Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Poetry 2018, Featured Poet, Nimisha Bissa

My Story

I am writing a book,
that would glorify the songs of blue
and sing praises of the daily heroic humdrums
that I valiantly triumphed through,
A book that would lionize the obscure walks I took
like the moon walking towards its eclipse
and celebrate the pages of remarkable sunsets
when no rain could quench the thirst of the somber lips.

I am writing a book,
that would dedicate odes to the setting sun
and to those stranded quests for the hearts
of stars at the loss of a loved one,
That would not make me feel miserable
for the choices I accepted but never made
and would put me on a pedestal for that melancholy smile,
I so beautifully masquerade.

I am writing a book,
that would contain tragedies in pages
I would want to tear off, but will not
for when I look back to the finished stories
I would realize that this memoir is mine,
and those half-written characters were so paralyzed to have shaped my final plot,
That would underline the days when it was scorching heat
with no signs of a cool veil, and...
I would come home fragile and frail with a face, deadpan
that would hymn pivotal feats when I did not need the cape to be a Superman.

I am writing a book,
and it will not contain references of stalwart triumphs and passionate conquests
but would present stories where the tears run dry and eyes go sore seeking success,
It would trail answers for questions unsought
and would rather end on a sad note.

Poetry 2018, Featured Poet, Neelam Saxena Chandra

Life Of A Stone
 
Even the stones
Lying secluded in the murky corners
Of the gardens and houses
Have tears;
The only difference being
That they have learnt
Not to shed them
Openly!

They sob, weep and wail
In the darkness of the veil of night,
Hidden from everyone.

A few,
Unable to cope up with the harshness
Disintegrate into mud,
Others are feeble hearted
And they often wait
With their bodies, like Ahalya,
For some Rama to come,
Touch them
And liberate them;
However, the stronger ones
Unshackle themselves from their agonies
By becoming Rama themselves!

Poetry 2018, Featured Poet, Muhammad Auwal Ibrahim

My Letter to Daddy

Dear my father, You are like a farmer:
That farmed on my land
With hoe and cutlass
During rainy and dry seasons
For long, planting seeds,
Know that, your plant will not produce poor products
Your service is unrewardable here
Only God can reward you
All the shades we spread now,
Come after your fertilization

How will I forget you?
How far have I gone?
That I can’t see my back
I am not such a blind driver,
That drives without a mirrow
On a narrow road, thinking to arrive safely

Do you think that I forget you,
Your face, walking, and thoughts
If I forget everything,
I think you, would not be forgotten

Don’t you think I am that child?
That remembers his father’s caring
in the day and night
His efforts in disciplining him,
His responses to his cries
Open your ears and hear me!

I still see you in my mind,
The tree you watered,
Is spreading its roots, products,
And shades in the world

Biography
Muhammad Auwal Ibrahim is a young Nigerian writer, playwright and poet. He was born in the year 2001. He attended Gombe Children School for his nursery and primary school education. He studied at Gombe High School. He is a member of Poets In Nigeria Gombe Connect Center. Some of his works are published in Tuck online magazine, praxis magazine online, Philip Peace Literary Art World and TACT organisation. He has been featured in 4 international anthologies. He has won many poetry challenges. He started writing at sixteen. He believes that writing will bring change in our today’s society.


Poetry 2018, Featured Poet, Mathew John

When Great Trees Fall

Grandpa,
When great trees fall,
Everything is changed.

Though the wise shall pretend to be wiser,
And quote profusely from the great books,
Though the women shall soon find greater grievances
And lean heavily upon the dementia of time,

When great trees fall, everything is changed.

Though the birds flying away shall soon find other canopies,
And the red earth endure the fierce sun like a silent wife,
Though the elders shall gallantly try to remain stoic,
And stare harder at heavy clouds waiting to shower,

When great trees fall, everything is changed.

Though the Ganga shall lose count, as always
And tears, dismissed, with ready-made rebukes
Though another rain shall wash away the blues,
And a hundred new greens, aim for the skies…..


Grandpa,
When great trees fall,
Everything is changed.

At times,
A song erupts, a smile flowers
And wonder strikes, not unlike thunder
From unfathomed depths,
Which is, not quite, me.

Grandpa, they call it ‘genetics’,
A castrated word,
For the ‘you’ raging inside me.

