Unplugged: Prateek Kuhad on Agnostic Sounds, What ‘Indie’ Means to him, and his Upcoming English Album

Prateek Kuhad

Prateek Kuhad’s presence and demeanor are akin to the feeling of reconnecting with an old friend, authentic and light. There’s something about the sound of simple strums on a guitar or notes on the keys paired with a voice that is unassuming but ever-present that is familiar. Kuhad has received countless accolades in the last few years, from being featured in Obama’s playlist to Cold/Mess ranking #1 on Spotify India when Spotify was launched in India in 2019.

[Read Related: Delhi-Based Prateek Kuhad’s Story on Rising International Face for Indian-Indie Music]

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With sonic influences from different countries and languages, I spoke with Kuhad a few months ago to learn more about him, his recent album, “Shehron Ke Raaz,” and what the process of making music is like for him. I hunkered down in New York, Kuhad in Mumbai, both of us respectively jet-lagged, but we unplugged for the chat.

Despite being more connected than ever, when consuming music, the dissonance between someone who understands what they’re singing and someone who doesn’t is abundantly apparent. Having written music in multiple languages that feels tonally accurate, do you find yourself thinking in the languages that you’re writing/singing in?

I don’t even like to think about what I’m really thinking. Sometimes I’m thinking in English, sometimes I’m thinking in Hindi, it really just depends. Both languages come very easy to me, in terms of, you know, talking to people or writing. I don’t write in Hindi so much actually, like in terms of actually writing in Hindi script. I think and speak Hindi a lot, and English a lot as well.

In one of your early tracks, “Something Wrong,” you touched on your sonic influences stemming from having just picked up a guitar and consuming alternative rock simultaneously — and retaining our child-like curiosity to inform creativity… And metal head days. 

I think everybody should be a bit of a kid. always. Otherwise, you know, things become too serious.

Do you remember the first lyric you wrote where you  heard it and felt “I’m really proud of this?”

Actually, it’s from that EP, there was a song called ‘A Shot of Alcohol,’ which now I just like, the title makes me cringe a little bit. Cause I’m like, Why did I write that song. I think it was something like “your eyes and mine under the fire…in the fire under the moonlight,’ something like that, and I felt it was really cool. And like, really, like, you know, warm, and the imagery was really inviting. But now that I look back, it’s still crap. I mean, I’m not really proud of that. But back then I was really excited about it. Yeah.

I think it’s fair, it’s fair for where you were then. 

If you are a musician, I feel like your tastes and preferences change a lot. And they grow because you’re always listening and you’re always updating yourself and you’re always like, it’s just like, you know, it’s such a big part of my life. So everything that happens with me, like all my older stuff, stuff kind of gets a little outdated for me, and I start to see a lot of the, you know, shortcomings and I guess I mean, that’s not a good word. 

There are different ways to create, from having an abundance of references or creating a niche and leaning into that. Social media posts of fans singing your songs are often accompanied by seasons changing, falling in or out of love and lots of car rides. Has your relationship with nature informed your music? 

The moment you have organic instruments in a song, it immediately starts to feel more grounded and earthy. Because, you know, that’s just what you associate with the sounds of a piano or an acoustic guitar. If you listen to really intense electronic beats, you’re not gonna think about nature, but if you listen to a really relaxed song with just the guitar and voice, like you’re gonna think about (it). So I think that’s where people who listen to my music feel like that, but I actually feel very uninspired by nature, weirdly. I really like sunlight a lot, just all the time. It doesn’t inform or inspire my music in any way. Mostly, like, what inspires me, I think, is just kind of like everything else. That’s very normal about life, you know, just like people and things that happened to me and my own thoughts in my life. 

While nature doesn’t inform your music-making, sunlight and running are integral to your well-being, which made me wonder how you have weathered the last several weeks in Seattle working on some new music. 

Towards the last week, the last 10 days of my time there it was just gray and raining all the time. Before that, it was actually sunny all the time. Like literally every single day. It was sunny when I was there in the studio and  my producer kept telling me, ‘You’re really lucky because you know, Seattle’s not so sunny all the time.’

What is new for you and different for us in this album?

