Sanket Mhatre's Poems
The Woman Behind Kashaf
For Sanam Saeed
The skin of your evenings
Dawns on my city – my sheher
Illuminated by a thousand lights
Or is it your smile – the breaking of two skies to reveal a sunset?
Reassuring the balance between two worlds.
Your face is a symphony of stories within you
A playground of nuances
But your eyes are the most discomforting
As they go deeper and deeper still
Into the soul of your character
Everything must fade around you
The flooding of lights
The silent whirring of camera
The gradual silence before the take
To reveal what you have unravelled
As you slide into your own kirdaar
Or as they slide into you
Become one with you
As one becomes one with infinity
Sanam, do you smell of fresh ink on paper most days?
Do you smell of the drafts written for you – first and last?
How do you turn human flaws into flowers?
How does your inner struggle metamorphose into my journey?
Does life find an answer through you?
Or do you find an answer through life?
Sanam, you remind me of so many faces I chose to forget
And yet, you never hide behind any
There are no masks with you –
Pure – as you first played it.
I have seen the two of us
Fill up our cracks with afternoon sun
Or with half a pint of moon and port wine
While we kept strumming our fears in silence
through roundabout words and broken sentences
Sometimes I would come halfway and return
Sometimes you would peer long into the distance
Contemplating the end
Sharing a night of separation and sleepless agony
Pondering why weren’t our answers answered
What went wrong with the question
Dreading the ominous full stop that looms like a deathly planet
That it only takes a vertical smile
to turn it into a comma