(Poem written in the background of demise of the poet’s grandfather.)



Poetry 2018, Featured Poet, Manjeet Banerjee

Colour of Grief
Grief is timeless and so is loss
they do not rush to the end
they just change colour;

when she seeks refute in the denial of the loss
beneath her swollen soreness of the eyes
after those sleepless nights of endless tears
the colour is violet;

when she grapples at the midnight sky
wishing secretly to roll back the time
shattered mind drapes the hue of cloud for companionship
the colour is indigo;

when she warms up to the bygone days
dreams of the past stares blank at the present
last shreds of the broken memories promises to accompany
the colour is blue;

when she envies him, for leaving the table early
silent shouts protests of leaving her behind
soul had changed brushes, from love to lost to selfish vanity
the colour is green;

when she take that unread book off the shelf
he had always planned to read,
the pages never turned though, resident dust rolled off the covers on her palm
the colour is yellow;

when the mornings are over, after-noon
her middle-parted oiled hair is let loose to dry,
the sun shines high on the once-vermillion strained perfect parting
the colour is orange;

grief never left the house
it lives in the folds of his old used clothes,
by the bed, beneath the linen, waiting for a rumble to rush out in open
the colour is red;

the colour of grief is the rainbow
when viewed in the reflection of the last droplets of the untimely wintry rain
Bitter, resilient and etched to the memories of the lost sunshine.



Saturday, 15 December 2018

Short Story 2018 Winners & Featured Writers

Published on December 15, 2018

Shortlist                                           

Longlist

First Prize - Rajshree Parthivv  

Second Prize - Javeria Kausar

Third Prize - Tarun Chakraborty

Featured Writers

Aftab Yusuf Shaikh   Akil Bakhshi      Chintha Mary Anil

Divya Chaudhari      Neelam Saxena Chandra

Preethi Warrier    Proma Bhattacharjee    Viplove Sharma    

Giftsy Dorcas E.     Sonali Rasal    Sudha Vishwanathan      

Nameet Shetty    Swatilekha Roy

Poetry 2018 First Prize Ananya S Guha

Runaway Time

It is time that is apiece 
on a mantle piece  
shards of time  
knotted in sanguinary mythic places,  
that is history winding into infinite spaces, 
the bard has no time for reflection

I have found time  
in the runaway ghetto  
or in the monastery
or in the prayer of hope  
crushed in wheels of death

Now is the runaway time the  
clock ticking in hubris  
the violent become pacific
the pacific incognito  
shining luminous lights
of  war scarred oppression.  

Blood, let there be may we  
may we Pray. Die.
The luminous lights fade  
Blood is slowly, 
taking over man or animal.

annulled by timelessness  
genuflection of time
a poem stares into the future.

Poetry 2018, Featured Poet, Biswadeep Ghosh Hazra

*23 winters*

23 winters passed by,
I learned that-
Tears and eyeliners;
Happiness and sadness;
Lipstick and lollipops;
Lust and longing;
Dreams and devastation;
Smiles and evil grins;
Mix together very well-

Sometimes they’re inseparable, sometimes one floats atop the other,
Like a fine layer of oil on water-

Is living only for the sake of learning lessons?
Maybe yes, maybe no-
I don’t know, but I’m growing old to find out

23 winters crossed my path,
Making an odd snowman out of me;
A slap of ice cold sorrow here, a small mound of happiness there;
A twig of exasperation, a carrot of anguish
Wrapped everything up with a scarf of warm feelings.

But I’ve been told that for every snowman, there exists frigid winter.
23 winters passed by, more will follow suit, I’m sure-
Summers, autumns and springs are not for me
I survive, dwell, prosper and propagate in the cold.

Winter isn’t coming, it is already here, always with me.

Poetry 2018, Featured Poet, Chandrama Deshmukh

What’s The Plan?   

