Green is the Colour of Memory, Poetry Collection

A new book on poetry titled, “Green is the Colour of Memory” by Huzaifa Pandit is out. Kashmir Lit is happy to share an excerpt from the foreword by Nabina Das. She mentions: “This poet is from the mountains, valleys, springs, and rivers that have seen prolonged dark nights and not the dazzle of Bollywood silver screen as one from outside Kashmir would be made to believe. In the vein of the Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o who says “language is a war zone,” Huzaifa brings to his language a similar strident urgency. At times his expressions are heightened and the metaphors bristling. Never for a moment though has the diction relapsed into sloganeering or abjectness.”

Sharing two poems from the “Green is the Colour of Memory.” Please scroll to the bottom for links to buying the book.

At the cafes of your memory

Faiz, what befell the fellow travelers of late last night?

Where did the morning breeze halt?

Where did morning alight?

-Faiz Ahmed Faiz

At an avant-garde café in uptown Pune

the reserved tables celebrate

a teenager’s birthday in cosmopolitan English.

My nearly dead phone flares up with a call from home:

My mother laments in frayed kashmiri:

I am happy you aren’t home, two boys

were shot dead today.

The waiter sprinkles stale fury over my posh coffee

and computes the rushed sum of gunned death

on pale margins of an old novel

once read by my dead father:

Not a Penny Less, Not a Penny more.

The ghost of the balloon

that blew itself up like an old bomb blast

yesterday in the market

of my cowering poems incites me:

Stab the cricket babble,

set fire to the uncaring bids of cricketers,

bend the expensive cutlery of showy fashion

and split the pleased table of long-lived puberty.

My mother is so grateful I am safe and alive.

I am her world and her afterworld.

I must not argue about Kashmir; I must

keep safe. She suspects my poems are unsafe

and wants them shipped to her without delay.

The door of our house is blocked

By the tent set up by a timeworn hartal to celebrate

the death anniversary of Republic of Tricolored-Death.

The stiff tent will be led to the mazaar tomorrow-

Brown bamboo bones packed neatly in coffin-white canvas.

The courier will then reach me.

She drops the dead phone. I rise and pay my overdue bill,

shake the birthday boy’s surprised hand,

smile politely, and wish him a long life ahead.


Autobiography [ was published in Kashmir Lit]

I could never taste

The purple fire that decayed

On the thorn less roses

That lay strangely inert to the loud sneeze

Of the maghrib azaan

Peeled off from the cold sun

Itching from the damp blanket

Of the pale clouds

Emptied of all steel colored rain.

I could never hear

Fully the lisping breeze

When it injects the garden weeds

With drowsy epilepsy

And they scream off the phantasmagoria

Bred in bedded drugged asylums

That dot the summer plagued city.

I have often tried to touch

The overgrown pine trees

And their bare brown bones

That protrude beneath bottle green flesh.

But I could never store

Their black silhouettes in my skin memory

All my poor sketches were burnt

And surreal photos confiscated

for authentic forgery.

I have rarely tried to examine

The minutiae of the navy blue sky.

When I tried yesterday evening

And the evening last cold September

And the blue snowing December

I found the sole pinkish magenta bird

Circling, wailing, hungry

Pecking at the barren ashen clouds

For that date buried by history

When the wise old crows

Cursed it a curse

The length of a crawling century.

I sit in the steaming kitchen

And listen to snippets of conversation

Between simmering oil

and the cold refrigerator

they talk about the blue thin wires

that transmit misled emotions

to the circuit of cognitive penury.

Here I am an old man

Waiting for the warm day to sink

At the rusted gates of the old cemetery

crafted in my memory.

Where to buy the book:

In Kashmir and India place your order here:

In UK place your order here: :

In US click this link: htthe tps://


Leave a Comment