Monday, 19 February 2018

Poetry 2017 Longlist Anupam Sinha

Anatomy of Dreams
Anupam Sinha

in the jaundiced
morgue of the night,
usually awaits sleep-
its grubby hands
ready to autopsy
my calloused dreams.

Lodged in the viscera,
spring is in fetters,
of saris,
of skeins of colours,
buried inside a barren closet,
never to spread
its iridescent wings.

Gothic raiment of cities
hide alleys of gossip
(on which we will never loiter)
and the twisted arcades
of wasting idioms
remain sewn
to the sepulcher of flesh.

The insipid slime
of sunlight
the coarse cinders of spices
from my skin.
And the winds
shed the ruins of melodies
which you had sown in me.

Poetry 2017 Longlist Anshuman Gaur

An Anthem for the Fallen
Anshuman Gaur

Once the storm has passed
Once the dust has settled down
Who remembers the blood-sworn vow?
The cloud serpent
Again, steals the water-womb.
The sacrifices made
At the altar of trade
An uneasy head wears the broken crown.

On the banks of Yamuna
A little girl writes feverishly.
Red lines on blank sheets drawn
We can’t hear what she says
We can’t read what she writes
Her unseeing eyes hold
The panic of a closing gate.
We act bold
But the weight,
Of not knowing what she meant
Strangles our hope.

We know how urgent this is.
We know how urgent.
We know how.
We know.

Why won’t she tell?
On the land is cast an imperious spell.
The old covenant has since been torn,
Slow-moving, tortured every thought
A python engorged on its kill
As it crawls-off, to spawn.
No light we see, though it is dawn.
Was this the blessed, signaled morn?

I dreamt of snakes
In a dance of love
On the floor of our terraced gardens.
Born again
Fangs bared
She rushes in
Her hot thighs beckon
The promise of instant nirvana.
Her bosom hints
The lusciousness of enduring youth.

Ya Devi Sarvabhuteshu…
Ya Devi Sarvabhuteshu…
Why does her indulgence scare you?

We all must now conform
With an old, aphoristic norm.
For obeying your commandments,
What have we to show?
We exchange,
Old fears for terrors new
Some keep searching for their garnets blue.

The eulogies we wrote
To those ordained chaste,
The songs we sang were born in hate.
We must assign our myths a date
History will make those murderers great.

Poetry 2017 Longlist Ankana Mukherjee

Ankana Mukherjee

He has chosen deny,
The existence of God,
He believes in the creation of man
He is against the concept of God

He criticizes the power of God,
He knows them as despots,
He says God created universe with flaws in creature,
Then punishes for falling prey to this flaws,
He thinks God as Hitler
With no worthwhile for his survival.

He says God as apathetic,
Who allows all  behaviour atrocious,
And not does a single thing to stop it,
Unless God gets pleasure seeing human suffocate

He says existence of God is nearly zero,
And this is the thing he believes,
Returning to the concept of  hen and chicken,
He asks repeatedly,


Poetry 2017 Longlist Anila Vivek

Anila Vivek

Bygone glow back upon her face
A quickening of her pace,
A tingle of excitement,
Thanks to the indictment…
Looks of pity and frustration,
Well-worn note of hesitation,
An apology for science,
The mystery of deviance…
Uncontrolled fission of cells,
A headless band of rebels,
Leftover moments,
Time for penance…
But a tide of joy,
A license to enjoy
A lease of life,
No more strife…
Her progeny’s indifference,
Siblings’ belligerence,
Her husband’s disdain,
Will no longer pain…
Dusts off her dreams,
Freedom she screams,
Makes her own bucket list,
Marks each desire she had to miss…
To go back to school,
Take a dip in the clear pool,
Go on a last picnic,
Watch, read and write a classic…
To teach young minds,
To lift off few blinds,
To dance with abandon,
Fearing absolutely none…
No more societal norms,
No longer she  conforms,
Days are her own,
This is finally her zone…
Bewilderment, shock and despair,
As the family becomes aware,
Their axis has forsaken, 
To the Maker she will be taken…
Tears, regret and guilt,
Too late they were spilt,
Never had they paid her heed,
Only in Death will she be freed…

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Poetry 2017 Longlist Ananya Guha

Looking Cranes
Ananya S Guha

Looking cranes
necks stuck out
my gawkiness revealed
even in deep slumber
I cut across night
and shout in dreams.

