Kashmir under Curfew

Nusrat Bazaz

It is summer
My garden is a riot of colours
Silver dewdrops sparkle on the green carpet
And tall gladioli stand erect
Resplendent in red and yellow
Demure balsams blush pink
Heads lowered like shy brides
Yellow marigolds huddle in a corner
Glittering like the sun
Fragile spider lilies raise their crimson heads
Flanked by tender tendrils
Cheery periwinkles nod and smile
In bright shades of pink

It is summer
And we are under curfew

It is autumn
My garden is drab and desolate
Brown now dots the velvety green
The proud gladioli are crestfallen
Their bright flowers wrinkled and shriveled
The pretty balsams are pale
Their pink heads a drooping green
The marigolds too have withered
The sun gone into hiding
And the straight stalks of spider lilies
Lie forlorn on the ground
The periwinkles ready to bid adieu
Their pink smiles subdued

It is autumn
And we are under curfew

Nusrat Bazaz  teaches  in the Department of English, University of Kashmir. Her field of specialization is American Literature. She is an avid translator, and has translated many Kashmiri short stories into English. She has also co- translated Persian poems of Ghani Kashmiri , the 17th century Persian poet of Kashmir considered its literary and cultural icon. The work is published by Penguin under their Classics Series  as Captured Gazelle  : The Poems Of  Ghani Kashmiri.

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