So what’s the plan?
Well, there’s no plan.
Wanderers, weirdoes, misfits,
we don’t plan, hell, we can’t do it.
It’s all already decided, we follow the flow
Oh no, it’s not exhausting.
It’s calming in fact.
Sleepless nights
Because we can’t bring ourselves
to snooze under the gorgeous moon.
We the charioteers of abstractions
that are broken yet beautiful.
We, the mad tribe, shudder
When a star falls
on an incomplete poem
And we, who paint with black coffee
For hours, seeking nothing.
No idea, no form.
This nothingness is our meaning
We are the meaning we seek.
What? How do we manage our time?
We don’t. It manages us.
The clock is one magnanimous abyss
With no bottom. We deep dive.
The layers melt one after the other
Our core is brutally exposed
The rough edges make us bleed.
But we go on breaking patterns
Rambling directionless.
With no plans, whatsoever.

Poetry 2018, Featured Poet, Debasish Mishra

Golden Ken- A Roseate Sonnet Couplette

Years tears flow, go by; I
Can’t rant but shut
My dry mouth — drouth
Of love, each speech.

Pain rains, yet debt
Of love I try
To (phew) free, repay, yay,
In bins of shoved, few, muted dead words, birds

Sith without clouts, wings, things;
Smacked, blacked by lies, fate. Wait,

Red shreds, pale, stale,
Of love thrive;
Strives my dry soul, whole, huh! To be free;
Eyes dry hold golden ken— streams, dreams!

Note – This poem is the fusion of two novel forms of poetry – a Roseate Sonnet and a Couplette. A Roseate Sonnet is a form invented by Dr. Ampat Koshy in which the traditional sonnet is remodeled with an acrostic at the end, reading ROSE. A Couplette, on the other hand, is another form of poetry devised by Dr. Duane Vorhees, in which the rhyme of syllables has to be maintained (For instance, the first syllable has to rhyme with the second, the third syllable has to rhyme with the fourth and so on).

Poetry 2018, Featured Poet, Giftsy Dorcas


RED

Red shadows trailing, wombs are wailing
Drowning in the misery of flesh trade…
Degraded, fondled, price tagged
Ruffled hair, buried dreams
Numb pain, dumb voice
Living horror, endless sorrow
Body putrefied, Soul disoriented
Enticed or threatened
Trampled by money power
Trapped by human trafficking
Baby to Barbie
Leeches are sucking
Red life
Torches are showing
Red light
Lockers are filling
Red money.
What is her life behind this secluded ghetto?
Red life, Red light, Red money.

Poetry 2018, Featured Poet, Hamid Khan

a late night in december, poetic trance in an isolated cafe  
the warmth of freezing winter, cryptic flavor of this peculiar latte

sublime art on the abstract wall, a dream floating in my eyes
the beats of my heart echo, while the rain eventually subsides

overwhelming ambience of nostalgia, a face somewhere in time to sieze
intensifying aroma awakening my senses, brought here by a distant breeze

deviance of delusional music, giving birth to this emotional prelude
an unembellished wedding to attend, an entire universe to exclude

fulsome splendor of her flawless love, radiating pattern of eternal grace
an implausible allegory of intimate passion, surpassing the science of time and space

and when yearning deforms into the sparkling of stars, eyes stay glued to the enticing moon
nothing comes easy to an everlasting lover, 31/12/very soon, 31/12/very soon…

Poetry 2018, Featured Poet, Joyce Job

Blue Rabbit  

Hoots of the great Indian train stops
and ‘Keli’ walks in, a grand smile on her face.
Her curly, wurly hair tied tightly in a ponytail.
Her petite school uniform all white and well pressed.

She hops in with great delight,
gives me a little wink and sits on my side seat.
She opens her sketch book all set
but wonders which colour to pour next.

It’s a rabbit that needs colours now
wonder if she knows what colours they come in,
‘Coz she picks a little blue crayon swiftly
and starts scraping it all over the shocked rabbit.

Paying no heed to the world and its old rules
or limiting herself to the boundaries we are boxed in,
she paints her rabbit all blue
and gives him a big, green nose.

Poetry 2018, Second Prize, Paul Avish

Wings of Jatinga

Haven’t we disappeared looking up at December skies
Like whispers left on hollow paddy fields?
When shadows of the jatinga rose from the fog of our yards
And flew into the moon, disenchanted,
Haven’t we read poems in the halo of fireflies
And fed on the ones that burrowed into our hearts – and stayed?
Like harvest-mice, haven’t we curled up in the warmth of snakeskin
That had been shed over a winter sleep?
Haven’t we drowned that girl (hyacinths trapped in her hair),
Forever afloat like her undone smile in the mires of our dreams,
To be nibbled by tadpoles of Silence?
Like tall Kans grass, haven’t we lost those children inside us?
Do they still believe it’s an endless game of hide-n-seek?
Haven’t we vowed to stay hidden under the stairs of our frail lives
Like sugar-ants in jaggery jars?
And in twilight-feathers of roaches that never left our shadows,
Haven’t we aged, and died?
Filling our eyes with stars of Vishakha that once hung so close
But were never there?
Haven’t we done those things we once never did?
Have we?