Poetry 2017 Longlist Ammu Maria Ashok

The Womb
Ammu Maria Ashok

Following your development
Week by week
When you fertilized in twenty-four hours 
I see you ovulate
A spot of new human life
You divide to multiple cells
Journey through fallopian tube
Finally, to me
Start to burrow into the nutrient rich wall
Microscopic ball of hundred multiplying cells
Finally, to embryo in four weeks
Now you look like a poppy seed
Your tiny heart starts to beat
Nose, mouth, tiny earlobes start to shape
Paddles like little hands and feet emerge
Nerve cells branch out
Sucking movements of your mouth
A gentle poke by your mother
Extended breathing tubes
That connects the motherly passion
You open and close your fingers
Brain impulse began to fire
Now you sense lights
I feel ultrasonic sounds
To test your sex
Head upright, scalp formed, but no hair
Moved your legs to kick me
Active five senses
I saw you enjoying the music outside
You sleep, wakes up, blinks your eyes
You swallow now and jabs on my wall
You inhale and exhale
Umbilical cord, now stronger and thicker
Now you have an active brain
Ready to function outside
You snug inside
Regulated body temperature
Ready to move outside
I feel the excitement of your mother
I am not excited
But sad to lose you as
I am your first mother.

Poetry 2017 Longlist Amita Sanghvi

Amita Sanghvi

My wishes
Angered crabs
On the sands
Of Yitti.

Poetry 2017 Longlist Amika Sethia

amika sethia

a sniff, a sip
they are taken aback by the wry bitterness of tea
a shot of almond milk spilled,
effervescences exposed.
the last departing
tips the glass;
floods the creamy liquid
bleaching her white, colorless, see-through.
birthed in a museum,
she was brought up with china and
a requisite to play fair.
menacing rhapsodies wrestle for-
who will raise her corsets and hair?
they stitched us in frills and satin, we
withstanding a glance at our fellow opponents.
only cracked glass placed
to protect little girls from themselves.
sleep in your bedded cage, young one
whilst I cast a spell of lemon and greened chilli flakes.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Poetry 2017 Longlist Aman Maqsood

Aman Maqsood

You are gonna fall
You are gonna fail
Have some courage
You will do well.
You are on the sea
You have to sail
Just never stop
Success will ring its bell.
You are gonna win
You are gonna learn
Before you leave
You will definitely earn.
When the caterpillar had thought
The world was over
Then it became a butterfly
And lost the reason to cry
Then its life came to highlight.
Time flies for the creature in the rest
Not visible the world from the nest
But if you are the pilot
You are the best.
You are gonna show results
You are gonna show excuses
If you are trying
It gonna be little difficult
It’s you, who gonna win
But with you....Many gonna get success

Poetry 2017 Longlist Amal Bhattacharya

Image is Bigger Than Life
Amal Bhattacharya

Life of a man and his living,
It’s more of a mental image, than life!
Where he builds, holds and lingers,
And life’s greatest meanings derive.
It’s in his imagination that he stays,
A home where the world comes to play!

Are you awake on the thoughts?
Which brought smiles and now sorrow, well?
It’s a paradise it seemed it brought,
And knocked upon the doors of hell.
Tears in eyes and sweat on the brow,
Where am I and where am I to go!

A sudden knock upon the harrowing clock,
Who’s this who came without a bang?
A wave or a ripple or a swing or a talk,
Oh! A thought it is… a complete blank.
Oh! where’s the grand brush Oh! The mighty pen?
Create me now…the joy, the smile, the heaven.

Ah! This journey deep inside the mental cage,
A handful can dare, share or marvel,
Nightmare, quarrel, rumpus, rage, where
Solitude, sublime, secrets together travel.
This image is what is even in mind of God,
Who made man, from his ardent thoughts?

All Images that builds this home,
Where we sing, think, dance and pray,
The squashy green the violet blue,
Makes the start and the end of the day.
I often stand beside the mind mill,
Thinking am I the ‘I’ still?

