A Letter Across The Valley – Neha Bhatt

Bombay Review 1
Illustration by Aarushi Periwal

I’m sending a letter across the valley

This letter doesn’t follow any format

If it finds you, read out loud, wherever you are, read out loud –


My greetings to the beautiful people of the beautiful valley

We might not know each other

We are incognizant of each other’s face

But I have read about you

I know you have crisp nose and peaches instead of cheeks

I wonder about the peculiarities in which you are sewed up

I want to construe your smile

We are always curious about the work of art we haven’t seen, aren’t we?

I want to read that story, that reminiscent story traced by your eyes. Is it even prettier than your smile?

Does it have the same shade of scarlet that your lips do? Tell me how does it folds your pretty secrets,

And rises a shield of sheer perfectness, flawlessness

And how does your snowy teeth cut the air as you explode the words you speak

I want to tell you that I have grown towards you, passably.

I wrote a few letters, a poem or two

Tell me your boundaries, its longitude and its latitude, I’ll mark them well on the letter

I’ll make sure they reach you. I’ll make sure they move you.

I’ll ingest what you teach, I’ll obey each syllable as a naïve child obeys their parent.

I want to assimilate the beauty of each word and pack them

And carry them to the deepest corners of me

Which are filled with snapdragons and knapweeds

As I anagram my daydream, queerness surrounds, asks,

How could I irrevocably love foreign land, birds and air?

Language, signboards and cuisine, you show up in my dream

Chant like a goddess, they are not polar, they are everywhere

I have heard it on the grapevine, it can get a little knotty to reach you

I’ll have to cut though snow and track you down

For I could be effaced from minds of people I know but my love will always grow,

For the beauty that I have dreamt of,

For the innocence your eyes holds, I clasp my hands

I implore,

If only I could hold your pastel hands

The tides will change directions and oceans would turn occur

If only I could enter your eyes,

Languages will hug one another,

If only the boundaries were manned by songbirds,

There will be new comely patterns on the map

If only I could ask you, without wavering

Do you bleed like me?

Or do I bleed like you?

Presently pursuing her Bachelors in Architecture, Neha Bhatt is from Mumbai. She is an emerging poet who loves to read, is a crazy potter-head and caffeine fanatic.