Aadrit Banerjee‘s poem: I Am Forgetting The Words My Mother Taught Me

The state 

‘bulldozed’ over

my inherited 

vocabulary: ruthlessly

lynched my words,

re-labelled my phrases

in puritan terms, 

stitched on my Urdu

tongue, your Tamil 

breasts, a vegetarian

language. I am gradually

forgetting the words

my mother taught me.

Prayagraj for Allahabad,

Ram for everything, hate

for love, one by one

the vocab gets altered,

rapidly homogenised and

a deafening silence 

overtakes Faiz’s songs. 

Memories dissolve 

in our late night kisses, 

suffocate to death under

the pages of the saffron

thesaurus. Your lips trace

the wounded words of 

resistance, of unrequited love 

on my skin – I do 

not know the exact word 

for this love-making of ours

in the no-man’s land; my 

mother has not taught me, 

even if she has, I do 

not remember now. I call 

my poetry ‘inquilab’, I call you 

my home, I call myself 

a refugee, these silences

are my words.

Aadrit, born and brought up in Kolkata, loves to dream. He writes, or at least he tries to, in his leisure hours, typing out words – staring blankly at the smartphone screen, or scribbling them on the margins of his college notebooks. Presently pursuing his undergraduate degree in English Hons. from the University of Delhi, he loves to paint, read and write poetry. Find him on Instagram @aadritbanerjee and on Twitter @AadritBanerjee.

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