Anarkali Prayer

A poem by Rida Akhtar Ghumman.

Above a neglectful cobblers shop

Rests the mandir

Behind very closed doors.

We knocked, and knocked,

Me and two ex-friends: today when I recount.

It’s two ex-ed people and an ex-mandir

For ever mandir, mosque, mazaar

Deserves visitors, from everywhere, admirers from abroad

Like every heart should have,

People, lovers, friends and all.

Razia Sultana’s father rests nearby,


To view his mazaar from the mandir

One has to climb.

All the way up, fearful stairs, dust, debris

Of eons old charms

And puja fragments

These two friends too, live in my heart today

And tomorrow, like an ages old spark.

Unvisited monuments of the heart

Unvisited monuments of Anarkali

Rida Akhtar Ghumman, based in Pakistan, is a student of English Literature working in creative corporate marketing. She can be reached on Twitter and Instagram at @RidaAkhtar_

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