfaien badhwasi k junnoon mein
khud ko kanabadosh Kar baithi hai kamli.

2. Himani

Kiseey, fariyadein, batien
Gati hai, sunati hai kamli.
Darwish k talash mein, darwaish k khusboo

ordkar khud ko neelam karti hai KAMLI

3. Geetanjalee

Choor hokar, rastey mein bikhar kar
Khud ko phir sametleti hai kamli,
Cheekti hai, rooth thi hai,
Us darwaish k chaaht mein gali gali bhatakti hai Kamli.

4. Himani


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Photo Essay – La Belle Dame sans Merci

La Belle Dame sans Merci
O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
       Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
       And no birds sing.
O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
       So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel’s granary is full,
       And the harvest’s done.
I see a lily on thy brow,
       With anguish moist and fever-dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
       Fast withereth too.
I met a lady in the meads,
       Full beautiful—a faery’s child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
       And her eyes were wild.
I made a garland for her head,
       And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
       And made sweet moan
I set her on my pacing steed,
       And nothing else saw all day long,
For sidelong would she bend, and sing
       A faery’s song.
She found me roots of relish sweet,
       And honey wild, and manna-dew,
And sure in language strange she said—
       ‘I love thee true’.
She took me to her Elfin grot,
       And there she wept and sighed full sore,
And there I shut her wild wild eyes
       With kisses four.
And there she lullèd me asleep,
       And there I dreamed—Ah! woe betide!—
The latest dream I ever dreamt
       On the cold hill side.
I saw pale kings and princes too,
       Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried—‘La Belle Dame sans Merci
Thee hath in thrall!’
I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
       With horrid warning gapèd wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
       On the cold hill’s side.
And this is why I sojourn here,
       Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
       And no birds sing.
 Illustrations by Asna Azhar
Department of English, JMI.
Actors – Hari Kishan Chauhan
Eisha Hussain
Aditi Das Khan
Ainne Basir
Roshni Kazmi
Music- Rishab Gupta
Narration- Shahnawaz

The Unmmaried Bride

The Unmmaried Bride- A Photo series by Sayan Acharya

“Tum aye nahi jane kis wajah se

aur mein thami reh gayi jane kis wajah se,

Mehndi rachi thi bahut gehri,
sabne kaha mohbhhaat bahut hai tumhe mujhse,
par aye nahi tum jane kis wajah se…
Yeah jhumhar aur nath pehni mene jab
pehli dafa toh socha tumhe bahut pasnd ayengi
aur meri ankhon mein lagaya gaya surma
gehra-gehra k jo tum in mein kho jaogy
to meri gesu’on k khuhbsoo leyanengi
kheech k tumhe merey labo tak
magar aye nahi tum jane kis waja se…
Gajrey meri zulfon se murjha k ghir gaye
jaisey patjrad mein mayus patien khucley gayein
tum aye nhai jane kis masuam k wajah se
aur mein thami rahi gayi barish k wajah se.”
~ Asna Azhar

The Unmarried Bride is a Photo series by Sayan Acharya

Model: Aastha
Co-Photographer: Annwesha
Poem – Asna Azhar