Javed Ahmed – I remember wearing a Pheran

Dr Javed Ahmed is a UK-based poet and physician. He writes in the language of common people, about their ordinary thoughts and about their everyday insights. He has found a medium, through poetry, to explore the Philosophy of life, Kashmir and three-pound universe the Brain.  His poems have been published in literary journals, magazines, and anthologies in the UK, the USA, India, Ireland, and Canada. Some of his published work can be found on his website https://www.poeticnoesis.com/.


I remember wearing a Pheran

I remember wearing a Pheran, 
In winter, when days felt shorter,
Frigid, and darker, 
And work felt like torture.

When the administration napped
Under a fleece of snow,
And our houses, bereft 
Of electricity, warmth and glow, 

Were stuffed with a Chillai Kalan,
Kangris, pickles, icicles, and beans,
With sacks of dried fish,
Aubergine, and leafy greens.

When we sucked the breasts
Of our warm dreams,
Under the hanging rosaries 
Of dried turnips, and moon gleams.

When grandfathers, sitting around 
The samovars, wrapped in layers,
Narrated stories about the Nund Rishi,
The Partition, and the invaders.

(2018) 

© Dr Javed Ahmed 2021


Note- 

  1.  Pheran is a traditional Kashmiri warm dress for the winter.
    2. Chillai Kalan is a traditional Kashmiri name for 40 days of harsh winter starting every 21st December
  2. Kangri- is an earthen pot woven around with wicker filled with hot embers used by Kashmiris beneath their traditional clothing Pheran to keep the chill at bay
    4, Nund Rishi, also known as Alamdar-e-Kashmir (1377-1438 AD), was a Kashmiri Sufi saint, mystic, poet and Islamic scholar.
    5. Partition means the division of British India into India and Pakistan in 1947. 
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