I lit a candle
Flickering flame
Long shadows on her face
She stared unblinkingly
At me through the haze
Her eyes, afraid.
Her fingers rested
On the intercoastal
Of my ribcage
As we lay side by side
By the lake
She drew me close
My heartbeats
Matched the upbeat
Cicada song
Touched my face
For a little too long
We embrace
Shame shame shame
The bells tolled in my head
Hugged her
Tighter instead
Love at first sight
Heart touched in the second
No more care
What you reckon
Unravel I will
This supposed sin
I kissed her
As hard as the
Bells chimed
My head exploded
Into a thousand smiles
No longer afraid
Looked deep into
Her brown eyes
She smiled back
And I knew
We’ll be alright.

Winter Melancholy

A western disturbance
An unexpected winter rain
On my green Himalayas
Perception foggy
Winter melancholy
Pregnant grey clouds
Descended upon
My sunshine soul

A pill a day, they said
Do medicines work?
Once you are aware
They are mere placebo
Striving to manifest
A Sun
To illuminate
My miserable soul

A metronome ticks
I spiral
Pulled down
Into the dark
Unknown depths
Of a calm
Black sea
My numb soul

A floating tree trunk
I hold on to reality
I want to feel whole
If not a Sun, a Moon
To gently caress
Rock me to sleep
To feed faith into
My hopeless soul

– Darshana Mehta

Note: Cover picture taken at ARIES, Nainital during the season’s first snowfall in February 2022. The footsteps are mine.

Between Silences

Words are mere medium
She communicated in
The silences between them
The pauses, the relaxed exhaling
Eyes rolling in disagreement
But blinking to acknowledge
You from across the room

Her silence stood guard
A mighty wall
None knew
What lay on the other side
An impenetrable fortress
Stood dark against
The twilight sky.

Enamored, I stood at its gates
For a long time, they say
Time passed slowly and then
Very quickly, hoping
My stubborn perseverance prevails
The walls thickened,
With every passing minute

Starved, wanting to hear
Just any sound from yonder
All the noise
And the chaos
Stood still at the gates
And inside there was
Nothing at all

©️ Darshana Mehta


My mind is a sunny meadow
Rolling down the lush green slopes
Thoughts, the first bloom of spring
The freshly melted ice, my emotions
Picking berries from the bushes
Sweet and sour memories,
Popping on my tongue.

Crack! A lightning flash
My tree of hope now burning
Alit by the flames of desire
It rages across the bleak skies
Matching the roar of the thunder
The wind howled, sang me
A lonely lullaby to sleep.

Location: Rohini Guest House, ARIES, Nainital, India
Shot on: Samsung Galaxy M31 64 MP QuadCam

I woke up to December,
A snow storm knocks me down,
Metallic taste in my mouth,
Icy stalagmites poking my back, 
Graupel crumbling under my feet,
Frost bitten and crest fallen
I trudge on.

With the crack of dawn
The skies lit up, the bulbuls sang,
I was safe in Mother Nature’s hands,
Rolled down the lush green slopes,
It’s sunny in my mind, once again,
Sweet only tastes sweeter
After the metallic tang.

©️ Darshana Mehta


A piece of you,
A piece of me,
We exchange.
Marinated and cured,
Sometimes smoked,
On other times charred.
We’ve cooked it,
The insides blushing pink,
The seasoning,
Crackling and sizzling,
As the rotisserie,
Twists around.
Layer upon layer,
As I slice through,
I see a little bit of me,
In you.
Captivating all five senses,
A forbidden pleasure,
A piquant treasure,
I consume it,
It consumes me.

©️Darshana Mehta

Note: ‘Aamis’ means animal flesh that is eaten as food. This poetry was inspired from an Assamese movie of the same name. Although highly unconventional and almost unwatchable for some people, this movie stayed with me for days, forcing me to rethink the expressions of love.

The Winterline

ARIES, Manora Peak, Nainital, Uttarakhand, India

Lines bound, restrict, fence,
A border, an edge,
A Purnviraam, to enclose.

And yet as the clouds descended,
Blanketing the plains,
In a somber white veil,
I felt an infinite oneness,
Transcending my soul.

