• No Rain, Junaid: A Poem by K Srilata

    June 22, 2019

    On June 22, 2017, fifteen-year-old Junaid was travelling on a Mathura-bound train. His brother, friends and he were on their way home from Eid shopping when an argument over seats turned ugly. A mob surrounded them, accused them of eating beef and attacked them. Junaid was knifed multiple times and thrown out of the train, leaving him to bleed to death on his brother's lap. 

    Image Courtesy: Neville Harson

    No rain, Junaid will fill
    this empty cup of grief thirst,
    even though this is more June rain
    than we want, 
    and elsewhere, boys like you,
    with other names,
    live and float paper boats,
    and scavenge for fish
    in unlikely, sudden street-pools, 
    food on their mind all the time.

    Read More:
    Saira’s Ramzan: In Memory of Hafiz Junaid
    “Will my son ever get justice” : Junaid’s Father

    K Srilata is a Professor of English at IIT Madras where she teaches Creative Writing and Indian Literatures in Translation. A poet and fiction writer, K. Srilata is a Professor of English at IIT Madras. Her poetry collections include The Unmistakable Presence of Absent Humans, Bookmarking the Oasis, Writing Octopus, Arriving Shortly and Seablue Child. Her novel Table for Four was long listed in 2009 for the Man Asian literary prize.She is also co-editor of Yavanika Press, an e-publishing site specializing in poetry.

    This is a poem from K Srilata's new collection of poetry, The Unmistakable Presence of Absent Humans , published in 2019 by Poetrywala: An imprint of Paperwall Media & Publishing Pvt Ltd. It first appeared in the Indian Express curation, 'Monsoon Diaries'. Republished here with permission from the publisher.

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