Wednesday, November 1, 2023



Sita Or Sati


Born in fire


deeply wound

in so-called love,

I, in flaming chromosomes

linked with the lynched

natal bond


Bred as a fire-girl,

a rhododendron

in ashes of cold heights…..

schooled for

the fire-rites,

in the soft encumbrances,

pulpy shells of sisterhood


Taught to cower

along the lines,

along the fissures of pain,

an agni pariksha

igniting every moment

every breath,

till the last one.


Pushed off the edge

by my mother,

pushed herself to

cut me off from

her bruised umbilical cord

into the hungry

orange ocean


Into the vortex of

savage drum beats,

the shehnai–drone,

the pyrotechnics

without salvage,

the last rites, sacramental shrieks,

loud conch shells


sacrificial chants of

the sindoor ceremony

myself in state,

voiceless regality,

a dubious spectacle,

a violent red pieta

in dark colours of

a make-believe whiteness.

© Laksmisree Banerjee                   


Silent Scream


Her scream has travelled long

through the hollows of ages

in the silence of whispering dogmas


A playful child she was at nine

with peals of laughter

enlivening her pink cheeks


Her dimples gleeful with her

clinking glass bangles holding

lovingly her slender wrists


The crackling jungles dim

the blossoming trees and foliage

all in sync with her quiet cries


While the foreboding heaved

deep within her childish bosom

with screams throttled by tradition


Soon her glass bangles broke

brittle like her silent crying heart

her whole self-enchained in gold


The young bride pushed into

an alien household with her wails

in subterranean folds of her trousseau

An under creeper wrenched out of

her soil for painful transplantation

her shrieks now deep as the ocean


No dearth of kith and kin or friends

no dearth of relationships half baked

in-laws, children, grand children


Her lord in sunny glory of triumph revamping her

Through decades, she in seeming command

as the screams pierce deeper into her loam


She remains forever the forgotten trophy

now a sudden horizontal ivory white

the grand matriarch dressed up again


Her final journey as lavish, pallid and ashen

as that first one with gleams and screams

she the Ma Durga and her carcass floating now


Worship, immersion, festivity, facades

all drown fading into memories and births

of generations of women with silent screams

dying every instant with their fortitude of dreams

© Laksmisree Banerjeee




Our tears have washed off the saffron in intense colourlessness,

Our white has gone tear-stained but now even whiter,

Our green has crossed mountains of black pathos---

Vijay-Divas, our conquering day with no souls conquered,

Flags off to a better day, perhaps.


The hills of Kargil touch the skies with tired hands,

With fingers gnarled, rocky and eternally skeletal,

The summits weep with entrenched virulence in their wombs,

Cannons pierce their fluttering blue

With the darkness of bloodstains gone dry.


Kargil and the martyrs, who sleep endlessly

On its forsaken beds of history waning into nothingness,

Our weeping songs praise their heights and heroism

With the blankness of choked voices,

In re-births of possibilities or no hope.


We hear and speak the lessons of life,

Of terror and trauma recycled every moment,

Yet drowned deep in the ceaseless waves of love

Perhaps in the centuries to come

We just may return to hold hands once again.

©   Laksmisree Banerjee  



(Tribute to  the Raped Daughters of India)


her voice awakens us

    a thumping soft echo rings in our wet hearts

        a falling star, an erupting timelessness

despite the hooded darkness

        her sparkling absence

    becomes our magic wand

on the road to freedom---


she is here and now

    she is you and me

        within and around

she is everywhere

        across and beyond the rainbow

 underground and overground

our Durga, Draupadi, Razia Sultan our Mother Mary---


she ignites my question, your question

        the question of countless Indians

reigning in rains, bleeding our veins

        our mourning awaiting the Sun

 furious cascades of ablution

        wailing against that hapless Midnight

of our dubious tryst with destiny---


the ardour of a thousand blazing moons

    the sprouting blue lava of her shrieks

        have whetted myriad bleeding struggles

have sanitized our skies and seas

        we are joined in worship in an endless cavalcade

    to redeem her unafraid volcanic tremor

resolved again to seek answers---


Nirbhaya’s sleeping voice is sleepless today

    with the lurking beasts still preying through

        our streets, our homes, our very own spaces

our cacti-forests are on fire

        our ravaged gardens seek justice

    our aridities yearn for Nirbhaya’s

cool clear water and pure ire---


we face each other, for each other

    linked in this encounter of

        prayer with folded hands

in a caravan of peace

        to the promised land

    perhaps to arrive or never to

with Nirbhaya’s surging symphony---



her fuelling soul hopes for a new dawn

amid the outrage against that

                                    celebrated Midnight of Mahatma’s India ---                

©Laksmisree Banerjee                                                                   


Haria: The Outcaste


Haria is not allowed

to cross our threshold

or enter the thirty-three million

doors of our gods.


He can hardly combat



His dreamy eyes clouded, dark, are

folded and supplicant like

the green, timid under-creeper.


The brooms of cactus-life

help him to clean our dirt with

the breath of a hopeful vigilance

for a simple flash of instant salvation

with a lurking fear of a ruthless eternity

of god knows what,

never leaving his heart. 


He sweeps our outside verandahs, porches,

the dusty pathways, the lavatories,

cleans our sullied bins and grimy cesspools,

frittering away his doomed hours

on the dim margins of hope

which never arrives.


Our Brahmin cook with

a noose of a sacred thread

around his neck,

pounds painful thunders on him

driving him away like a street dog.


Prof. Dr. LAKSMISREE BANERJEE is a Multiple Award-Winning Poet /Author, Literary Critic, Educationist, Editor and Practicing Radio & TV Vocalist with several National and International Publications, Assignments & Awards to her credit. She is an International Senior Fulbright Scholar, Commonwealth Scholar and National Scholar from the Calcutta University, a UGC Post-Doctoral Research Awardee and Former Vice Chancellor & Pro Vice Chancellor of Kolhan University, Eastern India. As a University Professor of English & Cultural Studies, Dr. Banerjee has lectured and recited in premier Universities of the world.  She has Nine Books of Poetry (with Two more forthcoming) and One Hundred Twenty Academic Publications including Books. Among her several Awards, a few need special mention---- viz. she is the Recipient of Two International Awards for Lifetime Achievement in Art & Literature, International Panorama Award for Poetry, Kala Ratnam Award, Asian Literary Society Women Achievers’ Award, Connoisseur of Literary Arts of Asia & Tunisia Award, Literoma Laureate Award for Lifetime Achievement, Sahitya Akademi’s Avishkar Award as “a Scholar-Artiste & Poet Musician”, the prestigious UGC Postdoctoral Research Award for her path-breaking Work on Comparative Studies of World Women Poets  and many other Awards over the years  An active Rotarian (Multiple Paul Harris Fellow) and a Former Nominee of the Indian Rashtrapati on several Central University Boards, Dr. Banerjee is passionate about using the potency of her Pen and Voice for Social Transformations and International Peace/Good Will.


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