Wednesday, May 1, 2019



I think when you read a wonderful poem, when it starts, by the end of it you’ve moved so far – and you think how did you move me so far in so few words?”
–- Tishani Doshi

It has been a privilege and an honour for me to be touched by Poetry!  And even more humbling to be a contributor and now part of the Editorial Team to this wonderful E Zine which embraces Poets and Poetry from different corners of the earth. What unites this forum together is the beauty of the poetic form and the common lingua franca~ English!

Born out of passion of NillavroNill Shoovro in April 2015, Our Poetry Archive has indeed come a long away in facilitating a cross cultural exchange of world poetry. It has also given space and recognition to many wonderful new poets from all over the world. This special edition in May celebrates Indian Poets writing in English.

Indian English Poetry has made a rich contribution to the world of literature and is associated with writings by Indians both residing in India as well as literature from the Indian diaspora. Tracing its journey, one remembers the patriotic and spiritual poetry of Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Aurobindo Ghosh, Rabindranath Tagore and Sarojini Naidu.

Moving on from that era in post colonial India, contemporary poets have written about a variety of themes, from forging a new identity, to social issues, and even autobiographical content.

A strong trend in modern Indian Poetry is the use of free verse, non rhyming poems with irregular verses, a literary style where thoughts, feelings and emotions are presented in a free flow. It experiments with language and imagery and is often influenced by globalisation.

Contemporary Indian Poets have made it big in the world arena. Poets like Vikram Seth, Sudeep Sen, Tishani Doshi, Ampat Koshy, Santosh Bakaya to name a few have global following. Well known amongst the diaspora is Rupi Kaur who with her illustrative poetry has caught the imagination of the Indian youth in different parts of the world. Dr Ampat Koshy has invented a new form of sonnet called the Roseate Sonnet where the first Alphabet of the last four lines when read together spells Rose. Many poems have been written in this format.

And so here it is ladies and gentleman. A special edition dedicated to Contemporary Indian poets writing in English and contributing to world literature. Happy Reading!

Ipsita Ganguli
From The Editorial Desk



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MAY 2019

ALICJA KUBERSKA: What does poetry mean to you?

SHAMENAZ: I believe in Wordworthian ideology, “Poetry is a spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings, where emotions recollect in tranquillity.” I think verses are eternal and beautiful when it comes out from your heart and soul, when words come abruptly from your mouth and not by planned way.

ALICJA KUBERSKA: What’s according to you the meaning of poetry in the contemporary world?

SHAMENAZ: I think in the contemporary world more and more people are writing poems, focussing on poems and they are taking it a tool against social injustice, humanitarian crisis. Many people are using poetry as a tool of resistance against racism, oppression and subjugation which is a positive sign.

ALICJA KUBERSKA:  Can you describe your creative process while writing a new poem?

SHAMENAZ: For me poetry means spontaneous overflow of words transformed by your own powerful emotions. So for me it is easier to write as per I feel or as per situations. I feel it difficult to write when I am given a theme because not all time I can mould emotions as per the theme. For me poetry is something with should come out from your heart and soul.

ALICJA KUBERSKA:  Did it happen to you that a poem was just your dream?

SHAMENAZ: Yes definitely, when I was a teenager I had composed some poems but in the present some years back I use to wonder that how so many people are writing poems because it was difficult for me to compose. Though I was writing as that time but basically it was related to my research work or on women issues but it mostly it was academics. But when Nepal earthquake happened and I saw the sufferings of the Nepalis then some poems were abruptly composed by me and later when I saw the Syrian refugee crisis then I composed many poems.

ALICJA KUBERSKA: Tell us about your inspiration. What’re the most important subjects to you?

SHAMENAZ: My Dad has always been my inspiration. He used to compose poems in Urdu language but unfortunately he died when I was just 3 years old but by reading his verses I had always felt motivated though I took up writing poems very late. I write on various humanitarian issues existing in the contemporary world relating to human existence like women issues, refugee crisis, racism, terrorism, resistance etc.

MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Which were the emotions that inspired your first verses?

SHAMENAZ : As I have told earlier it was the tragedy of Nepal’s earthquake which inspired me and I composed my first two verses on it.

MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Was your aspiration to become a poet or did all happen by chance?

SHAMENAZ: Yes it happened by chance. I was writing from a long time on various women issues existing in our society. I am a PhD holder in English literature and the topic of my thesis was related to South Asian feminism so I was very much interested in women writing.  My poetic journey began accidently in 2015.

MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Who is the first person you read your poems to and why?

SHAMENAZ : Actually, when I started writing I was not confident enough to read my poems in front of somebody because I use to consider my amateur and beginner so I just posted it on facebook and the response I got was tremendous which inspired me to write further.  

MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Have you published any poetic anthology, if so what did you feel the first time you got it in your hands?

SHAMENAZ : Though I contributed to many poetry anthology across the globe but it was Feeling With You with Armeli Quezon which was my first edited anthology, the second was The Celebration of Voices with Deborah Brooks Landford consisting mine and hers poems. My third was a solo book, Shades of Life after that I edited 4 anthologies Women Poets Within and Beyond Shores Volume I, II & III  and Verses on Racism, Resistance and Refugee Crisis. My two anthologies, Feminist Voices: An Anthology Against Rape and Sexual Molestation and a multilingual anthology, Camps of Resistance and Consciousness in under publication.   

MARIA MIRAGLIA:  Who are the poets you prefer reading? Do you get inspiration from them?

SHAMENAZ : I prefer reading old English British poets and Urdu and Hindi poets from Indian sub-continent. Yes I always feel inspired by reading classical poets because it gives me strength to compose more.

APRILIA ZANK:  How important is accessibility of meaning to you? Do you challenge the readers to work hard to decipher your poems, or do you prefer transparency of meaning?

SHAMENAZ : Nowadays poets mostly writes in simple language which is quite accessible to all. As far as I am concerned I believe in transparency of meaning.

APRILIA ZANK:  What kind of poems do you write mostly? Do you have recurring themes, or are all your poems unique?

SHAMENAZ : I write on various humanitarian issues existing in the contemporary world relating to human existence like women issues, refugee crisis, racism, terrorism, resistance etc. Mostly they are on recurring themes but I have also composed on strong women like Razia Sultan, who was the first woman who sat on the throne.  

APRILIA ZANK:  Do you think your poetry is typically feminine / masculine? If yes, in what way?

SHAMENAZ: No they are on multifarious themes as I have already discussed above.

APRILIA ZANK:  In what way is your poetry different from that of other poets?

SHAMENAZ : No, I think I also write in the same manner as my fellow poets are writing in the contemporary scenario. I don’t think I write in any exceptional way.

LEYLA IŞIK:  What are the main factors to make poetry real poetry?

SHAMENAZ : It is the emotions and passions, the intensity to write for the betterment of humanity.

LEYLA IŞIK:  Do you think imagery is important in poetry? Where does the importance of imagery begin in a poem, where does it end?

SHAMENAZ : It was a time when imagery was considered important but in the contemporary scenario it is not so relevant. I myself have not used it much.

LEYLA IŞIK:  What are the most used types of poetry in your country?

SHAMENAZ : India being a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic country with so many languages spoken here, so you can’t fixed a boundary of literary culture because here every language has its literature and in every literature poetry has a prominent place. So people from different ethnic group and different language write poems on almost all themes and subjects.

LEYLA IŞIK:  What’s important to be a good poet? To write good poems!

SHAMENAZ : I believe that some people possess the talent of writing good piece of poetry since birth and some people cultivate it by regular practicing. One should read more and more poems of all poets of pasts and practice writing.  

LEYLA IŞIK:     Who are the most important poets and their main properties nowadays?

SHAMENAZ : I think Rumi is the mostly read poet around the world because of his mysticism. Then every country has its great poets who possess certain qualities liked by its people. Now because of translation we can read poems written in any language in the past as well as present.

DEBORAH  BROOKS  LANGFORD:  Understanding poetry begins with visualizing the central images in the poem. What do you see, taste, smell, hear, and feel? What is the imagery of your poetry?

SHAMENAZ : I also try to write poems which has universal appeal of humanity, love and brotherhood so when I write on any such issue than I visual images related with the theme. For example, when I wrote a poem on the Syrian refugee child, Aylan Kurdi who was drowned in the sea while escaping from Syria then it was he the central image in my mind and all the atrocities which he must have experienced.

DEBORAH  BROOKS  LANGFORD:  What is the mood of your poetry? (Or How does it make you feel?)

SHAMENAZ : I write as per the situation, so reaction is based on the situation.

DEBORAH  BROOKS  LANGFORD:  In your poetry who is the speaker of the poem? Are you speaking to yourself or to others?