Poetry 2018, Featured Poet, Nimisha Bissa

My Story

I am writing a book,
that would glorify the songs of blue
and sing praises of the daily heroic humdrums that I valiantly triumphed through,
A book that would lionize the obscure walks I took like the moon walking towards its eclipse
and celebrate the pages of remarkable sunsets when no rain could quench the thirst of the somber lips.
I am writing a book,
that would dedicate odes to the setting sun
and to those stranded quests for the hearts of stars at the loss of a loved one,
That would not make me feel miserable for the choices I accepted but never made
and would put me on a pedestal for that melancholy smile, I so beautifully masquerade.
I am writing a book,
that would contain tragedies in pages I would want to tear off, but will not
for when I look back to the finished stories I would realize that this memoir is mine, and those half-written characters were so paralyzed to have shaped my final plot,
That would underline the days when it was scorching heat with no signs of a cool veil, and I would come home fragile and frail with a face, deadpan
that would hymn pivotal feats when I did not need the cape to be a Superman.
I am writing a book,
and it will not contain references of stalwart triumphs and passionate conquests
but would present stories where the tears run dry and eyes go sore seeking success,
It would trail answers for questions unsought
and would rather end on a sad note.

Poetry 2018, Featured Poet, Neelam Saxena Chandra

Life of A Stone
  
Even the stones
Lying secluded in the murky corners
Of the gardens and houses
Have tears;
The only difference being
That they have learnt
Not to shed them
Openly!
They sob, weep and wail
In the darkness of the veil of night,
Hidden from everyone.
A few,
Unable to cope up with the harshness
Disintegrate into mud,
Others are feeble hearted
And they often wait
With their bodies, like Ahalya,
For some Rama to come,
Touch them
And liberate them;
However, the stronger ones
Unshackle themselves from their agonies
By becoming Rama themselves!

Poetry 2018, Featured Poet, Muhammad Auwal Ibrahim

My Letter to Daddy

Dear my father, You are like a farmer:
That farmed on my land
With hoe and cutlass
During rainy and dry seasons
For long, planting seeds,
Know that, your plant will not produce poor products
Your service is unrewardable here
Only God can reward you
All the shades we spread now,
Come after your fertilization
How will I forget you?
How far have I gone?
That I can’t see my back
I am not such a blind driver,
That drives without a mirrow
On a narrow road, thinking to arrive safely
Do you think that I forget you,
Your face, walking, and thoughts
If I forget everything,
I think you, would not be forgotten
Don’t you think I am that child?
That remembers his father’s caring
in the day and night
His efforts in disciplining him,
His responses to his cries
Open your ears and hear me!
I still see you in my mind,
The tree you watered,
Is spreading its roots, products,
And shades in the world

Biography
Muhammad Auwal Ibrahim is a young Nigerian writer, playwright and poet. He was born in the year 2001. He attended Gombe Children School for his nursery and primary school education. He studied at Gombe High School. He is a member of Poets In Nigeria Gombe Connect Center. Some of his works are published in Tuck online magazine, praxis magazine online, Philip Peace Literary Art World and TACT organisation. He has been featured in 4 international anthologies. He has won many poetry challenges. He started writing at sixteen. He believes that writing will bring change in our today’s society.

Poetry 2018, Featured Poet, Mathew John

WHEN GREAT TREES FALL

Grandpa,
When great trees fall,
Everything is changed.
Though the wise shall pretend to be wiser,
And quote profusely from the great books,
Though the women shall soon find greater grievances
And lean heavily upon the dementia of time,
When great trees fall, everything is changed.
Though the birds flying away shall soon find other canopies,
And the red earth endure the fierce sun like a silent wife,
Though the elders shall gallantly try to remain stoic,
And stare harder at heavy clouds waiting to shower,
When great trees fall, everything is changed.
Though the Ganga shall lose count, as always
And tears, dismissed, with ready-made rebukes
Though another rain shall wash away the blues,
And a hundred new greens, aim for the skies…..

