• Marías at Sampaguitas

Poetry by Anannya Uberoi

I. a winter in delhi


the cold comes in waves like 

the pleats of nani’s gold-bordered kancheepuram saree 

gently bracing the grass as she moves in the garden 

clearing up crumbled leaves and paper daisies to 

make room for bushes of hollyhocks that, on the

first blossom, make her eyes flash up like little 

holes of light.

the first gush of november wind

blows westward from beena’s house wall-to-wall through 

fiberglass-fixed windows into the cool grill that makes our 

fingers quiver as we shut the heavy, mildewy curtains on 

pa’s command while he is sunk on the couch, fixing the 

old space heater as it flusters us with its sparks.

early november, the quilts are out.

december through january, 

ma struggles with bundles of heavy blankets from the bed-box,

and we are huddled in a corner with hot milk and tea bags, 

giggling, for we are fattened just as them. the house’s 

berries and nuts are out of diwali boxes, churned

and churned into nani’s panjeeri and perfected

in her gajar ka halwa.

winter afternoons, 

numbed in a flaxen bath of sunlight in the front porch, where

nani and kamala aunty, lost in scholarly thought, stemming

peas and paalak under two makeshift chairs that have

been artfully crafted from old crosspieces of lightweight

mango-wood and coir, somewhere in punjab.

delhi has its own version of permafrost in the sky, 

but its people have privated away a quiet summer tucked in

their dens – in trunkets of hand-knit clothes and punnets

of chikoos and custard apples. at a distance, the pallid

harrier flies away; the sparrow stays.




Anannya Uberoi is a full-time software engineer and part-time tea connoisseur based in Madrid. Uberoi's poems and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Jaggery, LandLocked, Deep Wild, Tipton Poetry Journal, Lapiz Lazuli, and eFiction India. Uberoi's writing has also featured on The Delhi Walla and The Dewdrop, among other literary blogs.

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