Wednesday, June 1, 2022






My Happy Place


Who is that sitting on cloud nine? Or is it cloud ten?

Well, there is a profusion of clouds. Countless.

Counting clouds is no easy task,

but I read various meanings in the clouds.

And I see myriad things.

Hush, can you see the diaphanous curtains

swaying in the breeze?

I see pixies and fairies and elves somersaulting,

vaulting over invisible walls, and a lone owl hooting.

Where are the walls? Have they fallen all?

Gasping with delight,

I find myself levitating towards a new terrain,

never before seen, so pristine, so virgin.

I see a frozen lake, and yearn to skate on it. 

Foolhardy of me, isn’t it? 

But, I want to defreeze all shackles.

Ah, there is a cascade of rain- pitter – patter!

Bit by bit, it drenches me.

The birds break into chatter – chirp- chirp.

Nothing else matters.


Hey, is that a unicorn

or has my imagination gone into overdrive? 

I can feel a pink glow of colour creeping on to my face.

Ah, there is another beauty to behold, all drenched in gold.

An Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher, perched on a tender branch,

with slender grace.  

 I inhale the clear-scented sweetness of the air,

as my imagination goes berserk,

perking up, I clutch on to those rain drenched minutes,

making them fragments of the eternal.

In the wilderness, a linnet sings on.




The sky looks down bewildered

trying to identify a bird, peering closer, burrows furrowed.

Ah, it is an egret, a sooted one, once white.

It is a surreal landscape, frightful.

Hearts palpitating, running feet, hair disheveled, faces tear streaked.

The surroundings reeking of senseless violence. 

The strong and the meek all running.

The sky winces in pain, but the sunflowers bloom on.

What this hubristic logic?

My eyes refuse to leave the burnt-out shells of military vehicles,

shards of metal and glass. This too shall pass, but when?

Twisted hubris, crooked logic

and grotesquely twisted remains of explosive shells, so tragic

 lying on the road. Was it flesh littered on the road?

 I shuddered. Innocence was being brutally murdered on streets. 

A missile strike tears through a building, mutilating the façade.

The breeze stops, a dumbfounded sparrow hops diffidently.

 A crow caws its disapproval.

Chunks of concrete and iron sway,

 trying out some bizarre dance steps.

Rubble crashes onto the asphalt below.

Overcrowded bomb shelters, folks running helter skelter,

surrounded by a welter of

broken glass pieces and splinters of broken dreams.

Missiles tear though rooms.

Disaster, they say, still looms. 


A Maimed World


I get up groggily from sleep,

 to find myself looking at the dying and the dead,

at empty stomachs and shattered households.

Why this fight? Why a war? 

The warmongers toot the horns of war. So achingly cavalier.

What exactly is all this hatred for?


A little distance away a tired man, thinner than a drumstick,

his natural exuberance staunched, sees the war clouds billowing,

and lackadaisically pulls out weeds,

 running his tongue over parched lips.


He is in a dull stupor, looking grim as he hobbles around

trimming, digging and watering the straggly plants of his garden,

which once throbbed with bird chatter

and the fragrance of a thousand and one flowers.

Now he tries; but he tries in vain to coax life into them.

Leaves and mud cling to him. “We love him”, they proclaim.  


Far away from this maimed, war- torn world,

so rude and callous, in a little shady corner,

 I imagine Monet painting his waterlilies.

Then stopping midway, taking a breath,

frantically painting a bunch of sunflowers.

Proud and bright. 


 Grief- stricken, famished and scruffy humanity

slogs on for miles, barefooted,

the tooting of warmongers growing louder

every minute.

A linnet’s exuberant song goes unheard.

After all, it is only an inconsequential bird,

who does nothing but sing, in its untiring mission

of celebrating life.




Dr. SANTOSH BAKAYA: Academic, poet, novelist, essayist, TEDx speaker, Dr. Santosh Bakaya, winner of the International Reuel Award for literature for her long poem, Oh Hark! [2014] has been critically acclaimed for her poetic biography of Mahatma Gandhi, Ballad of Bapu [Vitasta, 2015]. Recipient of The Universal Inspirational Poet Award [ 2016 ] instituted by Pentasi B Friendship Poetry and Ghana Government, she has also received the Bharat Nirman Award for literary Excellence[ 2017] Setu Award, 2018,  [Pittsburgh, USA] ‘in recognition of a stellar contribution to world literature.’ The first Keshav Malik award 2019 ‘for her entire staggeringly prolific and quality conscious oeuvre’. Her TEDxTalk on The Myth of Writers' Block is very popular in creative writing classes. She runs a very popular column, Morning Meanderings in Learning and Creativity website, which is now an e-book.

1 comment :

  1. 'Leaves and mud cling to him. "We love him", they proclaim'----made me gasp. Fantastic poems.