Tainted Margins I

Saudamini Deo

Years ago, a woman stood in front of me and read out Manto. Siyah Hashiye shouldn’t be translated as Black Borders, she said. Tainted Margins.

Another woman, years later, looked plainly at me and asked if people still slept on railway stations in my country?

About twenty days ago, standing in front of my cousin’s locked house in a modest London suburb, a white man asked me what I was doing there. Am I waiting for someone? How much longer will they take? I told him not to worry about me. Another 10 minutes, I think.

A bright Delhi afternoon in a dark classroom. 2007. A poem in English. The professor made an aadaab gesture and said that this is not that poetry.

“Your voice. Your voice. Where are you from?”, someone in Calcutta asked me.

How unbearable the window looked without the mango tree. 1996.

He held my hand and took me to see caged animals and poverty.

Midnight. Delhi.

December. A walk around Panjim at 2 am. Someone asked me if I write.

IMG_18423232058229-1Saudamini Deo was born in Jaipur and has spent most of her time living between cities. Street photography is her primary interest but sometimes she writes. She is currently studying for an MA in comparative literature.