A-1/177 Safdarjung Enclave.
Not quite the Taj Mahal
But still very much
A memory of love
Like all objects and things
Greater than itself.

In the palm of my hand curls
Strands from a cotton pouch
And I think of her luscious hair
Like a waterfall
Down the cliff
Of her back.

I dip my finger in
An empty Ponds jar
And I remember her skin
The colour of creamy caramel
With grooves and edges.

The frilly bible cover quivers
When her favourite lines appear like
Braille beneath my fingers:
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and
A light unto my path.

Her cotton-thin nightie
Unravels on my body
Encasing it with an emptiness because
Everything’s her really
But she’s not here.

Kavita Nandan

Listen to Kavita reading ‘Nani’ (0:57).


Kavita Nandan lives in Sydney with her partner and their six year old son. She has not written poetry for over a decade but the pandemic created this need in her. Ordinarily she writes fiction. This poem is a memory of her Indian grandmother.

© 2020