Ryan and I had never met so he didn’t know me at all. The first time we ever met was in the studio. I felt very liberated. I felt like I could just really do what I wanted. When you’re working with people who already know you for the longest time, there’s always a lot of checks in place. Every time you do something like if I make a creative decision, if I play something then there’s always a reaction because they are used to me doing certain things or playing things in a certain way. In this case, there’s just no reactions. I was just doing things really unbridled. We would  put in a bunch of sounds, play a bunch of things. Every idea I had, every idea Ryan had, we just put it on the songs. Later on we took a break and then took things out, or like left things in so it’s pretty maximal in production which I haven’t done in a while. I feel like I’ve consciously tried to be minimal about things, but this time, we just really went for it. And at least for me, it just felt really free. This is going to be sonically my most diverse album so far.

Kuhad reflected on his time in NY during his studies at NYU, about his first time being in a place where you had to find your people and an in-built community of friends and family wasn’t a given the way it was in India. We recanted the journey one goes through finding cheap beer, the best fondue, chosen family and new comforts, about venues that are staples to play from Rockwood Musical Hall to Bowery Ballroom. They were formative years that would go on to inspire his music. 

The differences between India and North America are vast yet not. As an artist often regarded as the spearheader of “Indie” culture for India, what does being Indie actually mean to you?

Even in the U.S. it started off with bands actually being independent. Because of being independent, they could only afford certain things, which affected their sound. So, you know, that sound also started getting associated with indie. If you go to the indie pop playlist on Spotify, you know, it’s a sound, it’s almost like a genre. Half of those people are signed to major labels. They’re not Indie in terms of their ethos, but they are Indie in terms of how they sound. That’s the same thing with India. It almost doesn’t matter these days that much, because you can be indie, and have access to more resources compared to somebody on a major label. For example, the major labels in India, some of them are really small, or just don’t do a lot, or have really terrible deals for the artists. Maybe you’re not indie, but you still don’t have any money.

Prior to your recent signing with Elektra, you had an independent career from funding your own projects to designing artwork, using self-timer tripods and everything in-between. The track you refer to as your break, “Kasoor,” garnered a mass audience of listeners globally.

The major music market in India, in terms of just volume, is everybody associated with Bollywood, right?  None of the artists are seeing the royalties. That’s the same case with me, some of the songs that I’ve done with Bollywood I don’t see the royalties. Some of the later deals we did, I started pushing for it and we stopped doing buyouts. But the early deals are complete buyouts. Kho Gaye Hum Kahaan for example. 

It’s just, that’s just how Bollywood is and it’s less relevant for this system. It’s antiquated and has been for a long time and the way artists in India make money is through like, branded deals and live performances primarily. But in the U.S. context, it’s really, really solid, for me, like, because I have a career in the U.S. as well, a decent amount of my income is coming in from my publishing. I don’t see that in India at all.

[Read Related: Getting Lost in the Music: The Perspective From a Double Bassist]

An anecdote about “Kho Gaye Hum Kahaan” is that the founder of Lullaby Club and singer-songwriter Axel Mansoor once told me he loved that song despite not knowing the words and had first heard it when Indian users began performing on lullaby club’s nightly show on Clubhouse. The song stays in my rotation and seems to only be growing in popularity with time. 

“Shehron Ke Raaz” is Kuhad’s most recent four-song Hindi album, full of keys, strings and sweet whispers. It’s a bit like a whimsical soundtrack that would grace everyone’s “love of my life,” soundtracks. “Khone Do,” and title track, “Shehron Ke Raaz” were directed by filmmaker Reema Sengupta. Kuhad touched on the brilliance of her vision and the trust he has with his team, they’re speaking the same language about visuals. Sengupta’s work made for a multi-media dreamscape. You can stream the tracks designed for sweater weather and cuffing szn here. 

Who are some of your favorite artists and would you like to work with them in the future?  

Yeah, I mean, a bunch of like artists from India. There’s a songwriter who actually is a friend of mine, and she started putting on music recently, Tanmaya Bhatnagar, My very dear friend and bass player Dhruv Bhola — he puts out really cool music. There’s a bunch of it. I heard about Priya Ragu recently, and she’s really really good. Joy Crookes is amazing. Raveena is amazing. I mean, there’s a lot of really amazing artists. All these people I listen to a lot. Lizzie McAlpine, whose stuff I really like, I would love to work with her. Fineas is awesome. I think he’s like one of the best producers we have today. I’d love to work with everybody who I just mentioned. 


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Our conversation felt like a road trip, there were unexpected turns (good ones —duh) and pleasant moments on cruise control. Kuhad’s nature made for responses that felt like he was taking us along on his thought process behind each answer. I’m patiently waiting for his English album, the chance to see him live (when it’s safe!) and suddenly craving fondue. As always follow our playlists on Spotify here and submit your music to jashma.wadehra@browngirlmagazine.com.