SHAMENAZ : In my poems, it is mostly I who is the speaker and sometimes I speak to others whereas in some to myself.

DEBORAH  BROOKS  LANGFORD:  What is the message of your poetry?  What messages do your poetry convey?

SHAMENAZ : My message in my poems are, ‘love and respect each other, spread peace and happiness and make this world a better place, let not hate win us.

DEBORAH  BROOKS  LANGFORD:   Does the internet and social media contribute to the success of your poetry? Is this the reason you write for?

SHAMENAZ : Yes internet and social media are contributing to a great extent to the success of your poetry as more and more poets around the globe are connecting  with each other. Poets are getting national as well as international platform.

NILAVRONILL SHOOVRO:  Thank you so much dear poet for the interview. We would like to know your personal experience with OPA as a literary web journal. Would you like to share anything more with our readers?

SHAMENAZ : You are welcome, it’s my pleasure. Through OPA I was able to connect with larger audience and with many international poets across the globe. I would just like to give a message to all poets to raise their voice through their poems against all the atrocities existing in the world in any form.




Where there is love,
for all race, class and ethnicity.
Where there is respect,
for every community.
Where there is equality,
for all gender.
Where there is mutual-cooperation,
among all nationalities

Where there are no barriers,
of religion, caste and country
and people live in harmonic coexistence.
Where law is equal for all citizens,
irrespective of any divisions on
ethnic, national, religious or linguistic
Where there is harmony,
between majority and minorities.

Where there is no distinction,
of class and money.
Where conflicts are solved
with peaceful methods.
Where all kinds of worldly fragmentation
are sensitively consolidated.

Where pen is not bound,
to write against one’s wishes.
Where tongue is not tied,
to speak truth.
Where mind is working,
with no fear of execution.
Where every dignified head
is always high.
Where knowledge is transmitted,
with no commercial interest.

Let us build such world,
which rests on principles of,
peace, love and harmony,
for every individuals on this earth.


Walking and walking many miles around,
on the untrodden path,
searching for a route,
in an unplanned way,
don’t know where will I land?
Will it be my destination?
or just a part of journey
embarking to walk further
in a more dexterous way,
to reach a destination not dreamt.


It’s no use dwelling after you
because you are a myth
far away from reality
never to come back
It’s not pessimism
but your actions
which speaks more
than your words
I was a fool to follow a myth
realizing it very late
I have to bury everything
which you have stir in me
by your fake emotions
and concern
though impossible


Chaos, chaos everywhere chaos
leading towards catastrophes’
people panicking
not able to handle
current situation
revolving themselves
day and night
towards material possession
more than requirements
without any patience
making themselves obsessed
just for mere attainment
of physical needs.


Life seems to be hide and seek
ventilating the hidden paths
closing already opened doors
surprising at every ends
sometimes deceptive
sometimes unbelievable
like a game of hide and seek
when one never know
which path to venture
for attaining destination~


Dr. SHAMENAZ is the Author, Co-Author and Editor of 13 Books, Silences and Survival of Indian Women in Shashi Deshpande’s Fiction, Golden Bridge, Poems on Partition Literature, A Visit to the Ruins of the Vijayanagar Empire at Hampi, Women Poets: Within and Beyond Shore Volume I, II & III, Verses on Racism, Resistance and Refugee Crisis Vol I, Gender Studies: Fragmentation and Formation, Shades of Life, The Celebration of Our Voices, Trends, Issues and Implications in Asian Women Writing, and Feeling for You. She is currently teaching English Literature at Rajarshi Tandon Mahila Mahavidhyalaya, Allahabad. She has taught English Literature and Language at S. S. Khanna Girls’ Degree College, Ewing Christian College, Allahabad University and AIET, Allahabad. With a D. Phil in English Literature from the University of Allahabad, she has professional experience for more than 15 years. She has contributed poems to many international Poetry Magazines & Anthologies like Women of Substance, Raven Cage Magazine, Poetry Archive, Women of Reflection, Women of Passion, Poetic Souls, Feeling International, Hope Reborn and Glomag. She is a member of the Editorial Board of many international journals, including Angloamericanae Journal (Macedonia), KJHSS (Azerbaijan) Anglisticum (Macedonia), IJRHS (Jordan), Cyber Literature: An Online Journal, The Context, English Literator Society, Literary Miscellany, Research Access & Expressions, Levure Litteraire (France-Germany-USA). She regularly contributes articles to Web magazines -, and Her blogs are:,




Green, how I want you green
Like the precious gems
Etched in my love
Emerald and Jade
Warm hues
Scintillating aura
A trajectory romance
Shimmering in green

Green, how I want you green
Like the enticing creeper
Swirling and delicate
Tendrils reaching for the sky
Silver sheaths gently serenading the sunshine
Content in their heart shaped contours

Green, how I want you green
Like the mystical forest
Piping with towering branches
Bird chirping in a flutter
In a frenzy over the mating season
Content to bask in the glory of the Gulmohar
Perched safely on tree tops

Green, how I want you my green
As, my unconditional love for you
A promise foretold till eternity.