Poetry 2017 Longlist Alka Jaiswal

Alka Jaiswal
It's hard to believe that my retina is weak,
 To Project the guidance of thy inner seek.
 It's hard to believe that my skills are immature,
To upgrade my version of my windows true.
 It's hard to believe that my feelings are emotional,
To paint the wall of fame in the name of blackmail.
It's hard to believe that my attitude symphonies as loins roar,
To snatch insulation from the hand of desolate abode.
 Then why? I fail to seek the essence of humiliation ,
When I am perfectly not wrong! Why can't I awaken my spirit to fight for injustice?
 Rather pasting black screen on the process of moving forward!
 Awake! Arise! Is what my options goal,
Yet I fail to express my gratitude to help the victim ahead...
Wake up! Wake up! It's an wake up call to action thy rigidness!

Poetry 2017 Longlist Akshaya Pawaskar

Akshaya Pawaskar

Gravity had never been so strong
Now it was gathering force
It was silent too long
Night sky was crumbling, stars too
Moon, Gollum-eyed looked sad
And rather mutely
Sun beckoned us, fob watch dangling
Hypnotizing to unravel our
Trust in all elements
Not to wrong us
Plaster crumbled too as they dashed
Helter-skelter, human race
On brink of extinction
Deserted room.
Parasols couldn’t shelter, nor the ark
Of Noah’s built for salvaging
The ruin we welcomed

Poetry 2017 Longlist Akshad Tambekar

Apologetic We Remain
Akshad Tambekar
For the times we go wrong and when we inflict pain...
No matter how we change, apologetic we still remain
For once when you fissure a relationship there will be a persistent stain
In the long run, apologetic we remain…
When you are man of your words, but with unfulfilled promises, your image doesn't remain the same...
Even though you start fresh but within apologetic you still remain!
It's all gone now. It has changed!
The bond has lapsed and grown but still apologetic you remain!
For a tear shed under the dark night and the ignorant sight, it's not blame game!
You cut your ego, your pride but still apologetic we remain
You often wish to talk it out but you have not words to say...
It's not because of your ego but as apologetic we still remain...
You mess it up. You break a heart. Your actions do things worse than getting parched.
You want to go undo. You want to go back in time to ooze out the pain..
But it's too late. Now apologetic we remain.
You thought you are mighty. Attitude flows in your vein.
But turns out you are so feeble. That apologetic we remain.
It has vanished but has left a scar. For once little it get exposed, all your smile dies in vain...
You have your heart out. You have built a trust. But within apologetic we remain!
Apologetic we remain!

Poetry 2017 Longlist Aishwarya Sridhar

An Ethereal Bond
Aishwarya Sridhar

Deep in the forests where the fireflies fly
A beautiful friendship was blooming to die.

Between a predator and a prey
Existed a bond that was meant to stay.

Prancing and playing amidst the trees
Drowned in the beautiful forests peace.

Until one day the machines arrived
And cut down trees both alive and dried

Atop the boulders the two sat perplexed
Wondering what would happen next

The birds and bees flew here and there
But out two pals sat with a fixed stare

One by one the trees fell on the ground
As the jungle echoed with a deafening sound

The monkey could escape if he wanted to
But swinging on trees the tiger could never do

So he sat on the tiger and together they walked
Through the fallen trees and broken rocks

Wonder if they made it to a far away place
I hope they are alive by heavens grace

A story so rare the canopies did hold
And perhaps many more could be told

If only we care to let our forests be
Many a life could coexist peacefully

Poetry 2017 Longlist Aishwarya Singh

The Myriad
Aishwarya Singh

This isn't how it had been.
This was a different world
That I knew nothing about.
What I knew had been something else.

Not this clear blue sky,
Nor this fresh air breathe.
Not the warmth of the rising sun,
Nor the glee of exploring birds.

It had been like a blizzard –
A fuzz of chill;
A spout of abandon;
A slate of white, meaningless lies.

It had been like a sandstorm –
A blur of nothingness;
A suffocating sourness;
A sheet of ragged, unclear interpretations.

It had been like a volcanic eruption -
A blast of mortification;
A tarnished emotion;
An envelope of lethal longing.

It wasn't what it should’ve been.
It wasn’t conventionally beautiful.
It didn't make sense;
And yet, I was addicted.

It was a pathetic web of lies.
It was a pebble tossed into oblivion.
It was a waist deep pool of quicksand –
A bottomless abyss that didn't yield.

