Category Archives: Poetry

84 Minutes

Those 84 minutes of hell

That you endured

Screaming, Shouting

Fighting, Pleading


You know you woke

A nation which was asleep

You were a ray of light

Just like your name


My fearless sister

Are you at peace today?

Did you look down from Heaven

And smile a little bit


Di d you see the people

Cheering outside the courts

And did you see the fire

Which was lit by you


Are you happy that

Those animals are caged

That they will spend their

Rest of the days, waiting to die


It will be hell for them

And you can watch them

With some satisfaction

I suppose


I hope your 84 minutes

Of agony and distress

Be 84,000 for them

Oh fearless one, rest in peace now



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Filed under India, Poetry

My Mumbai Colleague

My Mumbai Colleague

Like you,

I am a journalist


Like you,

I visit many places

For work


Some lonely

Some crowded

Some in the evening


Like you

I was an intern

When I was 22


Tasting the new success

After a college education

Exploring my world


Like you

I was a professional

Doing my job


Like you

If my assignment was in the mills

I would have gone


Like you

I would have never thought

I would be violated on my job


Fight, my sister

Be brave

For all of us


Don’t listen to anyone

Who says

That you were


In the wrong place

At the wrong time

Or in the wrong clothes


It wasn’t you

My Mumbai colleague

It’s them


They were in the wrong place

At the wrong time

With the wrong intentions


It’s not your shame

It’s not your izzat

It’s not your family’s honour


That they took

Who hunted

In a pack


It’s their’s

They should be ashamed

Of being worse than animals


They assumed

That they were



But they are wrong

You are a woman

Shakti Chandi Durga


Rise, my sister

In your fight

I hold your hand


Like the girl on

December 16

Jolt us out


Of apathy

Of desensitization

Of nothing-can’t-be-done attitude


Fight the fight

For all of us

My Mumbai Colleague







My Mumbai Colleague

So they know


They don’t have

Any power

Over you



Because it’s your life

To live


Poetry written for this fellow journalist

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Filed under India, Poetry


Death is black

It is quick

It is slow


What does it taste like?

It’s like the salty tears

Which never stop flowing


It tastes like black soyabean

Which hungry children

Once ate


It’s in the mud

Which covers the graves

Of small bodies


It’s in the guttural cries

Of a wailing mother

And a stoic father


It smells like school books

Whose pages haven’t been turned

New, unused forever


It’s in an empty classroom

Where human life ceases to exist

And stray dogs sleep


It’s in a village

Which mourns the loss

Of its future


It’s in the empty playground

Where six friends once played

Now buried together


It’s in the eyes of a grandfather

It’s in the heart of a mother

And in the silence of a sister who cheated it


It’s in the green fields

And blue skies

And a pond which reflects everything


It’s in the apathy

And desensitization

Of the hordes who die, anyway


And the – oh, those poor children

So sad they died

It was somewhere in India, right?



One month after the Mid Day Meal tragedy where 23 children died.

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Filed under India, Poetry


I walked past you today

Oh, pregnant river


You were in the earth

Where I used to tread


Sinuously swirling

You called out to me


Enchanted I stopped

To take a look


Swollen, full

You almost seduced me


In the yonder

I saw your mate


I decided to hurry

Past you


But you linger on

In my memory


Oh wretched one

I know your games


I belong to you

I know that, don’t you


But I am not ready

To be a part of you


One fine day

When the sun will shine


I will tread gently

On your loving waters


Unafraid that your hungry belly

Will consume me


You dangerous one

You will want to drown me


But I will be ready

To swim instead

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Filed under Fiction, Poetry

I Rise

I rise

Because I want to walk down that street

Freely, happily, unafraid

Just like you


I rise

Because a fire was lit

And it’s burning brighter

In every atom of my being


I rise

Because I was defiled

My crime was being a girl

Thirteen with no breasts to touch


I rise

Because you look at me

Like you want to rape me

Undressing me with your eyes


I rise

Because I want to run

Feel the wind in my hair

Without any fear


I rise

Because I want to see the world

Travelling to my own tunes

Just like you


I rise

Because I am a sexual being

And whatever I wear

I never ask for it


I rise

Because I am a woman

Your equal, your greater

Never lesser that your half


I rise

Because this is my fight

Because you assumed me weak

Subservient and quiet


I rise

In war

In pain

In fear


I rise

In hope

In prayer

In freedom


For the One Billion Rising Campaign and it’s Delhi event

Meanwhile watch this!

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Filed under India, Me, Poetry


I keep you in my womb, safe

I give birth to you

Man, I create you


My eyes unsleeping

My body unaching

My love unwavering


Yet monsters you become

Teaching me painful lessons

For no crime of mine


You touch my feet as Sita

And yet you ask me

To walk on hot coals


You ask  Saraswati for knowledge

You ask Laxmi for wealth

You ask Durga for strength


And yet you kill me

Before I am born

Are you really a man?


I am your daughter

I am your sister

I am your mother


You forget this

Outside your home

Even in your home


I bear quietly

The pain you give

Swallowing it like a bitter pill


I am strong

And yet you think

Of me as weak


My unspoken eyes

See what you have

Done to me


Wait for the Kali

In me to rise

Man, you will cower away


I will cause you pain

I will give birth

Only to my daughter


I will nurture her

Make her strong

And battle worthy


Trust me, man

You don’t want to see

Laxmibai with undocile eyes


So fight with me now

Not against me

Stand up and be counted


Because my war cry

Will be hard

For you to ignore


I will die

A thousand deaths

For my sisters


Until you have

Learnt your lessons

The hard way


I will be nirbhaya

I will be amaanat

I will be a braveheart


You will know

My many names

Until none exist


Then you will know me

As respect, dignity, equality

As woman not Kali or Lakshmi




Thoughts after the Delhi gangrape incident

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Filed under India, Poetry

I Know These Mountains


I have seen them before

Every jagged edge

Every scar on their face

Wind swept, rain knocked


Bare, brown, grey

Then snowy white

Set against the bluest blue

As heaven called out to me


I know every ravine

That ran through them

Swelling, rushing

Eroding, corrupting


I watched, mesmerized

A tiny spectator

They stood unshakable

Their vastness alluring


But then I crossed them

Again and again

Till there was nothing to conquer

And then I was free


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Filed under Poetry