Sunday, December 1, 2019



The Huge Ironies

The huge ironies
Are persisting
That you wish to be out
Out and wired
With your laptop
There is no pull
Like the pull of the café
Its magnetic
It pulls you towards itself
With a force greater than gravity
And yet
You cannot
For you suddenly
Simply cannot afford it
All fortunes have changed
And the café is not the only thing
Out of reach
The food courts
The sunny bench in the park
Even the bench
Outside the mall
Such is public stalking
Being left
With questions about reasons
Does not help.


Walk again
In the alleys of other people’s home
For it is another gorgeous fall day
The colors
They change each day
Deepen, darken
Leaves crunch under your feet
Leaves fall around you
Trees bare themselves
Brace for winter
A year is about to pass
Walk again
In the alleys of other people’s home
Or just sit and type
Sit here, yes, right here
Tell us, they say
Of their torture
Send us evidence
Send them
The story of what’s happening
But what’s happening
You type and type
Get nowhere
The tv
Right infront
Shows all about tracking
Tracking through phone calls
Police gadgets
But sit and type
Of how the surveillance around you works
Type with untrimmed nails
Type before trimming them
Cutting your nails
Little things, no colors
No polish
No rings
No promises
Vacant empty fingers
With the metaphor of nail trimming
Cutting, having become very large
In the language of espionage
Some said, some felt
Nails of people
Digging occasionally in your flesh
Your own being pulled out
Are they?
Or anytime now?
All gone?
Fall leaves
Yet another fall day
Or type some more
Just taking notes
Data collection almost
Of perpetrated torture
Or walk again
In the alleys of other people’s homes
For you lost your own
But you live here too
Renting a flat or a room
Who makes it then
A purpose out of fighting landlordism?

Intravenous Feeding

Finding again
In the new rental accommodation
That same equation
Of crime and vulnerability
Being told
Almost at the same time
Of authoritarianism
Perpetrating itself
Dishing forth culpability
Putting you
In strange garbs of misery
And might
In the language of a compulsive wife beater
Or the love of a compulsive wife beater
Inflict more misery
Alarming messages
Coming from strange sources
Finding again
In the new rented place
An overly sweetened sauce
Of things not meant to be put together
Like espionage and residence
An overly sweetened sauce
Being fed
In an intravenous manner …..

All over again

Of someone
Controlling completely
And pleading innocence.

Calling Upon Fever

Calling upon fever
With a million gadgets of control
Wired in
Almost to your body
Or to your naked brain
With all its soft and delicate tissues
Ruffled, trespassed, electrocuted
Beautiful thoughts
Stored for the next day
All images
Deleted almost
Sent away
Cannot be recalled
Disappeared in far off places
The fading of human memory
The end of the game
Fever calls
Why do they do it?

The Waiting Before The Court

The waiting before the court
For that very elite force to arrive
You could hear the prison door open
It was a musical metalic sound
Like the opening of gates
Like the arrival of hope
Like the seeing of a way
Like the sighting of light
And then there were the handcuffs
But before that
The prisoner’s cell door opened
It sounded harsher
Like negotiating between compromised rights
The officer of the state
Very politely asked you
To let him know
If the handcuffs were loose or tight
But it was not his politeness
That mattered in the moment
It was in the way in which you offered
You stretched your arms
Like you had been dragged
From the wedding aisle
Like your bracelets had just now been taken off
Like your wrists looked so tender
They could be slit off by anyone
But there was something very human
In the officer’s question
It represented the first world code
Of treating its prisoner kind
And that is a very important code.


PANKHURI SINHA is a bilingual writer, although she writes more in her mother tongue Hindi than in English. Her first award is for her Hindi poetry “Ek naya maun, ek naya udghosh’ for which she received the Prestigious Girija Kumar Mathur award in 1995, while studying in BA  Honours part II, in Indraprastha College, Delhi University. Her first two books are collections of stories published in 2006 and 2008, with Gyanpith, a very prestigious name in Hindi publishing. Both these collections have received the love of readers and critical acclaim. She then, went on to publish two collections of Poems in English, Prison Talkies in 2013 and Dear Suzannah in 2014, both with Xlibris, Indiana. Since then, she has published four collections of poems in Hindi, Raktim Sandhiyan, Bahas Paar ki Lambi Dhoop, Pratyancha, and most recently, Geetil Raatein. She has also received numerous prestigious awards in between---Chitra Kumar Shailesh Matiyani Samman in 2007 for her first story collection koi-bhi-din, Rajeev Gandhi Excellence Award in 2013 for outstanding achievements in writing by Seemapuri Times, First Prize for poetry by Rajasthan Patrika in 2017, Pratilipi Kavita Award and many other prestigious awards. She is a student and teacher of Modern British History, currently teaching in a government college in Bihar, India. She did her Master’s in History from SUNY Buffalo in 2007. She has an incomplete Phd from University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, which she plans to finish in the near future. She received the Dean’s entrance fellowship at the time of her admission in the Phd programme in 2008 in the University of Calgary. Her poems have been translated in several Indian languages like Bengali, Marathi and languages abroad like Spanish, Serbian, Nepali, Turkish, Czech and Romanian. These Poems have also been published in magazines of these languages. She herself has translated Hungarian, Romanian, Serbian, Italian and Turkish poets. She also translated stories by Ramnika Gupta from Hindi to English, and the interview of reputed Indian theatre personality Ratan Thiyam by Udayan Vajpai from Hindi to English. She is also a freelance journalist and has interviewed several top politicians and writers like Shashi Tharoor, Mahesh Sharma, Mark Tully, the German dancer Anne Dietrich, Professor Critic Dr Margaret Koves, Prof Istvan Voros.

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