It didn't have a clear definition.
It didn't understand evident understanding.
It was a hazy silhouette –
A shadow hovering.

It was all and nothing –
A stark contrast to what I wanted.
I didn't know how I came to receive it.
Yet, I'd only ever known how to live with it.

But now I finally don't have it anymore,
And I don't know what to do with myself.
Because despite whatever I used to think,
It was the only way you knew how to love me.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Poetry 2017 Longlist Aishwarya Shrivastav

The Goddess
Aishwarya Shrivastav

I am the last of the dusk
And first of the dawn
I am the high tides of sea
And deep under waters of the ocean bed
Durga and Kali
Maya and mohini
Some days all of these
And some days nothing at all
I am the Holy body of a lotus
And also the paint of impurity painted over that girl
who has just felt the first rush of blood between her thighs
The Pink the blue the black the red
All shades of rainbow and beyond these shades
I am a woman
More than five letters in this word
More whole than five elements in unequal proportions
Erased boundaries and marks of my own ways
Everyone has a x uncle who may make you feel nowhere close to family when he touches your sacred places without your consent
Know that often home is far away from where you may expect it to be
If not today someday you will stop his fingers and his intentions to exploit your insides
Because anything can reach you only till you allow it to
I was 16 when I stopped folding hands in front of a god I didn't believe in
I began worshipping myself
In class second my teacher taught me that god is inside me
Since then temples felt like the places I didn't know what to go for
In my self-defence classes
The instructor taught us not to smile in order to not attract attention
After that day I never went to the classes because I guess the first rule to self-defence should have been to be defensive towards one's own expressions
I decided very early that the insecurity of attracting unwanted attention wouldn't ever stop me from smiling ear to ear on a happy Monday
I am
Pins and satin bows
And blood stained boxing gloves
I am a woman
Cosmic and earthly
Unclean of societal expectations
Which make me vulnerable?
But more of a rebel
I am Balms
And bones
Baptised by swears
 I am  my own goddess
The creation and the creator
The one that I need to worship
I may take a woman
Or a man
Or both
And the only person who can decide that will be me
Because the only rolls I find cute are tummy rolls and not your suffocating decaying gender roles
 I am first shade of anger slamming my heart on the day I was first groped
Second shade of embarrassment when I put on my first bra
Third shade of power when I slapped instead of getting spanked
More than fifty shades to my existence
And hundred to colour them darker.

Poetry 2017 Longlist Ahona Das

Ode to the Fallen Hair
Ahona Das

I write an ode to my fallen hairs,
On unmade beds, in creases of the comb,
Shirtsleeves and shoulders and
Under the doormat.
Old hair falls to make space for the new and I wonder
If that's how people are too.
No wait, actually, I wonder if I'll go bald one day.
Probably! But my hair grows back, caressing
My face in talk dark cascades,
Dark upon tall dark waves of darkness,
They wash upon my neck and breasts and arms,
Like hugs of things I didn't have to water into being,
Like plants that no one arranged in pots by the
Balcony, losing leaves by the noontime sunshine

And I wonder if the stars feel the same
When they shatter into star dust
Shooting through space before they hit the earth
Everything comes from something
And something makes a home where something else was
Until it's only stars and dust and dust and stars

Poetry 2017 Longlist Abhimanyu

The Dear Eagle ---

 I m the eagle, King of birds,
And no one stops.
Scaling the sky with all my might, that’s why everyone has my fright.
The head is up with lots of glory, without fear I am rowdy.
The prey trembles on my sight doesn’t stand without fear upright.
You can call me wrath as other names, killing ‘n’ crushing are my games.
In the sky I glide, on the land I just slide.
I don’t like companions, because I am champion of champions.
For my pray I am hell, for my pray my presence is fire well.
I see my pray from miles away, on seeing me, it instantly dies away.
I command the birds in air, without my orders no one can move their small wing pair.
Every day I reach the topmost heights, which others can’t reach in any of their flights.
Like a killing machine I’ve born to kill, that’s the thing which gives me thrill.
Don’t mess with me; because I am your death warrant, I am very violent.

