Sunday, January 1, 2023



Divine Sighting

In Padmanabh Swamy Temple


'I can only see a giant hand '

Said I, aloud in the crowd

And to the crowd

And some one replied

With a question

'And above the hand

Do you see a face?'

'yes', said I, as I found it

With not just focus, but exact Direction!'

Through the second door

I had to see the Lord's

Stomach, Brahma emerging on a lotus

Stem from the Lord's

Navel! But the three

Tiny dieties glistening

Bright, as opposed to

The mild light bathing

Shree Padmanabh swamy

Stole all possibilities of Vishnu

Himself, resting somewhat, on the

Sheshnaag, becoming visible!


Inside the third door

The light no longer

Was dim, careful not to

Disturb the God's siesta

If the pose can be called So!

But loud and clear

Around his feet

Only the idol

Was completely covered!

So though three tiny doors reveal

The diety to the devotees

The diety actually is very

Little revealed, and that

Basically seems to be the

Purpose, probably of

Gods themselves but certainly of those who

Run the show of

Diety devotee conversation!


The business of showing godhimself

To the world monopolised since eternity!

Even though the priests

Of the temple are friendly, guiding!

Yet, when in the middle

Of the darshan

When I found my wrap

Around, traditional dhoti

Untying, after the stampede like line in

The temple courtyard

Two of them began to

Show me the way down!


But this commando guarded

Professionally run temple

With a half hidden diety

Behind artificially operated doors

Cramming people in a tiny gopuram

No matter how holy, how beautifully erected

How abundantly surrounded by grandeur

Of poetry in stones

Still has a mystic aura with an architectural

Elegance par excellence

Reminding the best of a

Time, the Chera era

In the many poses of the dancing Shiva

The damru, and the trishul

All weapons and arts of the Gods

All creatures their carriers and companions,

Life like, frozen as though in moments

The stone statues of the dancing girls so alive

Hurts to see

their lamp holding hands

Turn coal black, from the

Wrath of the fire! For what flickers in endless

Rows of glittering diyas

Is not just a magical delight to the eye

But a hidden potential

To burn this world down!

So fire is divided in

Tiny flames to dance

And illuminate holy

Spaces! So darkness be better defined!

But the reclining Vishnu

A uniquely graceful position, a position

We know the meaning of

The night we spend

Sitting up, like I did at the

Airport, right after the Darshan, is a replica!


Adikesava Perumal temple, with the

Reclining Vishnu and

The confluence of

Three rivers, kothai

Pahrali, and Thamirabarani

Is called the Srirangam of Chera kingdom!


I was only 12 kms away

And simply didn't know

The temple surrounded by rivers existed so close!

Not even all the hotel staff who

Guided me about the area, told me so!

Ah! That relationship between knowledge and

Power defines itself again! Will I be able to

Come back, revisit?

Wild guess! But all three

Rivers will continue to run through my mind!


Mermaid Fantasy


The sturdy rock was in the

Middle of the sea

As far away as the eye

Could see

A rock of legends!

A rock of magic

It blessed the island

And the sea!

Plenty of fish

The islanders fished

Flowers adorned

Their homes of stone!


Mermaids danced on the rock

On nights certain

When music was heard


Do not disturb

Said the islanders

The sea was left alone

On such nights !


A calm pervaded on the

Shore, the sea a roar of

Waves! But farther away

And far away

Beyond any eye could see

The sea was shrinking

The rocks dwindled

The green loosing its lustre

The blue looked like grey


And one fine day

The islanders saw

They could lean and touch

The rock! But the mermaids

Were gone! No one heard

That music again

Though they waited

And waited!


Then the scientists said

It was global warming !


Believing In Angels


We are blessed by the angels !

God is real!

Butterflies are messengers !

Have you ever had a butterfly

Come close to you?

Don't you know

How the monarch butterfly


Believe in all the statues

Of saints and angels

And all the gods

Made by men!

Even for one day

Believe in, the beauty

Of this world !

Regardless of faith!

This war will end

But only Gods and angels

Can't do it

Human beings have to Come together

Some day to make this world

Enduringly beautiful!


PANKHURI SINHA: Bilingual poet, story writer and translator from India. Two poetry collections published in English, two story collections published in Hindi, six poetry collections published in Hindi, and many more are lined up. Has been published in many journals, anthologies, home and abroad. Has won many prestigious, national-international awards, like the Girija Kumar Mathur Award, Chitra Kumar Shailesh Matiyani Award, Seemapuri Times Rajeev Gandhi Excellence Award, First prize for poetry by Rajasthan Patrika, awards in Chekhov festival in Yalta and in Premio Besio Poetry competition in Italy, Sahitto award in Bangladesh, and Premio Galateo in Italy for poetry in mother tongue. Has been translated in over twenty seven languages. She has studied in Delhi University, Symbiosis Pune, SUNY Buffalo, and  the University of Calgary, Canada. She has worked in various positions as a journalist, lecturer and a content editor. Has done writing residencies in Hungary and Bulgaria, and attended the Tranas Literature Festival in Sweden.

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