VERSETILE

My Durga

My Durga is that girl who was born on the street and not in a palace,
She is that girl who was beaten and battered blue by many,
She is that girl who begs for money to fill her tummy,
She is that teenager who is sexually abused
every day by uncles, fathers,
Brothers and friends.

My Durga is that young girl who has been forced into a marriage when she took to love someone else,
She is that girl who is harassed for dowry every day by her husband and in-laws,
She is that little girl who wished to see the world but was killed in her mother’s womb,
She is that girl who was stopped from going to school by her family.

My Durga is that woman whom society calls a prostitute,
She is that woman who is called a Hijra,
a Kinnar,
She is that you woman who is asked to wear white because she has lost her husband,
She is that woman who cannot bear a child for no fault of hers.

My Durga is every such woman who is ‘not
perfect’, not ‘extraordinary’,
My Durga is a definition of what is real and is a testimony of what we see in society.

Brinda Das

You know

Everyday the sun triumphs
in these hills, even when
it rains vigorously lashing window panes
but the sun less fortuitous triumphs
sans glory
as it nestles by the hill side storm
and is, bystander to the history of these
hills. I summon courage to withstand
the rain or an earthquake
knowing that the sun with bravado
gets a glimpse of my fortitude.

Ananya Guha

One Sunday morning

A lad nicknamed ‘Tiger’,
In a clash zone, he dwelt;
Engaged in a cafe, he wore attires
worn and frayed;
Scarcely skipped tasks, light off, away to his shelve;
To my distrust, saw him, for he too, walked to pray.

Venue that he toiled, there’s a church,
not far away;
One Sunday morning,
I saw his outfit it was suavely;
With prying mind I asked, ‘how’s life on your off day’.
He smiled and said,
‘Sir, Sunday’s always pleasantly’.

Most folks to go and worship, dressed so formally;
Young man, I talked about, desired to be just them;
He scrounged to put-on, suited and march smartly;
He procured used clothes, also worn a phoney gem.

The bell tolls, he nod forward, the service to start on;
But his mind was obviously,
to craft the pretensions;
Instead to heed the sermon,
he would fancy to yawn;
Now, older he must be, imploring,
lights for salvation.

Sonny L Khyriem

My country

My country is a cradle of a magnificent
Civilisation-five thousand years old,
A repository of knowledge and wisdom she is,
Articulated through her great seers and sages
Whose names are inscribed in the annals
Of mankind in the letters of gold;
My country was a World Teacher in the time of yore;

My country is wearing a crown of snow-clad
Himalayas, and her feet is touched by
The great ocean and the sea; she is bedecked
By the wristband of a vast desert,
The necklace of picturesque plateaus adorn her neck;

Plenty of rivers make her soil rich and fertile,
And abundant greenery make her smile;
Be it plains or mountains or the degraded
Wasteland, a luxuriant growth of farm produce
Is adding to people’s living style;

People here are in love with nature,
And rejoice heartily at the harvest time;
They eat and drink and make merry,
And dance to the tune of rustic rhymes;

We are the votaries of truth and nonviolence,
And our faith in human values is no pretense;
We love boundaries without any fence!

Rakesh Chandra