The Fourth.

Life is now just a conundrum of dates

A caustic reminder, of events.

The nuptials on a fourth

That joyous fourth, when the stork flew in

With my pink toed petal soft precious bundle

And, that harrowing morning of fourth

When the sun set upon sunrise

And my life crumbled in a miserable heap.

Yet again on a fourth, I stood there stony and lifeless

Where she lay frozen, not in peace.

Oh! How I crave a flame from the fire that incinerated her pyre

To singe me too, turn me into a glowing pile of ash.

It wasn’t her time to go. It wasn’t his what he took

That coward messenger of fatality who took her away

Why doesn’t he come fetch me?

I’m after all, just a body too, that is sanguine no more.

In this mausoleum where I now remain

I dread, the fourth of each passing month

For they are only a grim reminder

Of the many bygone fourths that I yearn to relive and retrieve

Alas! Life has no back up.

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Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936): 153rd Birth Anniversary.

Aish

Today is British writer, Nobel laureate Ruyard Kipling’s 153rd birth anniversary. This morning I saw a post on twitter with a picture of the beautiful Kipling Bungalow within the compound of famous JJ School of Arts Campus in Mumbai, built shortly after his birth. The bungalow is now a museum dedicated to the memory of the author of endearingly famous book, ‘Jungle Book’, among others. I have so many memories of watching the adventures of Mowgli and his animal friends with you.

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Later in the noon I took a short walk, and barely a few metres from our house on Campbell Road, I noticed a plaque on a house that read, “Rudyard Kipling lived here as a boy 1871-1877.” Now, isn’t that a lovely coincidence? Unfortunately, I couldn’t enter the house as it is a private residence now.

 

I have yet to explore this city. I’m told, even Charles Dickens house is nearby.

The cities and towns of the United Kingdom are steeped in rich heritage and history. Much of the buildings are well preserved but renovated from within to suit modern lifestyles, and its museums are filled with ancient artefacts lifted out of the commonwealth countries ruled by Her Majesty The Queen.

It is strange though that a country which preserves centuries of history in all possible ways and means, thoroughly and systematically destroyed the rich Indian knowledge, traditions, culture and heritage.  A span of almost 200 years was more than enough to change the face of an ancient civilisation that explored science and technology centuries before the western world realised even the most basic life sciences.

I would’ve loved exploring more of this city with you Dear.

Love

Maa

Blossom.

A short poem written for my daughter when she turned 17. An amateurish attempt at poetry, and a mother’s rush of emotions.

A crimson rosebud in the herbs,

Greeted by the morning sun,

Unfurled a blossom in my garden!

 A burst of blush in the greens,

Velveteen dewy petals,

Like pearl drops on rubies!

Jewel of the queens,

Dazzling the bees of the greens,

Swaying in the gentle breeze!

 With your fragrance you beckon,

Your beauty is to reckon,

Gazing at you their hearts quicken!

Cheering the dusky eve,

Soothing the tired,

Reaching out to the divine!

O’ blossom in my garden,

You are my pride, my dear,

You are my eden!

(c) Anita Desai, August 2012

 

 

Book Launch: Muffled Moans Unleashed.

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Compiled and Edited by eminent writers Dr. Santosh Bakaya and Lopamudra Banerjee, and Published by Authorspress, the book features my short story ‘Boat Posture’ and a poem, ‘Unchanted’.

‘Boat Posture’ is dedicated to Kusum, my friend and classmate in Kendriya Vidyalaya School – Meerut, who was repeatedly harassed by our male yoga teacher. Those were days when the ‘MeToo’ movement hadn’t yet taken roots and when women had no voice or support, either from their families or the society in general in matters of sexual harassment, abuse or violence. I am grateful to the Editors and Publisher for giving the story of Kusum its rightful place in this outstanding anthology.

The poem ‘Unchanted’ dedicated to victims of child rape is an ear piercing scream at India’s phallic obsession that transcends all boundaries and barriers of humanity to penetrate and brutalise childhood.

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Amaravati Poetic Prism 2018: A Multilingual Poetry Anthology.

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https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amaravati-Poetic-Prism-2018-International/dp/9388125339/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1543067948&sr=8-1&keywords=amaravati+poetic+prism+2018

A multilingual poetry anthology, The Amaravati Poetic Prism 2018, Edited by eminent writer Smt.Padmaja Iyengar, features two of my poems, ‘Overcast’ and ‘Arunodaya’.

‘Overcast’, an English poem is a sharp cry against the epidemic of gender violence/child rape plaguing mankind since time immemorial, but found a voice only in recent times with the ‘MeToo’ movement.

‘Arunodaya’, meaning Sunrise, is a Hindi poem dedicated to farmer suicides in India. The poem took shape from a news item in a leading newspaper that detailed the death of a farmer described by his distraught family.

I am grateful to the Editor and Publisher for giving my poems a space in this magnificent anthology that features acclaimed international writers.

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Muffled Moans Unleashed: An Anthology on Abuse/Gender Violence.

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Compiled and Edited by eminent writers Dr. Santosh Bakaya and Lopamudra Banerjee, and Published by Authorspress, the book features my short story ‘Boat Posture’ and a poem, ‘Unchanted’.

‘Boat Posture’ is dedicated to my friend and classmate in Kendriya Vidyalaya School – Meerut, Kusum, who was repeatedly harassed by our male yoga teacher. Those were days when the ‘MeToo’ movement hadn’t yet taken roots and when women had no voice or support, either from their families or the society in general in matters of sexual harassment, abuse or violence. I am grateful to the Editors and Publisher for giving the story of Kusum its rightful place in this outstanding anthology.

The poem ‘Unchanted’ dedicated to victims of child rape is an ear piercing scream at India’s phallic obsession that transcends all boundaries and barriers of humanity to penetrate and brutalise childhood.

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Two Mothers

 

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Mother’s Day: An ode to Parvathy and Kamala. My mother, my grandmother.

Two Mothers

Once upon a time
There lived two mothers
Gentle and petite like a flower
Robust and dense like an oak
Who never feared the winds
Nor any violent storms

Like mother earth
Their still beauty was
A soothing balm
For our minds disturbed
A lullaby song that
Let us rest undisturbed

Bathed in their golden light
Young lives prospered
Like pastures blooming
In the warmth of sunlight
Like birds chirping
On those fruity shady trees

The wonder women
Who
Needed no costumes
Nor any drama
To slay those evil doers
Or rescue the perishing

The sea of life
was their playground
Tucking up their sarees
Bare fisted and clenched teeth
They indulged in a duel
With crashing waves

The two mothers
Now lie in peace
Deep in the brook
Making Merry
In the confluence
Of Tunga Bhadra & Kavery


© Anita Desai, 13.5.2018