Photo Credit: Vansh Virmani

By Jashima Wadehra

Jashima Wadehra is a multi-hyphenate entrepreneur who serves as the Director of Ode, a global artist management and brand strategy … Read more ›

Chef Devan Rajkumar: Bringing Indo Caribbean Flavors to South Asia and Beyond

Chef Dev

Passion is something many claim to have, but few truly possess. Whether it’s hobbies, professions or romances, it’s the secret ingredient we all crave but is quite difficult to come by. But on meeting Chef Devan Rajkumar — aka Chef Dev — it takes just a few moments to understand true passion. For the Indo Guyanese chef from Toronto, passion has always been food and its power to connect, nourish, excite and represent. 

[Read Related: 5 Indo Caribbean Food Experts you Need to Know This Winter Season]

It was there, as a child, when he followed his mother and grandmother around the temple, getting daal stains on his kurtas

Today, he’s used it to become a TV personality on Canada’s “Cityline” and Food Network Canada’s “Fire Masters,” to collaborate with renowned caterers The Food Dudes, develop his own line of signature soups and host pop-up events around the world. 


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Whatever the outlet, Rajkumar feeds his mission to be an ambassador for modern, West and East Indian cuisine. I recently sat down with him to talk about this and the experience of bringing Indo Caribbean flavors to South Asia and beyond.

Feeding a passion for food

“The sights, the sounds, the aromatics. The excitement of the kitchen has just always appealed to me,” he began. “Food moves me in a certain way. I want to nurture and nourish. I’ve just always wanted to do for others.”

As he sat back in a ‘Guyana vs. the world’ tank top, Rajkumar’s energy was palpable.

“I’ve always lived and breathed food, all day, all night. Like I’m talking about food right now. I’m constantly talking about food.”

To Rajkumar, food is education — one of the best (and most enjoyable) ways to learn, teach and explore the world — and he credits his older brother Jai for inspiring this mindset. Jai was the first to introduce him to different cuisines, teach him to be curious about the world and show him how to challenge the norms of a “typical brown kid.”

Despite this encouragement, however, a culinary career wasn’t Rajkumar’s first instinct. The son of a businessman, he initially jumped around universities and career paths. He also struggled with substance abuse and grief after Jai’s passing. Through all the challenges, food remained a constant, and the sense of community it created was a powerful draw.  

“At a very young age, I recognized how food made me feel if I was in a bad mood and how it made others feel,” he shared. 

He’s always looked forward to sitting around a table with friends and family, enjoying a nice meal, and how everybody could share their stories or just forget their troubles.

“Food is a very powerful vehicle for transporting someone.”  

In 2009, Rajkumar finally followed his passion and joined a culinary school. He realized he had a knack for creating this experience for others.

“I realized I had the power and the gift to nourish and nurture someone else in this way,” and it became irresistible. 

A cook with no boundaries, Rajkumar didn’t want to limit the number of people he reached to just those in Canada. 


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For many, success in the culinary world is having a thriving restaurant, but after spending six months opening one with The Food Dudes in 2015, Rajkumar realized this route wasn’t for him. 

“I wanted more culture,” he explained. “I wanted to learn and not so much get my ass kicked, but to be a sponge. I knew I needed to travel to broaden my horizons.”

So he did. Rajkumar spent months cooking in India, London, Peru and Dubai. He shared his experiences on social media and people back home took note.

“When I returned to Toronto,” he continued, “that trip had established me as a cook who had no boundaries. As someone who wasn’t afraid to explore and get out of their comfort zone.” 

And get out of his comfort zone he did. 

“From catering to a pop-up abroad to filming ‘Cityline and speaking engagements, every day is different,” he explained. “I’ve had my bouts with imposter syndrome, but ultimately, I’ve gotten to make more of an impact than just opening a restaurant.” 

That impact has especially been prominent in South Asia. 


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“Mad Love” in the Motherlands

Rajkumar embraces not only his Caribbean culture, but his South Asian roots as well. 

The temple he grew up in was a blend of Guyanese and East Indians, so he knew foods from a typical Guyanese household like alu curry and saijan but also East Indian favorites like dhokla and malai kofta

“Ultimately, we came from India,” he declared. “I embrace the culture and I am very comfortable leaning back and forth into it. It’s in me. It’s who I am.”

In fact, Rajkumar noted his career became much more defined and successful when he really began to identify as not just a chef, but as an Indo Guyanese Canadian chef. 