The time machine whirs, a tiny memory stirs
O, it is Spring again
The Season of rebirth and regeneration
The Season of our potent love
The frolicking romance
The raging passion
The poems born in the bosom
Gushed out in the vocal chords
A celebration of our togetherness

The time machine stirs, a tiny memory stirs
Your crinkling eyes start a riot
In the lush meadows of my heart
Your warm husky voice
Rings a million melodies in my soul
I serenade you with all my love
And we stay locked in a close rapture
Oblivious to the world

The time machine whirs, and a tiny memory stirs
O it is encased in a golden casket
Studded with diamonds of our heartbeats


Our being is but a splendid celebration
A felicitation of having arrived on the planet
For this life was born for a purpose
A journey transcending to its pinnacle

Our being is but a realization of the prime task
That truth rides high as a rider
Singular and manifested in a splendid rainbow
Untouched by the filth of machinations

Our being is a consummate affair
Diligence high at its core
A very steep sojourn of will power and faith
Complete with a plethora of gratitude


AABHA ROSY VATSA is a, Poet, Author, Writer, Blogger and Ex teacher. She has published fourteen books, twelve of which are Poetry. She has been awarded 'Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Women Empowerment Award, Queens Inspiring Gems of India Award, Icons and Crusaders award, Margdarshan award. She has hosted two Seasons of Faridabad Chapter of 100 000 Poets for Change. A die hard optimist, Aabha believes in the power of the written word.  A quintessential student of life, she is deeply Spiritual and a firm believer of Karma. She lives with her family in Faridabad.




The Moon and I walked together
Measured strides, in the milky terrain
I stumbled and stopped, the moon stooped to pause
Eternity, in the brief speck of a moment
A pulsating truth was born.

My shadow and I in mutual submission
Hang on in infinite trajectory
Sewing edges of discord.
The togetherness both haunts and comforts
Paving a labyrinth to perfection.

If only you could have stayed on
If only you could have walked beside me
By the sea of turmoil
I could unravel to you the mystery
Of that hidden pearl, we tried to seek.


Drip drop, Drip drop
My senses take flight
To a long lost ballad
In the bard’s wanderlust
Is there a rivulet nearby?
Honeybees suck nectar on molten rubble
The fragrance of fresh pastures
Wafts from sores and saline
Ring in candyfloss delight!
The heart then a melting pot
Alive with incandescent love
A doll’s house of fanciful dreams.

Drip drop, Drip drop
Rocks my seasoned frame
Into an obscure slumber in mother’s womb
Is that a compassionate face
Peering at me with bloodshot eyes?
Ah! The blood drops drip in sullied veins
Reaches the cold heart
To bathe a fistful of futile dreams.

Drip drop, Drip drop
Cajoles me to eternal sleep
Carves an epitaph on the tombstone
“Here lies an incorrigible dreamer
Shrouded in crayons and rainbow”


The morning breeze tiptoed in
A shaft of sunlight filtered
Through the latticed window.
Nudged out of bed
I flung the window wide open
The breeze and sunlight
Somersaulted and danced free.

My outstretched hands
From the corner of my eyes
Soaked in the golden hue of ripe mahua
The red palash so brightly piquant
Romanced with the butter soft sunlight
In waves of gleeful orange.

The variegated bird’s chirp
Intercepted by the cuckoo’s harping note
Resonate with a gush of joy
And the heart chimes
Spring is in the air!


AMITA RAY is a retired associate professor in English and Vice Principal of a college in West Bengal, Her career spans over a period of thirty eight years in different educational institutions. An academic of varied interests she is also a translator  and short story writer. She has translated into English Abanindranath Tagore's KHIRER PUTUL which was published recently. Many of her short stories have been published in popular web magazines  and The Sunday Statesman. She is also a poet and her poems have been published in Glomag, Setu, Dissident Voice.