Click to view Profile
Semeen Ali
Semeen Ali

I want a black and white photograph
Of my childhood
I want a sepia tinted one
Of mine
I want those two fat pigtails reach my shoulders again
I want my mother to braid them for me.
I search in a plastic box
For such photographs
The album that holds most of them
Is deteriorating
“scan and save on your laptop”
Someone suggests
I refuse to take them out of that album
The plastic covers that are now stuck to them
The humidity has played its role well…
Shiny blue shoes
Yellow socks
Smiling at the sun
With eyes shut and baring all my teeth
I had faced the camera
My mother had clicked that photograph.
I could be myself
The camera never betrayed us.
I did not want to hide…
I give the camera again to my mother
I want to be clicked again
Her hand falters
The glasses that she wears
Fail her
She clicks a photograph
The camera has betrayed us.
Et tu?
Facing a mirror
The cell phone flashes
It is a goodbye gift
“We will meet again,
Hopefully in better times.”
Et tu?
The eucalyptus tree folds itself in my dream
The crushed leaves – buried in the palm of my hand
Dark clouds
We exchanged photographs of the evening sky
Years have passed
The house leads a desolate life
There was a laugh somewhere
Hidden behind that book
Which I gave you…
The cell phone flashes
A new name
Et tu ?


Issue 79 (May-Jun 2018)

  • Editorial
    • Editorial: GJV Prasad
  • Poetry
    • Amlanjyoti Goswami
    • Arundhathi Subramaniam
    • Bibhu Padhi
    • Brati Biswas
    • Deepa V
    • Ishmeet Kaur
    • Janaky Sreedharan
    • Jyotirmoy Sil
    • Keki Daruwalla
    • Malati Mathur
    • Manjari Thakur
    • Mrinalini Harchandrai
    • Nabina Das
    • Nitoo Das
    • Pallavi Narayan
    • Priya Sarukkai Chabria
    • Rajashree Gandhi
    • Richa Dawar
    • Rochelle Potkar
    • Sanjeev Sethi
    • Semeen Ali
    • Smeeta Bhoumik
    • Somrita Ganguly
    • Sujay Thakur
    • Sukrita Paul Kumar
    • Sumita Puri
    • Tabish Khair
    • Temsula Ao
    • Uddipana Goswami
    • Vidya Namika
    • Zaara Haroon
  • Essays
    • Gujneet Aurora: Nayantara Sahgal’s ‘Rich Like Us’
    • Sami Ahmad Khan: Annihilation of Cloning
    • Suniti Madaan: Tinkle through the Male gaze
  • Graphic Novel (Excerpt)
    • Devapriya Roy & Priya Kurian: Excerpt from ‘Indira’, a graphic novel
  • Long Fiction (Excerpt)
    • Saikat Majumdar: Excerpt from ‘The Scent of God’, a novel
  • Short Fiction
    • Krishna Shastri Devulapalli: ‘An Open Letter to Marimuthu the Istriwallah’
    • Leisangthem Gitarani Devi: ‘The wind Whispers’
    • Monoj Hazarika: ‘The Journey’
    • Pooja Elangbam: ‘Negotiation of two Worlds in a third Language’
    • Shayeari Dutta: ‘Turf’
    • Srinjoyee Dutta: ‘One for Sorrow’