Hearing this, it was no surprise that Guyana, India and Pakistan stand out as some of  his favorite destinations. 

“Guyana is hugely impactful for me,” he shared, having visited his parents’ homeland frequently. “As soon as that door opens [at the airport], you smell Guyana. You smell the sugarcane burning from rum factories. I have all these wonderful sights, sounds, smells and flavors from those trips.”

His sentiments for India are similar.

“Incredible India is incredible India,” he referred to the country’s tourism slogan. “Every 100-200 kilometers, the menus can change completely. I can live in India for the rest of my life and never see it all.”

Pakistan, however, is in a class all its own.

“There’s something special about Lahore,” Chef Dev explained. “I was told Lahori hospitality rivals the best in the world and I got to experience that. I was interviewed on national television by Mustafa Shah. I explored Old Lahore with Ali Rehman. I got to cook my own chicken karahi at Butt Karahi. Anything I needed, I had. I’ve never met kinder people in my life.” 


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Rajkumar’s first trip in 2020 was only nine days long, but its impact stayed with him. 

He couldn’t have been more excited to return for a month, earlier this year, and host what his friends there dubbed the “Mad Love Pop-Up,” after one of his signature sayings. 

He filled the menu for the 18-day event with global dishes like ceviche and scotch eggs but infused them with West and East Indian flavors like masala, jerk and cassareep — a rich extract of the bitter cassava native to Guyana. Before he left, he even prepared Guyana’s national dish of pepper pot, a hearty meat stew, for the staff meal. 

“My whole thought process was ‘let me give these people — my family there — an experience they’ve never had before,” he detailed. “Any time I give someone pepper pot or cassareep, they’re just so shocked. It’s so unique.”

Rajkumar is always excited to share the flavors and culture of Guyana with new people, but with his roots in South Asia, bringing them to Pakistan was that much more profound. 

“In India, maybe it’s different, but in Lahore, most people don’t know about Guyana or where it is. That’s another reason why I did this. That’s why I do all the things I do. That’s why I’m wearing this tank top — to raise awareness about my culture and how beautiful it is,” he said. 

Time in South Asia has also helped Rajkumar gain a deeper appreciation for the origins of many Indo Caribbean dishes and reinforced his love for them.   

“Guyanese cuisine doesn’t just have Indian influence, but so many dishes in some way, shape, or form come from there. Like when I’m eating sada roti, I can tie it back to which type of flatbread it came from in India. I feel like a better-equipped chef at the end of the day. I’m more connected to my Guyanese roots and to the culture overall.” 

Rajkumar wants to foster a deeper understanding and relationship between both heritages. He wants his food to build connections, not disparity. 

Bringing the world back home

Rajkumar has visited over 20 countries, but Pakistan remains one place he’ll cherish his entire life. He is grateful not only for the opportunities he’s had there, but also for the chance to offer a fresh, alternative view of the country from what is often shown by the media.  

Chef Dev Rajkumar
Chef Devan Rajkumar wants to use his culinary skills and experiences to bring people together.

“When people saw me posting content from Lahore, they were like, ‘Oh my God, this is Pakistan?’ This is not what we expected. This is not what we thought we’d see.’ They were shocked at how beautiful, kind, and welcoming everyone was.”

Reactions like these are Rajkumar’s ultimate goal.

A cookbook is due next year. He has aspirations of launching merchandise and cookware, traveling to South East Asia, and continuing his pop-ups, but ultimately, he concludes,

“I just want to stand for something. I want to continue to learn, remain humble, represent my Western and Eastern cultures and spread mad love. I want to be an ambassador to that world and be someone who’s dedicated to his craft, bettering himself and those around him.” 

“I just want to continue to grow as a person,” he added with sincerity as he touched on his sobriety and what it’s taught him about achieving your goals. 

“That might sound cliche, but it’s new to me. I’ve spent the last two years learning about myself and being vulnerable about how I feel, my healing journey and what I’m going through. If I excel and continue to invest time and discipline in that arena, everything else around me will flourish. I believe that goes for anyone.”

Rajkumar is going far literally and figuratively, but no matter where he lands, you can be sure he’ll bring something back for his supporters, whether it be a new view of the world or a concoction like a ceviche pani puri on one of his menus. 

“That’s my travels to India, Pakistan and Peru all in one bite!” he exclaimed. 

Chef Dev’s journey has not always been an easy one, but it’s a powerful example of the success one can taste with hard work, embracing authenticity and following true passion. 

To learn more about his work visit his website or follow his Instagram for real-time updates, recipes, and all the ‘mad love.’ 

