Author Archives: Taimur Khan



“The years teach much that the days never know.”—Emerson | Photo by Taimur Khan

Oil Lamps

Raag Shankara – Taimur Khan

Raag Shankara – Taimur Khan

“Wedding” by Alice Oswald

This Alice Oswald poem is one of my increasingly favorite sonnets. In the three-minute video, Sir Andrew Motion touchingly interprets it as: “rush and change of the poem is its own point. It makes us think, first and foremost, about transformations, about the changes that love creates, and the changes that art creates, as it […]

Sparrow  - Rajasthan, 19th Century

sarangi turned nine: Aftab’s Late Winter Collection‘s ninth birthday was on 28 January 2014. It has been observed that when parents are busy with their work or the kids are in the middle of their exams, birthdays are often postponed to a more convenient day, like a weekend or two later. Nothing of that sort was the case here since Aftab […]

Ghaffar Khan

Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan

Freud’s views on Homosexuality

Homosexuality was removed as a mental illness from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatry in May 1974. A woman wrote to Freud, that since you work on the mind and stuff, my son has the problem. Just look at the letter (that he wrote in English) and look at his style. That is why […]

A Red Finch

Once when I was in the Agha Khan University hostel, napping in the afternoon, I woke up at sundown, went out of the room, came back and saw a red finch perching on my red towel on the small clothesline we had. It was staring at me and I slowly went to it and grabbed […]

Love has a life of its own.

Last night, I dreamed that I was walking with my brother, who is just older than me, through a bazaar where there were fruitsellers, iron smiths, grocers, and other people. I didn’t even know what he wanted to get, but we walked so long past the populace that we ended up in a wilderness, and […]



Siroun: I’m summoned to this woodland on your journey Round moon’s seven stays, O mutable embodiment, Digressive claims assembled as cascading teleology! I witness horns immersed in voices, and demonic eyes That scatter rainbows in a camel’s head – are you a friend Who spins a veil of value round an ancient tree, where I, […]


Ancestral Tombs

No spite, unease, no muted grief or plea; just skill to swim this atemporal sea… To what song shall I now my mind prepare and which undoing of this eve repair? We cannot leave the unknown to streams of leavened lust; the ebb and flood of silt and smoke retains the quiver of each breathing […]

Lines On A Spotted Dove

The mud that makes a man molds women into birds, although we know avians come from dinosaurs and humans from a heavenly jubilation of glad apples. The spotted dove between the flowerbed and a melody line bobs on the grass and scans in peace for pearl millet. Its ruby heels don’t bruise a single blade […]

A Little Girl

A little girl sleeps with magnolias by her side and the longest lasting pink carnations in her hair. There are clouds in the window and a sunny tune in her mind and a dream suffused with the sweet and spice of blossoming, and a yellow ladybird is crawling on the sill, spanning silence with silence. […]


In a room laden with dust and books sleeping in cartons, under a roof baking in the sun, a pair of hands hems in the halos of time with a list of chores and a letter… A beaming face, a lovely you ordering the day in minutiae, pruning it like a bonsai elm red with […]

Prairie Verbena

You little purple ones who smell of nothing and speak in specks of radiance over meadows and the briefest patch of grass your pretty names invoke the mostly girly and grandmotherly admiration – you have the charm of youth unraveled in the passing years – yours is the truest virtue of pleasing without knowing – […]


Roofs remain cool under leaves of watered vines green with budding grapes – fruits of sultry solstice dewed with sudden drops of cumulus rains and swept with winds let loose ineffably across my face and yours, flustering sleepy birds in the distant bamboos only to confide that they will live to sing the break of […]

We have touched the precarious petals…

We have touched the precarious petals of the flowers called friendship on many sides and they have never ceased to surprise. Everywhere there is a purpose, everywhere a suspicion as to the purpose, nectar guides and scent and sweet relishes, but seldom the power to hold the whole fluorescence to the same receptacle for long. […]


May this noon rest lightly like a plume from an egret’s crest on your happiness, ease inside the book you clutch close to the feeblest murmurs. We witness birds and reckon their flying for freedom; I write verses to weave your voice into mine and let it off in the simmering noon – listen, and […]

hawkmoths & madhumalti

pink inflorescence sweetens on the scented air, lime crystal leaves hum in sunward silence stirring with a distant breath, the afternoon makes nectaries engorge to slake evening amours – the kiss of a moth will soon plunge deep in one blossoming heart to draw the essential sap of chance morphosis and bear it to another […]


The essence of actions may not be confirmed and tend to sail through pompous pillars bobbing on crests of breathless surfs back to ourselves, may sink like pebbles in a blind well, reemerge as dragons misconceived forever, forever named and seldom deemed lone travelers who breathe fire only to warm their clammy claws – they […]

Mariam Zamani Mosque

Along the muddy torrents in the winter downpour’s view of old alleyways, there hides a mosque with a lorn façade and silly marble tiles burying the yard. There I want to feel the cool rain on our soles together, to enter through the arches into the chamber of two blazing domes, see the stars of […]


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