Grandpa,
When great trees fall,
Everything is changed.
At times,
A song erupts, a smile flowers
And wonder strikes, not unlike thunder
From unfathomed depths,
Which is, not quite, me.
Grandpa, they call it ‘genetics’,
A castrated word,
For the ‘you’ raging inside me.

NOTES

  • Poem written in the background of demise of the poet’s grandfather.

Poetry 2018, Featured Poet, Manjeet Banerjee

Colour of Grief 

Grief is timeless and so is loss
they do not rush to the end
they just change colour;
when she seeks refute in the denial of the loss
beneath her swollen soreness of the eyes
after those sleepless nights of endless tears
the colour is violet;
when she grapples at the midnight sky
wishing secretly to roll back the time
shattered mind drapes the hue of cloud for companionship
the colour is indigo;
when she warms up to the bygone days
dreams of the past stares blank at the present
last shreds of the broken memories promises to accompany
the colour is blue;
when she envies him, for leaving the table early
silent shouts protests of leaving her behind
soul had changed brushes, from love to lost to selfish vanity
the colour is green;
when she take that unread book off the shelf
he had always planned to read,
the pages never turned though, resident dust rolled off the covers on her palm
the colour is yellow;
when the mornings are over, after-noon
her middle-parted oiled hair is let loose to dry,
the sun shines high on the once-vermillion strained perfect parting
the colour is orange;
grief never left the house
it lives in the folds of his old used clothes,
by the bed, beneath the linen, waiting for a rumble to rush out in open
the colour is red;
the colour of grief is the rainbow
when viewed in the reflection of the last droplets of the untimely wintry rain
Bitter, resilient and etched to the memories of the lost sunshine.

Poetry 2018, Featured Poet, Andrew Kai Hangsing

Suspended Roar

On deaf ears, our pleas fell;
Once again, we’ve derailed
And our roar for our share
Is suspended mid-air
Like the dust particles
Kicked up by vehicles –
Rising to some extent,
Reaching out to heaven
Until the wicked rain
Pulls them down to the drain –
Such is the fate of those
Who, in resentment, rose!
Were it Delhi, maybe,
We’d be easier to see!
Or is this Haflong’s fog
Thicker than all those smog?

Poetry 2018, Featured Poet, Joyce Job

Blue Rabbit   

Hoots of the great Indian train stops
and ‘Keli’ walks in, a grand smile on her face.
Her curly, wurly hair tied tightly in a ponytail.
Her petite school uniform all white and well pressed.
She hops in with great delight,
gives me a little wink and sits on my side seat.
She opens her sketch book all set
but wonders which colour to pour next.
It’s a rabbit that needs colours now
wonder if she knows what colours they come in,
‘Coz she picks a little blue crayon swiftly
and starts scraping it all over the shocked rabbit.
Paying no heed to the world and its old rules
or limiting herself to the boundaries we are boxed in,
she paints her rabbit all blue
and gives him a big, green nose.

Poetry 2018, Featured Poet, Hamid Khan

a late night in december, poetic trance in an isolated cafe  
the warmth of freezing winter, cryptic flavor of this peculiar latte

sublime art on the abstract wall, a dream floating in my eyes
the beats of my heart echo, while the rain eventually subsides

overwhelming ambience of nostalgia, a face somewhere in time to sieze
intensifying aroma awakening my senses, brought here by a distant breeze

deviance of delusional music, giving birth to this emotional prelude
an unembellished wedding to attend, an entire universe to exclude

fulsome splendor of her flawless love, radiating pattern of eternal grace
an implausible allegory of intimate passion, surpassing the science of time and space

and when yearning deforms into the sparkling of stars, eyes stay glued to the enticing moon
nothing comes easy to an everlasting lover, 31/12/very soon, 31/12/very soon…

Poetry 2018, Featured Poet, Chandrama Deshmukh

What’s The Plan?   

So what’s the plan?
Well, there’s no plan.
Wanderers, weirdoes, misfits,
we don’t plan, hell, we can’t do it.
It’s all already decided, we follow the flow
Oh no, it’s not exhausting.
It’s calming in fact.
Sleepless nights
Because we can’t bring ourselves
to snooze under the gorgeous moon.

