To a god I don’t believe in – a poem by Anjali Bhavan

To a god I don’t believe in

I look for prayers
in the crack of a peepal leaf,
in your trembling sur.

I look for blessings
in thunderstorms slithering down
with mallippu blossoms in palms.

I stare at my atheism
in a darpan filled with you;
your questions dripping on me.

I find your fragrance
when I light the deepam everyday
at my mother’s behest;

I scratch at my doubts
day and night, looking for
your respite in every kovil.


[Glossary – peepal (Hindi): oak tree; sur (Hindi): rhythm/notes; mallippu (Tamil): jasmine; darpan (Hindi/Sanskrit): mirror; deepam (Sanskrit/Tamil): lamp (usually lit for worship); kovil (Tamil): temple]

 Anjali Bhavan is a 19-year-old engineering undergrad. Her work has appeared/is forthcoming in Speaking Tree (a weekend supplement of The Times of India), Esthesia Magazine, Coldnoon International Journal, Allegro Poetry Review, Sooth Swarm Journal, The Hindu and Cafe Dissensus Everyday. She currently writes on her blog, for The Wordsmiths and for High on Films.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s