Tuesday, 28 March 2017

[Poem] Nest - A Ghazal

Built we a home, a place, our nest
A place of love and of rest, nest

Some homes are built for conceit
 But ours, is no weaver bird's nest

In the pile of straw, grass and twigs
Tiny eggs ripple in the warm nest

This home, an open womb, an incubator
Eager fledglings cackle and grope, in the nest

The laughter and cries of children,
The sound of running feet, fills our nest

Wonder why some choose to discard
Their eggs, their future, in another nest?

Perhaps they are the wise, perhaps they know
Fledglings will grow wings and desert the nest?

Oh Illakiya! a few feeble twigs, limp grass and floppy straw
A shell that houses empty shells, is that still, a nest?

Saturday, 11 March 2017

[Poem] Control


Many things in life, have to be admired and experienced from a distance.
But sometimes we are seized by a childish desire to own, to appropriate for ourselves alone the beauty that we see. But the owning, might result in the disappearance of the very object we covet.
This poem uses a glass of water as a metaphor to elaborate this idea.

A glass of water sits on the table

I detect
Patterns of iridescence
the colours of the rainbow
twinkling 
As the light falls
The breeze
Causes delectable ripples

I let it sit there
Drinking with my eyes
And incredible joy engulfs my being

Then I pick it up
Let the liquid flow
Drop by drop
In my mouth's hollow
The last drop lingers in my lips
but it too vanishes
at last

I thought the drinking
Would leave me all tingling
Brimming with the overflow-
A surfeit
Filling all my pores

Yet, there is only an emptiness
A loss, a void,
A regret at what once was
And IS no more again...

[Poem] The Curse of Modernity



This poem was written in response to a contest conducted by Dr Saantosh Bakayya, who took the above picture. It was declared as a winning entry along with four other poems, in the literary group The Significant League. 

Please click on this link to hear the audio recording of the poem

https://soundcloud.com/bhuvaneshwari-shankar/the-curse-of-modernity


When did my world begin to change?
Frozen in a dizzying time warp,
I stand nailed to the ground
Feeling a a giant train blast through me
Littering my world with alien debris

The television came
With it, the advertisements
That bid to change with the times
Oh! the relentless bombardment
Day after day
Bewilderment
Day after day

Watching shadows, I could tell the time
Unlearnt it - to own a watch
My spun cotton no longer trendy
I spend a better part of my earning
On clothes that no longer fit
In pantaloons badly stitched

The local grocer changed his ware
Traditional was passe
Potato silvers, biscuits, soft drinks in the display
We ate that too, because the advertisements told us to

The rich own the world
They always do
They get the best slice of the consumer pie
We get the crumbs
 And call it nectar

All this talk of organic farming
But we have always been organic
Till the pesticides came on the scene
Our water ways on the verge of pollution
The village air
Toxin free for now
I dread the sick world
Which is my child's inheritance

The local shaman has been shamed
 By men in white coats
He has not the wherewithal
To fight diseases of the modern world

The city - a tantalizing temptress beckons
Dimmed- the senses lie, in the bright lights
 But I have come not to drown in her pleasures
Disease is a demon at my back
And, I have come gathering  all that I ever owned
Fear compels, so does hope for a death postponed

The giant shark waits
Its mouth wide open, fangs exposed
It swallows all
And hungers for more
My money, my dignity, even my footwear
My life is a study in despair

I await the word of the shaman in a white coat
Little realizing that he is but a sham
I squat here my defilement complete
In a shabby road unkempt
The corporate shark has sucked
My life's blood
Barely have I, anything left
for a meal or even a bottle of water
A hotel stay is but a pipe dream

All around me vehicles blare and hurry past
Men and women move fast
Hurrying towards something
I am all alone
In a loveless world
Shorn of everything
I squat in the filthy street
Dreaming of the green fields back home

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

[Poem] Ras Lila: A Roseate Sonnet

This is a roseate sonnet on the Ras Lila. The roseate sonnet consists of three quatrains and a rhyming couplet. The first letters of the last quatrain begin with R O S E and hence the name Roseate sonnet.

Image source: http://www.junglekey.in/search.php?query=Rasa+lila&type=image&lang=en&region=in&img=1&adv=1

Dusk meanders in like a giant inebriate
Thoughts held at bay, through the day
 Rise and take hold, sleep - vagrant, inchoate
 I dread another night of agonized dismay

I stray listlessly, find my friends in the bower
Each languid, in different states of disarray
Wander they, as I, in search of the Eternal Lover
Callous, whimsical, he hold us in his irresistible sway

At last, strains from his flute float in, through the falling dew
Our spirits rise and joys engulf, as if on cue

Radiant, effulgent, ever youthful, blue hued lover
Offer I, me, up to you, to do as you will
Salvage my failing spirit, O saviour
Enfold, embrace, of your benevolence, let me have my fill

Friday, 3 March 2017

[Poem] Temptress- A Feminist Reading

                          Image source:https://www.arab-painting.com/pic/Oil

The Virgin and the Temptress
Have always been here
Since Creation

Born and reborn in myth
Only, the Temptress
Siren Eve, Shurpanaka, 
Time and again
Reinvented
She is a courtesan
A dancer, musician, an entertainer

The temptress today
Unveil her many graces
In celluloid
As voyeuristic cameras
Explore her in the minutest detail

Men will of course call her a goddess
worship her in the silver screen
Yet
Gape at her posters
Salivate in private
Call her
Unfactually
Unfaithful

Neither goddess nor nymphet,
She is
A mere puppet
In the (film) Maker's hand