Poetry 2017 Longlist Abhilasha Vij

Abhilasha Vij

What scares you, my love,
It is but magic.
Is it fear of disdain that bothers
Or the angst of losing self in lieu?
Is it pain that a lover's begotten,
Or the menace of hearts, a few?
A dream is it, of the younger self,
That kills to call a truce?
Or does it hurt to think of me
As the lonesome lifelong muse?
Has time wound you around its arm,
Or gold stealth the sheen?
Does absence farce that devil's act,
Or peril sound routine?
Who ever gain'd from this gamble,
Without the chance to lose!
Let love bewitch-
Your soul the gleam won't refuse.
What frets you, my love,
It is but magic.

Poetry 2017 Longlist

Incomplete Conversations
Abheshek Pandey
In the limited time we get
To speak out our hearts,
Soon as our moment starts
They entangle our words in a net
Our incomplete conversations
It’s meant to keep us
Close, but all it does
Is widen the separation!
We dangle on either ends
Of the string they cut -
Trying to reach for the other but
Our words hit dead-end
With just three words
Left for each to say,
They delay it to another day
And kick us to distant worlds.
So, all that’s left to say:
Thank you, our incomplete conversa-

Poetry Longlist 2017 Abhay Thakur

The Song of The Moon
Abhay Thakur

With the last ray of light.
The Sun goes down .
Then comes The Night.
The rightful owner of its crown.
With The Night comes them all.
They wake from their sleep when the Sun falls.
Creeping out from the Sun's shadow.
They all come out.
As they come then they shout.
They shout out something that can be heard only by few.
When they come, they colour the sky black which once was blue.
They shout out as the ancients used to do.
Before telling the stories of magic and voodoo.
It's their gathering call.
To gather them all.
All those who have a heart for adventures.
But in those hearts there must not be any fear.
The heart of a lion and the spirit of a dove .
The Call will be heard only by the ones worthy enough.
As The Night crawls into my room .
Just like it , they do it too.
Listening to their talk , I am among those few.
They talk and they tell.
They whisper and they yell.
Listening to their yawps and their whispers .
I am one of those who call themselves The Night Listeners.
We listen to the sound of The Silence .
Away from this treacherous world's violence.
Sometimes The Night talks like me.
Replicating my beliefs and my envy.
It thinks like me and like me it dreams.
It laughs like me and like me it screams.
But sometimes as I listen deeply to its sound
There is  a deep secret that I always found.
The Night tells me something that I must not disclose.
It's a secret between us that I chose.
It's the tale of two Kings fighting a war.
It's The Song of The Moon, that it pour.
Onto the clouds and all the stars.
Onto the worlds, near or far.
It's the Song Of The Moon.
That The Night told me.
It's The Song Of The Moon.
That I am telling thee.
It's The Song for the spirits who are free.
But you must remember, it's a secret between you and me.
Now you know the secret , so you must listen to the sound.
The sound of the silence that you might have found.
Listen carefully and you may hear.
Them coming near and their whispers.
Now thou shall call thyself a Night Listener.
You will listen to The Night's Sound.
The melody of stars and the rhymes of clouds.
Then you will hear it someday or maybe soon.
The best of all, The Song Of The Moon.

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Poetry Longlist 2017, Aarti Sonar

Awkwardly  Comfortable

Aarti Sonar

From the corner of my garden,
I sit to sympathise my problems with the sky
The heels of prettiness do not make me happy,
I find the solace on the lawn of infinity with my bare feet.
World looks fatal to me and my place divine.
Tried convincing me to go out,
But the chirping of those from my verandah do not give me the permission,
Thought of going out to buy love,
Couldn't find more than what I find backyard in my puppy's eyes.
In those walls, I found freedom.
Freedom I didn't get in the happening world.

Poetry Longlist 2017, Aakriti Bhatia


 Aakriti Bhatia

 I saw him and I fell,
Hard and fast,
like a gravitational spell
I saw his mouth, and his eyes,
and I forgot how to swim,
as I drowned deeper in
I heard his mesmerising voice,
as he said my name,
how it sounded like a prayer
And in that moment,
I could have fallen a hundred times
And yet, somehow...
As he uttered his next words,
I was liberated,
Liberated, as if, from a trance
And now…now he was falling
Fallen in my eyes, no longer handsome,
and I realised, without a doubt,
Beauty can turn around,
when an ugly mind comes out.