Tuesday, September 1, 2020




A Summer’s Journey


Come April, and my trunks were packed, all set to go

on the most exciting journey ever taken by mankind.

It was to King’s Cross Station Platform 9 and 3⁄4 I headed first,

Where through the barrier I ran, oh so carefully,

To avoid suspecting Muggle eyes.

Of course, once past it, waiting there, the Hogwarts Express

With its red steam engine, all ready and hooting,

To take me to a wizarding world.

A week I spent there, and wished it could be forever,

But my journey was just begun and I had other stops to make.

So up the towers went I and like the Mother of Dragons,

Summoned Drogon.

Perched I upon its scaly back, directed the course

To Westeros, the Khaleesi that I was, to claim to the Iron Throne.

’Twas at Paris I stopped next, and along with Professor Langdon,

Followed I the trail to crack the code.

Now exhausted, I proceeded to pleasurable Italy

Wherein I could eat, pray and love

Before joining the Andalusain shepherd Santiago,

And with him embark upon a search for treasure

Across the deserts of Egypt, all the way to the Pyramids.

A sea voyage beckoned me and with Pi

I rode high tide and low, upon a raft

With the mystical Richard Parker.

A stopover at a Georgia plantation was next

Where, with the charming Scarlett and Rhett

Struggled for love and life.

But soon I had to fly, for I heard the thorn bird calling,

From down under, a song of such epic passion

And heart-wrenching romance.

Unable to take the pain, I found

A passage back to India, and soon was upon

All the roads that lead to the Ganga.

I lost and found myself in Bombay, the maximum city,

Till my friend Swami came a calling,

And with him came I to Malgudi

To go on bullock cart rides, play cricket and chase paper boats.

But soon ’twas time for me to return home,

Where friends who heard my travel narratives

Said, with some jealousy, I know,

That travels I had none, only a deep dreamy sleep.

I don’t counter them, but smile instead

For, when the travel images flash upon my mind’s eye,

I know for sure were not illusions, but real.





Parental Crossing


Halting at the red, eyes glued for a green,

An incessant honking proclaiming great emergency

alerted me to turn. A parent with two uniform-clad

school kids on a scooter—a frantic hand

furiously sweeping the air before him, and a face

contorted with the mouthing of expletives.

It took me a second to realize ’twas

at me they were directed.

His crisis dawned upon me that moment:

A conscientious parent that he was, he had to

reach his children to school on time—

A discipline which he strove to execute diligently.

Empathizing with his anxiety, I wheeled my own scooter

Into a luckily available gap so that he could

Squeeze through the impatiently waiting commuters

And shoot off, to fulfil his filial duty.

As I watched him cleverly evade pedestrians

upon the zebra and narrowly escape the crisscrossing traffic,

I knew his children would reach school on time,

a discipline well learnt. But, will they in life?






Lie Poetry


‘Liar,’ I was once called.

Swore I upon my poetry—

The manifested words, my very breath,

From the depths of my being—

Swore I that I had uttered

No untruths.

Disbelief and scorn greeted me.

After all, what was poetry

But a figment of imagination?




VIDYA SHANKAR, a poet, writer, yoga enthusiast, mindful mandala artist, a “book” with the Human Library, and English teacher, is the author of two poetry books The Flautist of Brindaranyam, in collaboration with her husband, Shankar Ramakrishnan, and The Rise of Yogamaya, an effort to create awareness about women and mental health. She is chief editor with Kavya-Adisakrit, an imprint of Adisakrit Publishing House, and chief admin for the Facebook group Kavya-Adisakrit which, though not even a year old, has done much to promote good literature. She has been on the editorial of four anthologies, and has won several honours and recognitions, both in India and internationally.

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