Photos Credit: Alec Luna

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By Ramona Sukhraj

With a B.S. in Marketing from the UCONN School of Business, Ramona has made a name for herself publishing over … Read more ›

In Conversation with Karan Singh: CEO of the Sunburn Music Festival

Karan Singh Sunburn
Karan Singh Sunburn

From receiving his MBA from Harvard business school to being the CEO of Asia’s largest music festival brand Sunburn, Karan Singh combined his interests to push his passion for music! Singh received his bachelor’s degree in management from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He worked as an investment banker for three years at Ambit Corporate Finance before working at Sunburn which is a part of his family’s business. Sunburn started providing the music festival experience starting in the year 2007. The first festival was in Candolim, Goa. The music festival brand has put on over 5,000 events over the past 15 years. In 2022 The Sunburn Festival will be in it’s 16th year. Continue reading to learn more about Karan Singh’s journey with the Sunburn music festival!

[Read Related: Brown Boy Interview Series: In Conversation With Sanjoy]

What does the Sunburn brand offer and what made you have the festival in Goa as opposed to other parts of India?

We believe that Sunburn offers a really unique experience and is a melting pot of diverse people & cultures from not only across India but around the world. Goa is the ideal setting for this as there is something magical about Goa in the winter-time and truly enables us to tap into that global audience.

Safety at live events has always been a concern among concert goers. Considering recent, events more individuals have asked brands and artists to do more to ensure audience safety. What are you doing to ensure safety for live concerts?

Safety is a huge priority for us. We work with the best-in-class security agencies as well as closely with the police and requisite authorities. For anyone in the crowd a Sunburn safety officer will always be close by and easily visible. We also run an awareness drive on both social media and on ground.

What was the first Sunburn Festival like and what did you learn from this experience?

The first ever Sunburn Festival was in December 2007, and I had actually attended it as a fan, not part of the crew. However, it was absolutely eye-opening as the first proper music festival on Indian shores and opened up our minds to a world of possibilities.

As Sunburn houses so many electronic dance musicians who have been your favorites throughout the years?

It is difficult to pick from the list however the favorites for Sunburn, in no order and because of the amount of love they have shown Indian audiences, are Martin Garrix, DJ Snake, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Hardwell and Armin van Buuren.

Do you plan to expand the festival to add other genres into the mix as well as more activities?

We have already expanded into different formats like Arena, Campus, Club, Reload and things like merchandize & academy. In terms of genres, we have been dabbling with genres like rap, hip-hop and pop, however our focus remains on electronic dance music.

What can someone expect from the festival as first-time goers?

Apart from a state-of-the-art production & line-up, one can expect a special experience, meeting interesting people from all over the world, and embarking on a creative journey of the theme for the year.

How does the festival help local musicians from Goa as well as the surrounding areas in India?

This year we had set up for the first time a special stage and village in the festival only for Goa which gave a platform to local Goan artists. But beyond that a huge focus for us has always been to showcase domestic home-grown talent and indeed 60-70% of the line-up each year is locally sourced.

[Read Related: Brown Boy Interview Series: In Conversation With KSHMR]


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What was the experience like this year in 2022 and how is it different from previous years?

The biggest difference was that this was the first time the festival was back to its full scale since the pandemic hit after 3 long years. It was a fantastic release for everyone there. Our theme was “the future is now” and this was reflected across the festival experience and particularly in the main stage design – termed “Cyberpunk City” which received rave reviews from all.

[Read Related: Jai Wolf: First Bangladeshi Artist to Headline Red Rocks Amphitheatre]

What was it like having the legends Black Coffee and Afrojack this year as well as the DJ duo Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike?

Afrojack and DVLM are both Sunburn & India veterans, it was amazing having them back crushing the main stage after very long. Black Coffee for us was something very new and exciting, to have a special artist and a unique sound like that close the main stage on day 2. However it was very well-received and took our experience to the next level.

As you have had the artist Avicii back in December 2011 how do you feel he revolutionized Electronic Dance Music?

Avicii is one of my all-time favorite artists and his show in December 2011 was actually my first one working on Sunburn so will always be extra special. There is no doubt that he revolutionized EDM by taking massive risks and introducing an entirely new sound which a lot of others then followed, but no one as well as he did.

How does it feel to be in charge of one of Asia’s biggest Electronic Dance Music Festivals?

It feels great, we have a very young but ambitious and hard-working team and our primary focus is to continue delivering the best possible experiences for our fans, artists and partners. India is such a vibrant and exciting market that I cannot help but be pumped about what the future holds.

