A visual guide to ‘on the colour lilac’

A visual guide to ‘on the colour lilac’

Asra Jafarey provides a visual guide to her poem ‘on the colour lilac’ which you can read in issue 9. 

My poem is a collection of musings. Sometimes literal, sometimes figurative, most of the time; both. The bags under my mother’s eyes,

‘eyes growing old/ with anguish/ and stone-cold fear/’

the sky at maghreb (where the sun sets) as my father offers his prayers, 

/ awaiting dawn/


a parting gift from an old friend, mulberries in Skardu (a city in Gilgit Baltistan, North of Pakistan), 

/ staining fingertips/


my best friend leaving a tooth brush (even though it’s green and blue, the light was purple and it gave me a feeling of security)

endlessly/ looking for meaning/


To me, those two things are synonymous because ‘on the colour lilac’ was the first poem I ever truly felt proud of, 
I wrote to an old friend who then gave me a lilac dulai (a thin blanket, similiar to a throw). 

/ a story untold/ inexplicable sadness/

To me, Lilac is discursive, it is finding your way back and seeing it differently, like a meeting with fate, like a meeting with faith. Sometimes it is misfortune, and other times it is nostalgia. But all the time, it is felt. 

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