July 13, 2024

Poem Collections By Nilim Kumar

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Traffic Jam

As I drive out from home
I forget suddenly
where I’m headed.
But when I’m in a hurry
and stuck in traffic jams
I grow restless
and I remember

Many people tell me –
“I saw you the other day
in the traffic jam”

But who was it that saw me in the traffic jam?
I have to enter another traffic jam
to remember.

Ruby Gupta

Ruby Gupta’s underwear had not dried out
on the day the Jallianwala Bagh massacre took place.
While gathering clothes she’d hung out to dry
up on the concrete roof
she noticed
all her clothes had dried out
except her underwear.

Frightened she was
since the evil event occurred on the planet
the same day
her underwear
took time to dry.

Now and then
I think of Ruby Gupta
who lived in the extended home of a novel
Nobody knew about the world tragedy’s connection
with this tiny garment of innerwear.
And she could not let others know it either.
Ruby Gupta’s underwear did not dry out
on the days of the world’s terrible quakes,
volcanoes, tsunamis and massacres.

She was never at ease without underwear
even unwashed.
In her childhood
her mother had taught her
never to remain without underwear.

Now, she only shivers with apprehension:
is her underwear dry?
She irons her underwear
on rainy days.

To save the world
she tries her hardest.

Door of Words

The door is ajar
This is not the one
that was referred to in
“My door will remain forever open for you”

A simple door it is
A cat just walked through it

And would sip the milk
if the house-owner wasn’t alert enough

The lady chased away the cat
and shut the door

she too felt the desire
like the cat
to walk through the door
referred to in
“My door will remain forever open for you”
and to return
without the milk being sipped

The door of words

The Curve

All the beautiful curves
of this world are dangerous

Come, let us alight
at this seductive, dangerous curve
From this curve
one feels like taking entire world
into an embrace
From this curve
one feels like plunging down
to the green

Is this curve
just because it is beautiful?
Or beautiful
because it is dangerous?

All the beautiful
and dangerous curves of this world
return us to our homes

let us return home

Tell me, sweetheart,
which way is your home?


Therefore the sea could never go to sleep


The moon accompanies the stars

To have bath in its heart

The wind wants to sleep with it

The fish and the snails too

The boats and the ships

Dye its heart with vermilion

But it falls in love with

That girl who roams to pick up the snails

And does not go down to its heart

Therefore the sea could never go to sleep.


He entered inside

opening the door to my heart

without bothering to ask

He broke

my vase of Love

immediately after

Where from my friend this pest

arrived first thing in the morning

I fed him

And also

Attended to

Evening rolled in

He is in no mood

to depart

Night descended

The guest fell asleep

on my bed like a log

At midnight

He brought out a packet

from his chest

Handed over to me



He readied to depart


He would catch the midnight train

I open the packet

and saw

His shattered heart

As was

My vase of Love

Where from this guest arrived ?

Where did he depart to ?

Where did he depart to ?

Shillong, 16th April ’89

The world’s hardest rock was sleeping

Under a white pine tree. The yellow intoxication of whisky

brought me to this rock. I do not know in whose search

The cracks and crevices of the rock were filled with moonlight,

The crystal body of the rock was sparking like a nude girl.

A yellow wind was whirring in the den of the ear.

My shoes were getting pale in the moonlight. Everybody

wanted as if to be nude in the moonlight, my clothes were

restless. The rock was folding up getting twisted,

bending towards my lips.

The world’s hardest rock was

becoming soft for two seconds

under a yellow wind, moonlight and a white pine tree.

Suddenly a wild thorn pierced me

Blood spurted out of my feet and I was surprised to see

that my blood was not red, It was yellow instead.

The beautiful women

The beautiful women get down from the city bus

And walk along the footpath. The bell in the town rings for eleven times

When the women arrive. The town keeps all of its windows to see the beautiful women. They dazzle in unique warmth when in the wool market.

The beautiful women never try for poetry. They shampoo once in a week and comb hair under the sun. A poet named ‘Hemanta shes’ composes ballads for them. The vegetables like to have a lift in the hand baggage of them. The beautiful women shop inners for their men. They take tastes of phuska in the street. The beautiful women become raring to go home back before sunset. The beautiful women get on the city bus against the rush. The town then fades away in distress. The city cannot follow the beautiful women. But, if they wish, the beautiful women can hunt the city.


Rain raised its hand and stopped the bus.

And noisily struggled into the bus

No seats were vacant

Rain remained standing clutching the handle

And pressed against me

The wind, the clouds, lightening or thunder

None of these companions of rain

Was sitting on the seats

The Men who were sitting

Were totally unknown to rain

In the bumping of the bus from time to time

Raindrops and the rim-jim sound of the rain

Spattered into people’s bodies

Some stretching their necks and some

Over the shoulders of other people looked at rain

Like a restless girl

Standing clutching the handles

Slowly the floor of the bus

Became all over flown with rain water

Even then no one said anything

All were silent

That is why

Rain put an arm on my shoulder

The papers in my shirt pocket

Become wet together with my shirt

And being wet

Spread on a half-written poem of mine

Kept amidst the papers

My lips without my knowing

Sucked drops of water of rain

Just like this without my knowing

Rain went inside me.

Inside me there was a tiny little sky

Having seen the sky

Rain started raining

When being wet from rain

From inside and outside

I am

Rain asked whispering in my ear

“ I hope you were not drenched in the rain ?”

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