The red Sun merged,
With the rolling clouds,
Spreading its fiery wings,
The pale blue sky,
Lit up in wonder,
And so formed,
The winterline.

– Darshana Mehta

Note: Photo clicked by me with my Samsung M31

Note: A Purnviraam is a symbol, a straight line (।), used in the Hindi language script to denote a fullstop or the end of a sentence.

Note: Winterline or winter line is the term used to describe the false horizon that is formed at dusk and is visible from certain mountainous parts of the world. Apart from India, winterline occurs in the Swiss Alps.

Blowing Dandelions

Picking up fallen rhododendrons,
Blowing dandelions,
She pranced down the grassy slopes,
Chasing the melodies of the bulbul.
She plucked a cherry blossom,
Cupped it delicately in her hands,
Tucked it in my braids,
Hair which she had lovingly washed,
Disentangled and plaited last night.

We went down to the cliffs,
To get a better view,
She, of the sunset,
And me, of the rays,
As they glinted off her eyes,
Her beaming smile.
We lay in the cool grass,
Side by side, watching
The clouds flit by.

Twilight is my favorite time,
I had once said,
It was time to bid adieu,
Blessed were my young eyes,
Enraptured by the infinite beauties,
One last time,
And her,
Her deep brown eyes,
Now glistening with tears.

Like blowing a dandelion,
She let the wind take,
Me and my wheelchair,
Down the cliff,
I flew for a long time,
My last wish coming true,
My last thought being her,
Until everything,
Turned cold and black.

– Darshana Mehta

Note: Photos taken by me on Samsung M31 at Nainital, Uttarakhand, India

The Saree

It was a windy day in November,
There was a power cut,
I went upto the chhat,
And lay there under my,
Ma’s colorful sarees,
Billowing in the window,
With each attempt,
Trying to escape the hold,
Of the clothes’ pegs.

With every gush of wind,
The green saree,
Screamed to be let out,
And when the wind left,
The saree tempered down,
And lovingly caressed,
My face in return,
Just like Ma.

Just like Ma,
I thought,
Wanting to be let out.
She wants to flow,
Freely with the wind.
But something or, the
Other always holds,
Her down.
And when she can’t,
She’ll still come back,
And lovingly,
Take me in her arms.

©Darshana Mehta

Note: The saree is a garment consisting of a length of cotton or silk elaborately draped around the body, traditionally worn by women from South Asia.

Note: Chhat refers to the terrace or roof of the house.

Of Death

On the banks of the Holy Ganges, Rishikesh, India

Of Death
Do we contemplate
Sanctimonious souls
Do pontificate
But in death
We stand apostate

Of Death
Do we construe
Unbeknownst we are
About what’s false
And what’s true
Discern, can you?

Of Death
Do we ponder
What’s left with us
Once our soul departs
What lies yonder
Anticipated, have you?

Of Death
Murakami once said
Not antithetical of life
But nurtured by it
Will life hath meaning
If it were incessant?

Of Death
We remain oblivious
Or pretend to
Until one day, it embraces us,
In it’s cold arms

© Darshana Mehta

P.S.: Yes that’s me in the cover photo. Shot on my phone MiA1 while on a college trip to Uttarakhand in December 2017

स्त्री (strī)

One Two Three Four
Don’t ask for more

Five Six Seven Eight
Don’t go out so late

Nine Ten Eleven Twelve
Completely cover your self

Don’t talk to boys
Don’t look them in the eye
Don’t wear lipstick
Don’t wear those jeans

Seventeen Eighteen
For marriage aren’t you keen?
Nineteen Twenty
Can you make a round roti?
How many kids do you have?
You still can’t talk back
You are of no use to me
Widowed, you are set free
Of all rights and duties

You’ve found refuge in a shanty
Surrounded by others like you
Alone, yet together
Together, yet alone

Wrapped in a white sari
You stood up proud
One last time
To breathe in
The air of liberty.

©Darshana Mehta

Note: Strī means a woman in Sanskrit, Hindi and in many Indian languages

Note: I was thinking about the “Widows of Varanasi” while writing about this. To know more about them: