Friday, November 5, 2010

Anjum Hasan, poet from Shillong

I discovered a poet Anjum Hasan who was born and brought up in Shillong. Her poems and books echo of nostalgia of Shillong, like this poem called Coming of Age In A Convent School. She has also written two novels called Lunatic In My Head and Neti Neti.

Coming Of Age In A Convent School

The year is 1985
and Phoebe comes to class wearing a golden wig.
A group of girls walk around school with moles
carefully drawn above their lips in blue ballpoint ink.
They're in love with Madonna.

This is the year that Sister Carmel, our English teacher,
will refuse to believe that Boy George is not a woman,
the year she will talk animatedly about Live Aid.
This year everyone loves the sex education class
but pretends not to.

Sister Monica shows us a film in the library
about an American teenager whom everybody bullies
because he's still a virgin.
The point of the film is that he's a winner nevertheless,
and can't be cowed down.

Next year Prisca will have a baby
but this year she giggles and squirms like everyone else,
and when the girl I sit with stains her overall,
I'm so utterly envious.
I long to be part of this sisterhood.

This is the year of George Michael's stubble,
the year of Stevie Wonder jokes.

This is the year I realise that there are only,
only women in the entire school building
and am astonished at the thought.

Anjum Hasan

No comments: