(Not) My Writing Desk

1/ This is Pangong Lake, somewhere between China, India and Pakistan, 2016. The Himalayas. It’s a place where I threw a corpse over that mountain. I had come here to grieve my father’s death. For a moment in time, there was little oxygen, and sub zero temperature, so I forgot I was sad. I saw the sun come up. In this photo, I’m a little dejected as I’m leaving the place.

2/ This is behind a church in Mizoram, Aizwal, in November 2017, I think. They insist on calling the place Aizawl, with an awl sound at the end, and not Aye-z-wal, which it is known as to the rest of the country. Their language is completely phonetic, and if written, is written in the roman script. They love to eat pork, some of them are Christians, some Buddhists. I sang in a church that day, went to chief minister’s house goaded and guided by a group of tenth graders, whom I met at a city wide procession that was singing and celebrating the silver Jubilee of the Church. It was a lovely day. I read my poems to an audience the day after. I met a girl who said her birthday was on the 25th of December, so she’d never had a birthday party. She was the Christmas gift to her parents.

3/ This is in Vashishth, Himachal Pradesh, 2016. On my way up to Ladakh. I was with my friend, Camille. And a young man who joined us on our way, his name was Erik. We trekked all the way up to a temple, and bathed buck naked in the hot springs. It is India, after all. The baths were gender segregated. The lady in the image scolded me for taking her photograph without permission. I apologized. Then I showed her the photo, and she was pleased, she said this is her life, this is who she is.

4/ This is in Lodi Gardens, Delhi. Evening light, sometime around winter 2018.

5/ This is also Lodi Gardens, sometime in the day, next year. I was happy here, I remember.

6/ This is the same place, dead winter Delhi. It was two degrees. I’d ended an association with someone, and then I’d left my bed, and came here to sit at 5:00 AM in the morning. This is early morning light.


Medha Singh is music editor at Queen Mob's Teahouse, and a researcher for The Raza Foundation. She functions as India Editor for The Charles River Journal, Boston. She is also part of the editorial collective at Freigeist Verlag, Berlin. Her first book of poems, Ecdysis was published by Poetrywala, Mumbai in 2017. She took her M.A. in English literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and studied at SciencesPo, Paris through an exchange program, as part of her interdisciplinary master’s degree. She has written variously on poetry, feminism and rock music. Her poems and interviews have appeared widely, in national and international journals. Her second book is forthcoming. She tweets at @medhawrites from within the eternal eye of the New Delhi summer.

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