Monday, May 1, 2017




The daily scars
on that oval face
lightly powdered
and rouged

give away a narrative
of different kind

played out in a home
full of bottles of cologne
old albums
few cheap best sellers
and bottles of rum
stashed away under
piles of unread dailies
in the corner room
littered with cigarette stubs
and broken glasses
and a leather belt.


The boss
after the afternoon tea
served with civility by his secretary

talked highly of Mr. Varma's performance
in the Mumbai-based company
making the 35-year-old techie beam
with that typical radiance that attends a delayed orgasmic pleasure

and then---
changing tonal varieties and track
the boss said: Here, your check. Please give me the keys!

it took many minutes for Mr. Varma to absorb the pain
akin to a sudden cardiac arrest

or, later on, as recalled by him: it was a thrust of sword driving deep in!
I was totally devastated! This deception!

but nobody noticed or offered sympathy in the office.
They thought at least they were all spared the hangman's noose.

Mr. Varma returned home late, acting normal, before his pretty wife.
in the night, he committed suicide.
nobody mourned him for long, though.
His oldie said, he should have tried elsewhere. Why take his precious life?

Like farmers committing suicides, nobody was ready to understand the burden of debts and a sad conscience.
When early, planned death liberated family of debt obligation, it is supreme sacrifice.

For the TV and media, another number only.
Chattering classes moved on to other news,
discussing celebs lifestyle.


Love is that sudden cloud on a sultry summer afternoon
Stretched out lazily on a tired and yawning street,
Its tar melting in places and a corner shriveled-up tree
No longer is a home to birds or flowers, as it totally
Covered with the soot of the vehicles' exhaust, passing hurriedly,
It breathes life into the dead and animates the cityscape
Providing succor to those already forgotten.
A homeless, in tatters, finding comfort, in the tiny shadow of the twisted tree
And the passing cloud---enough for an eternity!
His faithful companion---a cat in gnarled hands, purring,
Completing the picture of a derelict family.
This is suburban Mumbai with millions of dreams thriving
Each orbiting in its own atomic axis,
Automatons trying for love and happiness in a mercenary city.
Another autumn
This autumn is a pale version
A shadow.
Another autumn, another age.
World was young.
Flowers and trees covered the lanes
Of a sleepy place that was home.
Outside the town
Stretched fields of mustard.
Orchards of mangoes that announced summers.
The in-between segment of time
The autumn of March-April decked out the North India
In colours golden.
The sinewy leaves fluttered like a heart gone weak at the sight of
Young ruddy women walking down to the only women’s college.
Then: Severed by a hot breath
They flew away and settled on the poorly-surfaced roads of that
Small god-damn town, sitting on the edge of history, yet to be written.
Autumn in that place where most residents knew each other well
Reminded us of a Shelley poem or a canvas by Constable.
On the brink…of time
We watched the suns and moons and advocated changes in the caste politics.
Autumns heralded changes in seasons.
Now, no such things---nothings.

SUNIL SHARMA ; Country: India. Mother language: Hindi. Nationality: Indian. Current location: Mumbai. He is a widely-published critic, poet, literary interviewer, editor, translator, essayist, freelance journalist and fiction writer. He has already published 14 books: four collections of poetry, two of short fiction, one novel, one a critical study of the novel and co-edited six anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism. His six short stories and the novel Minotaur were earlier prescribed for the undergraduate classes under the Post-colonial Studies, Clayton University, Georgia, USA. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award---2012. Another milestone is that his poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, in the year 2015. Sunil edits the English section of the monthly bilingual journal Setu published from Pittsburgh, USA: For more details, please visit the blog:

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