Tag Archives: Anukriti

ROOTS

By Anukriti Yadav

I. Belongingness is never granted,

      or even secure in its acquisition—

      life teaches you that.

      you don’t want to be a metro coach

      at the busy Rajiv Chowk station

      exploding with abundance

      you cannot process. 

      you also don’t want to be lost

      at the token counter, 

                        or right before a map.

II. This language cannot really describe, ironically

      what it feels like to be colored—

      brown, yellow, black.

      to say namaste, annyeonghaseyo, or habari 

      (and Allah forbid if you use salaam)

      to an uncomprehending, white-washed room

      to be judged for not knowing their language

      but not expect the same in return: 

              the bloody history of English.

III. Some day you will find yourself 

      in an unfamiliar place, maybe even slightly lost

      it will make you question how 

      the life you had known until now

      could be so different, and yet. 

      but moving to a place that makes you 

      question your identity is the first step—

      towards discovering, 

      or rediscovering

                              your roots.


Anukriti Yadav (she/her) is an undergraduate STEM student from Delhi NCR. She enjoys poetry, book-hoarding, all kinds of tea, Grant Snider comics, taking pictures of commonplace objects, and speed-walking while listening to hyphenated genres of rock and acoustic music. She ardently believes in mint chocolate and mental health rights and can be reached on both Instagram and Twitter. Her work is forthcoming in Ice Lolly Review and Pop The Cultural Pill.

 

NIGHT-WALKERS

By Anukriti Yadav

There is this urban way 
of taking walks at night
under stars and streetlights
anywhere between the hours
from seven to ten.
This is how it usually goes:
on clear nights when 
Sirius is particularly visible
Venus makes its timely appearance
and music replaces the sounds 
of nightly household activity
you smell the lentil tempering
feel the butterfly effect of
mortar over pestle straight
through your headphones. 
You focus on the feeling 
of night air over your face
time slipping away under 
your steadily walking feet
leaving behind the daily grind. 
You begin your days at night.
Then shower and lights out. 
Ritual or prayer to pause
for a little while and live
when you don’t have
the rest of the world
pulling at your limbs.
There are only so many
you can spare for others
after the day has finally died.


Anukriti Yadav (she/her) is an undergraduate STEM student from Delhi NCR. She enjoys poetry, book-hoarding, all kinds of tea, Grant Snider comics, taking pictures of commonplace objects, and speed-walking while listening to hyphenated genres of rock and acoustic music. She ardently believes in mint chocolate and mental health rights, and can be reached on both Instagram and Twitter. Her work is forthcoming in Ice Lolly Review and Pop The Cultural Pill.

TO CRY SOMETIMES

By Anukriti Yadav

The neighbour with their offerings

    from a tiny vegetable patch

 joyful harvest, of food and love.

Two small, four-legged visitors 

    unexpected, happily sneaking

through the narrow metal grate out front,

stealthy as time creeping up on you

    quiet as the morning that 

carries stories of grief and stasis.

Ten times that I yelled at someone

    but the one time I did not

and instead chose to belatedly listen

to their quiet hurting heart, I learned

    what I did not know because

I had already decided I did not want to. 

The child who recognized me 

    on the street before I did them

the one who decided long after I had 

forgotten the good in the world, the tender

    no-exchanges, no-returns love

that lives between the mundane

everyday, between days that I like

    to sometimes quietly cry

at my own recurring inability to see it.


Anukriti Yadav (she/her) is an undergraduate STEM student from Delhi NCR. She enjoys poetry, book-hoarding, all kinds of tea, Grant Snider comics, taking pictures of commonplace objects, and speed-walking while listening to hyphenated genres of rock and acoustic music. She ardently believes in mint chocolate and mental health rights, and can be reached on both Instagram and Twitter. Her work is forthcoming in Ice Lolly Review and Pop The Cultural Pill.

BELT OF VENUS

By Anukriti Yadav

On open rooftops by humming water tanks
in the slow burning minutes after sunset, 
you pause. Take stock of a dying day. 
By the fruit stall at the local vendor’s
you look out the open door
box of seasonal strawberries in hand. 
On the walk back home from evening classes, 
the taste of berry popsicle on your parched tongue, 
you look up at the pink sky. It is funny how 
you learned to weed out early on 
that color that was too feminine
to ever be taken seriously.  
Yet, the web-footed geckos, roseate spoonbills, 
pygmy seahorses, pink axolotls, amazon dolphins, 
sea anemones and orchid mantises—
in their knowing zen stances—
all disagree. 

And what of the periwinkles in your balcony
overlooking bountiful bougainvilleas on the busy street
the cherry blossoms awaited all year, 
the blooming magnolias in late spring? 
There is also the frown you wear looking
at finished laundry forgotten to 
be separated in the wash. The reds,
quiet naturally, bleeding into the whites. 
Baby blanket and ballet shoes cackling with delight. 
Afterwards, the color of blood just under the skin 
on your cold palms when you scrub them 
raw as raisins, trying 
in vain to smother 
a natural existence from the world.


The Belt of Venus is an atmospheric phenomenon, the pinkish glow that surrounds an observer shortly before sunrise or shortly after sunset.


Anukriti (she/her) is an undergraduate STEM student from Delhi NCR. She enjoys poetry, book-hoarding, all kinds of tea, Grant Snider comics, taking pictures of commonplace objects, and speed-walking while listening to hyphenated genres of rock and acoustic music. She ardently believes in mint chocolate and mental health rights and can be reached on both Instagram and Twitter. Her work is forthcoming in Ice Lolly Review and Pop The Cultural Pill.