We the charioteers of abstractions
that are broken yet beautiful.
We, the mad tribe, shudder
When a star falls
on an incomplete poem
And we, who paint with black coffee
For hours, seeking nothing.
No idea, no form.
This nothingness is our meaning
We are the meaning we seek.
What? How do we manage our time?
We don’t. It manages us.

The clock is one magnanimous abyss
With no bottom. We deep dive.
The layers melt one after the other
Our core is brutally exposed
The rough edges make us bleed.
But we go on breaking patterns
Rambling directionless.
With no plans, whatsoever.


Poetry 2018, Featured Poet, Biswadeep Ghosh Hazra

*23 winters*

23 winters passed by,
I learned that-
Tears and eyeliners;
Happiness and sadness;
Lipstick and lollipops;
Lust and longing;
Dreams and devastation;
Smiles and evil grins;
Mix together very well-

Sometimes they’re inseparable, sometimes one floats atop the other,
Like a fine layer of oil on water-

Is living only for the sake of learning lessons?
Maybe yes, maybe no-
I don’t know, but I’m growing old to find out


23 winters crossed my path,
Making an odd snowman out of me;
A slap of ice cold sorrow here, a small mound of happiness there;
A twig of exasperation, a carrot of anguish
Wrapped everything up with a scarf of warm feelings.

But I’ve been told that for every snowman, there exists frigid winter.
23 winters passed by, more will follow suit, I’m sure-
Summers, autumns and springs are not for me
I survive, dwell, prosper and propagate in the cold.
Winter isn’t coming, it is already here, always with me.

Poetry 2018, Second Prize, Paul Avish

Wings of Jatinga

Haven’t we disappeared looking up at December skies
Like whispers left on hollow paddy fields?

When shadows of the jatinga rose from the fog of our yards
And flew into the moon, disenchanted,
Haven’t we read poems in the halo of fireflies
And fed on the ones that burrowed into our hearts – and stayed?

Like harvest-mice, haven’t we curled up in the warmth of snakeskin
That had been shed over a winter sleep?

Haven’t we drowned that girl (hyacinths trapped in her hair),
Forever afloat like her undone smile in the mires of our dreams,
To be nibbled by tadpoles of Silence?

Like tall Kans grass, haven’t we lost those children inside us?
Do they still believe it’s an endless game of hide-n-seek?

Haven’t we vowed to stay hidden under the stairs of our frail lives
Like sugar-ants in jaggery jars?

And in twilight-feathers of roaches that never left our shadows,
Haven’t we aged, and died?
Filling our eyes with stars of Vishakha that once hung so close
But were never there?

Haven’t we done those things we once never did?
Have we?

Poetry 2018 First Prize Ananya S Guha

Runaway Time

It is time that is
apiece on
a mantle piece
shards of time
knotted in sanguinary
mythic places,
that is history
winding into infinite
spaces, the bard
has no time for reflection
I have found time
in the runaway ghetto
or, in the monastery
or in the prayer of hope
crushed in wheels of death
Now is the runaway time
the  clock ticking in hubris
the violent become pacific
the pacific incognito
shining luminous lights
of  war scarred oppression.
Blood, let there be
may we
may we
Pray. Die.
The luminous lights fade
Blood is slowly, taking over
man or animal.
annulled by timelessness
genuflection of
time
a poem stares into the future.

Poetry 2018, Featured Poet, Debasish Mishra

Golden Ken – A Roseate Sonnet Couplette

Years tears flow, go by; I
Can’t rant but shut
My dry mouth — drouth
Of love, each speech.
Pain rains, yet debt
Of love I try
To (phew) free, repay, yay,
In bins of shoved, few, muted dead words, birds
Sith without clouts, wings, things;
Smacked, blacked by lies, fate. Wait,
Red shreds, pale, stale,
Of love thrive;
Strives my dry soul, whole, huh! To be free;
Eyes dry hold golden ken— streams, dreams!

Note – This poem is the fusion of two novel forms of poetry – a Roseate Sonnet and a Couplette. A Roseate Sonnet is a form invented by Dr. Ampat Koshy in which the traditional sonnet is remodeled with an acrostic at the end, reading ROSE. A Couplette, on the other hand, is another form of poetry devised by Dr. Duane Vorhees, in which the rhyme of syllables has to be maintained (For instance, the first syllable has to rhyme with the second, the third syllable has to rhyme with the fourth and so on).