Do you feel Electronic Dance Music is a misunderstood genre?

More so in a country like India possibly yes, where people who are not exposed to these experiences sometimes have preconceived notions about EDM festivals and the like. Oftentimes those people are also in a decision-making capacity and can directly affect the industry. However, things are certainly improving as the industry overall gets bigger and gets more acceptance.

What does music mean to you, Karan Singh?

Music provides a sound-track to life, it is something which is always there!

How do you choose to react when you receive negative comments about the Sunburn Festival?

Well, you have to be able to differentiate between those which are just trolling and those which are constructive or fair criticism. The latter is very important as it helps us to look at ourselves and continually improve, we are still a long way from where we eventually want to be.

Lastly, what do you hope individuals take away from this interview with Brown Girl Magazine?

I hope it allows us at Sunburn to reach a wider audience of the desi community around the world and hopefully get some more people to fly down to Goa for Sunburn Festival 2023 which I can promise you all will be the best one yet!

Artist Testimonials:

Dimitri Vegas Like Mike

We have had a long connection with India. The first time we played here was more than a decade ago. Going from clubs to being a regular feature at one of Asia’s biggest electronic music festivals which is now an institution in itself. It’s been an exciting evolution to see how Sunburn has grown over the years. The fans at Sunburn are some of the most insane and every show is a special one. We’ve always had an incredible experience at Sunburn.

DJ Snake

Honestly, the energy I feel when I am in India is one of the most amazing things. I would say the culture and energy is what keeps me coming back! India is like a second home to me, just like Sunburn. I feel so comfortable and welcomed here. I’m always excited about coming to India and playing at Sunburn, experiencing new cities, meeting more of the people, hearing more of the music, and seeing more of the country that has influenced me so much.


Sunburn has helped dance music artists world over to tour India and connect with their Indian fans and I’m always excited about performing at the festival.


I’ve a long history with the Sunburn team. They are a great team to work with and they also give the fans amazing experiences. As an artist, I want to be a part of providing fans with lifelong memories and so we all share the same vision.

Alan Walker

Sunburn is one of the pioneers of the dance music festival scene in India and has been instrumental in creating a truly world class platform that supports the dance music industry and all of its stakeholders. I’m always excited about touring India with Sunburn.

Photo Courtesy of DNH Media

By Arun S.

Arun fell in love with music at a young age by way of his middle school music teacher Mr. D. … Read more ›

Reflection Comes From Within, not From Others

“Confessions to a Moonless Sky” is a meditation on the new moon and guilt. I wrote it when I was living in Dallas and was driving back from a dusk prayer. The new moon terrified me on that drive. I was diseased by the knowledge that my partner, at the time, had seen the worst parts of me. There’s immense shame in this piece—it seized my self-image. If the moon could become brand new, then I could start over.

I often ponder on the moon’s reflective nature and pairs of eyes. I’m hyper-fixated on how I am seen by others. Unfortunately, the brilliance of seeing your reflection in another person leads to negativity. After all, those who are too keen on their own reflection are the same people who suffer from it. It is possible to use shame to fuel one’s retribution and personal growth, without becoming consumed by it.

We can look to Shah Rukh Khan succumbing to alcoholism in his own sorrow and then later imbibing his sadness in Chandramukhi. “Confessions to a Moonless Sky” is a lesson for us: Don’t be Shah Rukh Khan in Devdas, instead embody pre-incarnation Shah Rukh Khan in Om Shanti Om!

[Read Related: Uncovering the Brown Boy in Hiding Through Poetry]

Confessions to a Moonless Sky

Sometimes when the moon abandons the sky, I wonder if I drove her away.

If she comes back, will she be the same? How I wish she would come back new, truly new! That way she’d have no memory of the sin I’ve confessed to her. You noxious insect. Sin-loving, ego-imbibing pest. You are no monster, for at least a monster has ideology, it sins with purpose. You sin just to chase ignominy.

But the moon won’t say that, she never does. She’ll just leave the sky and return days later, slowly. And I’ll wonder if she’s new, perhaps she won’t remember my past confessions. What does it matter? Were the moon replaced with one from a different god, I’d drive her away, too.

[Read Related: ‘headspun’ — Bengali Muslim Boy’s Poetic Journey Through Himself]

By Umrao Shaan

Umrao Shaan is a short storyist, poet, and ghazals singer. You can find his songs on his Instagram. His other … Read more ›