Poems by Deepa Bhasthi


A River of Gold

Where colours make sounds,

Red for laughter, yellow for tears

Red for love, yellow for longing

This moment when sounds – still

Motion – suspended –

39,500 ft in the sky –

Captain something called out

‘weather permitting’

It’s morning yet, I’d want to think.

Just 8am Monday. A long day ahead.

Years, months, we haven’t kept count?

This morning, should we?


In – suspended – time, the young sun

Streaming amber through the small pane

I look out windows, what I do when

I have to think of

– mornings

– rest of the day/s.

A river below that I cannot name

Turns gold where the sun bleeds

Yellow longing and laughter into the thin waters

The gold colour, rich.

Snaking up and down and to the sides

Guggling – I can hear – with laughter,

It’s a new sun

Shooting up to where it turns into,

(or begins)

As a pond. Gold, rich,

Yellow, happy, colour-my-days gold.


This river of gold is the one

Along which I (might) sail on a boat home

To our tent of blue and green

and other hues that shall still speak

when you and I have

nothing left to say of

our myths,


our constructions.

Umbrella - Deepa Bhasti copy

 Crystal Curtains

Were those my

sins that were

being soaked down to

their dry, vast skin?

Were they those

tears that, sometime,

I had forgotten to shed?

Was it the sheer

crystal curtain of memories

In the labyrinths of my mind?

Or maybe

the footsteps before mine

which had tread

seasons before mine,

and lived, and soaked,

cried in and danced over

on days like this?


Maybe those days, in a

different space, time

age and mind

come back – try to.

Mine thoughts,

they take a dip

soaking in that pool, wet, reveling

on days like this

when it is raining.

Carousel-Deepa Bhasti


I shall stove away all those

things now

the books, the towel, the cigarette


five years, ten years, twenty from now

I will open an old chest of


and find your faded grey T-shirt,

the one you wore the day we

made drunken love in Delhi.

The one that smelt of you, smoke

and vodka and you and sweat.

The one I slept in that night and

wouldn’t give you back

I will find that grey T-shirt

and soak it with my tears

hold it to my face

breathe in the smells


that day when you left

taking me with you

discarding as dump this

empty shell.

Like an unmanned carousel


bereft against the setting sun.

meals my lover cooked - Deepa Bhasti

Meals my lover cooked me

Two rose flames upon my throat

and curry wine fish for himself. Rice

drumstick potatoes on blue white plates,

he cooked by the makeshift

Whisky bar

set up right, off the kitchen workplace

besides the jar of rice, pasta.


Two inches high against the broken glass

I bought him when we first met.

Looking like sunset through a filter against the naked

yellow electric bulb.

Straight. Drunk always straight.


My lover cooked me meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea, coffee

a drink – vodka, single malt.

He cooked me meals many

but ate my womb for lunch himself.


It was about the time

the play of light streaming through the large window

besides my bed, striking the jewel on my nose-pin

unravelled the lover in me and unbound

the tormentor in him.

Waiting for the next meal.

Or maybe just passing the minutes

of that afternoon.

​Deepa Bhasthi ​was recently introduced to someone as a hippie. In other descriptions, she has been a journalist​, translator​​ and worked in the development sector briefly. ​She is now a full time writer living and working in Bengaluru. ​Her works have appeared in several publications including Himal Southasian, Indian Quarterly, The New Indian Express, OPEN magazine, The Hindu Business Line's BLInk, The Hindu, Art India and elsewhere on the web. ​She is the editor of The Forager magazine, an online quarterly journal of food politics, available at www.theforagermagazine.com​ Through her column 'Filter Coffee', she will take you through the states that lie below the mighty Vindhyas; tell stories from that land, of those people. This column will carry features, interviews, commentary, travelogues and much more, everything infused with a healthy dose of South Indian flavour.

Be first to comment