Monday, 10 December 2018

Contest 2018 Results

Poetry

Winners & Featured Writers
Shortlist
Longlist

Short Story

Winners & Featured Writers
Shortlist
Longlist

Haiku

Winners & Featured Writers
Longlist

Microfiction

Prose 500

Winners & Featured Writers
Shortlist
Longlist

Poetry 2018 Winners & Featured Writers

Shortlist                  

Longlist

First Prize - Ananya S Guha

Second Prize - Paul Avish 

Third Prize - Swatilekha Roy   

Featured Writers

Debasish Mishra       Biswadeep Ghosh Hazra

Chandrama Deshmukh      Hamid Khan   

Joyce Job   Andrew Kai Hangsing   

Manjeet Banerjee    Mathew John         

Muhammad Auwal Ibrahim

Neelam Saxena Chandra    Nimisha Bissa

Poetry 2018, Third Prize, Swatilekha Roy

Dust

Today is cleaning day.
After procrastinating far too long,
The layer of dust has become impossible
To ignore.
With a vacuum cleaner, allergy mask and determination,
I start with old magazines, stagnant with clichéd health tips,
Paparazzi, places-to-see-with-your-special-one, nanny ads and,
Blind hopes
Of print worthy life, newspapers glossy with falsehood,
Mites on the dank wood. In me.
On undoing the closet, a putrid smell of the dead arrests me-
Bats. History.
I rummage through years of acquired
Dirt and ghosts of a mirrored past,
Stuffed in a corner, away from the circle of pretense.
A picture of a sunny eyed couple, with much too happiness to restrain
In the minuscule frame.
Christmas savings, baby shoes, gift wraps,
A necklace which isn’t mine
And night club masques, maybe,
We have been wearing those, but never realized.
Maybe,
All this time, we are struggling to keep what isn’t ours-
The hope, the marriage, the baby
That never comes. And reality. Secrets.
Not ours, none of it,
Only yours. Only mine.
This dust is testimony.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Flash Fiction 2014 Shortlist Priyaa Trippayar Sahasrnaman

Volte-face
                       
Underneath his wrinkled skin ran blood pumped from a heart that had been young all along. He had ten days yearning for his daughter to forgive him for all the harm his age had done. Precious glassware had slipped off his shaky hands. His uncontrollable bowels had wiped out all those years of love. As she sat before him, his eyes promised to wait for her to call him back home, for senility home was no place for him.

She held his hands and said, “Pa, you can come home, but you need to adjust with Hari.” The very word ‘Hari’ awoke in him those strange echoes his old brain refused to forget. “Your father is a liability.”

As he turned back and looked at the pristine building which stood proud like a new bottle with old wine, he embraced the truth. “This is where I belong,” he said.

Flash Fiction 2014 Shortlist Paresh Tiwari

Beyond (A Haibun)

My evening walks often take me around the short neglected boundary of a cemetery. As the urgent horns of passing vehicles weave through the potholed roads, I can almost hear the pooling silence of the time-ravaged tombstones inside. None of my loved ones are buried here and yet the overgrown weed, the bare limbed trees, yellowing grass, a forgotten bunch of flowers, the puddle of wax from dead candles and the half-obliterated epitaphs in calligraphic Urdu beckon me like an old forgotten friend.
Every evening, I halt beside this collage of shadows and melting sun before moving on…
dew web…
the feeble struggles
of a housefly

Flash Fiction 2014 Shortlist Neelam Saxena Chandra

Heartless

There was a large bungalow on the furthest corner of the street. It would always be spick and span with no trace of dust even in the monsoons. The bungalow had a mulberry tree. I simply adored those luscious red fruits. Now and then, I would jump over the fence and pluck them.
 
Once in a while, I would peep in through the window. Its décor was fabulous. My child mind would often wonder how it would be to live in such a house. My own house looked not only tiny, but also untidy.
 
One day, while I was trying to pluck those mulberries, I heard a loud shriek followed by continuous wailing. Someone was being hit. I ran away. In the evening, I heard that the daughter-in-law of the house was killed in a freak accident. Suddenly, my house appeared large and well-kept. After all, it had a heart.

