Summer Break, Or Why I’m An Idiot


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By Talha Bin Ehtasham

Today is the third day since you left.

Overnight; on that same express train,

Like countless times before.

This time though

feels the worst.

I know you missed home

and that you had plans,

But seriously, two months!

Even you know that you’ll end up bored

by then.

Come to think of it,

I didn’t give you much reason to stay either.

Maybe that’s why I turn now to this poem

Or maybe I’m just an idiot.


Today I heard your voice over the telephone.

Everything was alright you said,

But you sounded worn to me.

There’s so much I wanted to talk to you about

Tell you all about how you make me feel

But all I could come up with was

“I’m bored here”

and awkward silences.


A mirror staring back with estranged familiarity,

The intermittent clicks of a rickety ceiling fan

My companions in your absence.

The book you’d asked for sits on my shelf

I spent three days and their nights rushing through it

And then I forgot.

Just like all of those things

I remembered I had to say to you

after you broke away from that parting hug.


That book too, along with the rest of me

Mocks and takes digs at my helplessness.

Why are they adding to the gauntlet that is summer break?

Do they not see the torment your absence puts me in?

I ask the disheveled man in the mirror

He stares deep into my eyes

and two clicks later says,

You’re an idiot.

Talha Bin Ehtasham is a student of English Literature in Jamia Millia Islamia university, Delhi.

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