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The Qutab’s Precinct
All the things in my mind 
were otherwise absolutely clear and chronological
that each city had
its histories and modernities
its city squares and thoroughfares
lasses and lads
rivers bridges gardens parks
difficulties and amenities
similarities and specialities
its palaces and forts
museums galleries theatres
its writers artists stars
and legends of martyrs
its epics, armies, ports and airports.

The map of each city’s geography and history
was absolutely clear in my mind

That one day,
in the zoo of Lucknow or maybe Krakow,
while rambling, there rambled in my mind
the map of the entire world
and man’s entire history . . .

In what time am I?
Where have I come from? In what city am I?

In Kafka’s Prague
in a small room, No. 22 Golden Lane?
Or in the by-lanes of Venice?
Or in Ballimaran?
Am I in the grand palaces of Habsburg?
Or in Wawel Castle? Or the Diwan-e-Khas of the Red Fort?

When I returned I saw
standing in Humayun’s tomb or maybe the Qutab’s precinct,
a new riddle of Amir Khusro
to the chronicle of the arts, another link.

Translator's Note: The Quṭab Minar is a tall 13th century tower in Delhi commemorating the victories of Quṭab-ud-Dīn Aybak (a founder of Indian Muslim rule).