Tughlaqabad Fort, 2009
I bend my face to the earth
So I can nibble at the memories, paths hold
Of my ancestors who once cantered along, and
Where I now meander in silence.
I’ve all day to myself,
To do as I please among the ruins,
Ranging along paths, to
Secure memories on their margins, marginal or otherwise.
Every once in a while
The fort walls let up on some secrets from a long time ago,
Just enough so I’ll continue rambling among them, for
They’ve stood here a long time, alone, and bereft of the purpose,
A famous king once invested in them.
They continue to seek relevance
In the grand scheme of things their creator once sought,
Before abandoning them to the fate
The curse of an enraged Sufi, precipitated.
‘Ya rahe ujar, Ya basey Gujjar’
(It will either remain deserted or be inhabited by Gujjars*)
I’m all they have now,
The keeper of their memories,
* Gujjars are a pastoral community.