Flash Fiction 2014 M S Sathyanarayana

Dyspnoea  
“He’s choking” I cried looking at that sixty plus old man in a dhothi and a tattered wet shirt.
“Dyspnoea!” commented my friend Rajan staring at him.
“What’s dyspnoea?” I yelled.

The rain-lashed black-top road was looking like a crawling snake. That desolate bus-shelter beside that village road was damp and leaking. The old man settled on the cement bench was panting, coughing and staring into the skies as if he’s waiting to see the angels from heaven or agents of the Hades.

His wife was pressing his back and saying, "Wait! The rain will stop soon... It won’t take much time.”
I cried at her, “Give him his inhaler!”
“What’s inhaler?” she asked.
“I mean inhaler; O’ God!” I cried.
“How do they know about inhaler?” Rajan said coolly.
Ignoring my friend, I cried again,
“Don’t you have any medicine ready?"
"Something like deriphyllin or salbutamol?”

I didn’t wait for her reply and rushed into the rain and reached the street corner and asked a passer-by, “Where’s the medical shop here?” 
“No medical shop here, in fact up to a distance of 20 kms.” he replied. 
“No medical shop?!” Stunned, I shouted aloud.
He added, “That old couple live in a small hut. Even a small rain is enough to make them run. They come to this bus-shelter and remain till the rain abates. It’s usual for them. Don’t worry. Once the rain abates, they go back to their hut.”

Returned to the bus-shelter and cried at her
“Take him to the town by next bus...his condition is serious. We’re riding on a motor bike. It’s too risky to drive him town”
We returned to town, but remained my heart guilty.
“I could have done better than leaving that old man like that” I thought.
Next morn, Rajan called over phone, “Read today’s news? The old man died.''

Flash Fiction 2014 Shortlist Chintha Mary Anil

Fleeting Glimpses

Trudging up the slope, I heave a sigh, hoping desperately to flag down an autorickshaw in the gentle drizzle…
Unused calf-muscles ache in antagonistic glee, with passing rickshaws hardly offering a cursory glance, as they rudely weave past my drenched soul. The perkiness of the morning bliss oozes out with each lash of the upcoming storm.

The mind zones in on painful exaggerations…
My eyes steer towards an auto making its upward detour with patient zeal.
None too sure whether the rick is already occupied, I wave a half-hearted thumb at it; with the steep slope ahead, the driver  can’t take his eyes off the road, yet acknowledges my request with a swipe of the wipers, a helpless smile and a shrug of his shoulders indicating the passenger behind…

Leaving the smudge of a smile on the dripping windshield as well as the edges of my lips!

Flash Fiction 2014 Shortlist Krishna Kumar

Cigarettes
Krishna Kumar

She hated smokers while, he couldn't live without cigarettes. Their relationship started like fire and ended as ashes. After three months of their break up, she called him to meet. He reached the place with a pack of cigarettes. While waiting for her, he decided to quit smoking.  Soon, she arrived with a card in her hand.
He smiled at her but she didn't.
"It will never work in between us. I am going to marry him," she told.
He stood there speechless.

Stretching the wedding card, she told,
"But remember we are good friends still..."

He then opened his pack and lit a cigarette.  Smoking it, he came near her and told,
"Honey, why it didn't work and why it will never work in between us is that we could never really be true friends..."

Flash Fiction 2014 Third Prize

Reservation
Vishal Gupta

The morning rays penetrated through him. The cool water tickled his back, as he wiped a bead of sweat from his filtrum*. “How alike?” he thought, carrying fifty rupees worth of labour on his shoulders. The train was already at the station, he wondered why the mustached uniformed man wouldn’t let him board the train. His load kept getting heavier with each passing moment. What would he not give to curl himself up in a corner and go to sleep.
He looked at the weathered blue seats. He had walked almost the entire night with water on his back, just to catch this train. He was remembering his journey when the doors opened.
He pushed and rushed in and finally reached the blessed seat he eyed so wistfully. He discovered a stained handkerchief. A mark of reservation in an unreserved compartment. He closed his eyes.

Glossary:
Filtrum: A porous material through which a liquid or gas is passed in order to separate the fluid from suspended particulate matter.