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The Only Whole Thing / Susmita Mukherjee

I will give you a piece of my land,
I will give you a piece of my kid’s custody,
I will give you the healthier half of the meal,
I will give you the lions share of my earnings,
I will give you freedom; credit for what you have not done,
I will give you a piece of my jewels, my cars, my credit cards,
I will give you a piece of maintance, legal fees, even alimony,

But I will not give you a piece of my mind,
because even though you don’t get it,
It is the only whole thing I have,
The only land where I will find my peace,
Where I will pick up the pieces,
Into peace…
Soon, soon..
That I promise!

Norma Torian
Susmita Mukherjee from the heart cave of mother wounds.

8th March.




A Sinister flight! Poem by Aneeta Chitale

Birds afraid to come down
Birds over the sinister city

I was a happy bird….with great
Wings to fly …thousands of miles
In open skies…..in cloudy pallets
I flew in seamless oceans
Across the seven seas and
Five continents….in peace!
I knew I was the best chosen
By The Creator….God! Almighty!

I flew in all directions….untill
One day, me and my friends
flew to Wuhun…..China.

The land of plenty
The stuff the make..’.made in China!’
I flew no more…..as
I could feel and see sinister things one day….17 feb 2020
I saw people in bio…suits wearing masks….
These were the human beings
Plundering in n out
With Masks tied on their faces
They rattled here and there….

Untill …we saw many humans succumb to deaths ….in thousands!

No birds flew, no birds chirped, no peacocks danced, and no humans were seen ….
In broad day light, as if the sun had not rose …..on those days…
The deaths tolled but no one cried
Of pathos and woes!
Their were silent fickle cries
….no moaning of deaths…no sermons read…
when your
Beloved parts…..suffocated breaths!

The hues…very stoic n still
Roads that roared of thousands of cars n speeding vehicles
Were barren ….all deserted roads
The people were sick….were quarantined by state n folks!

No birds chirped, peacocks danced, no church bells rang
No tombs clad with wreath!
No obescience no moaning pictures
Captured….
No ships sailed! No Airplanes flew
No tubes shuttled
All that rattled were people
On masks n deathbeds!

No Monk came to bless the departed!
No President read grieving speeches!
No Countries were told of
This pandemic and deaths charts read
They hushed up WHO !

Such is the gloom and cunning guise
All under the subterfuge , of a Corona Virus- Mask!
No people spoke in Chinese Lands!
Their markets closed in Wuhun!

Then….we all paled in the face of death….my friends went to far of lands ….
Thinking it were safe n happy,
But my friends the Corona Virus had plagued…..more deaths in this pandemic….
Millions lay sick and fighting for life!
The Leaders of Countries World Over, were shattered
But uttered words of promise n hope for mankind!
Cities are locked down, no ships catered on ocean routes
No planes flew in blue skies
No peacocks danced this Spring Season
No Spring Equinox celebrated!

No birds flew in seamless skies…
But birds and animals gathered in hooks and
Prayed for all beings well being!

The shepherd’s took a different route !
Something is sinister down China road!

The old traders, turned their routes off- China routes!
The Black Blanket Covered it all!

I flew away, away thousands of miles
With my friends …!
I knew this…..when I saw my reflection in crystal clear waters!




Raunaq & Jassi: Watch Out Thespians, Bollywood is Here / Manohar Khushalani

The Legendary Balcony scene, in Raunag and Jassi inspired from Romeo and Juliet

The Legendary Balcony scene, in Raunaq and Jassi inspired from Romeo and Juliet

The show of Raunaq & Jassi at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium was a blockbuster, though, not as big as Director Feroz Abbas Khan’s earlier hit, Mughal E Azam. What appears to be a new trend or perhaps a solution for the beleaguered Amateur Theatre, about how to make the ends meet. The approach is to be commercially savvy. Have a big budget production with all the frills that technology demands, get a sponsor and launch it on a big scale. Designed by John Narun, the Cyclorama had the digital projections of luminescent landscapes and skyscapes with a wow appeal. Lighting by David Lander was in sync with the background projection just as Fali Unwala’s set was. The arches and balustrades seem to flow out of the landscapes. Piyush Kanojia has given the foot tapping melodious music, and Mayuri Upadhya choreographing the play with Bollywood style vigorous dances, Yes, one is giving credits to the technical crew first because they were largely responsible for the bells and whistles which made the production stand up and be noticed. Talking about the technical crew, one cannot ignore audio projection, which was flawless with the actors using Bluetooth microphones to be heard loud and clear. This is where some discomfort is felt by traditional actors who have been trained in mikeless voice projections. The nuances and earthy qualities of human voice are lost and actors tend to ignore making the effort to modulate their speech patterns. This was clearly visible to a trained ear when the actors tended to declaim rather than emote. So let’s not get carried away by the glitz and glamour.

The script which was obviously inspired by Shakespeare’s, Romeo & Juliet, was written by Iqbal Raj. The poetic adaptation was indeed remarkable and played a major role in success of the production. The lyrical quality of the verse did full justice to the bards tale. Like the original 16th century play, “Raunaq and Jassi” too explores a long-standing hatred between two feuding families the Jagirdars and Chaudharys, and a chance encounter leading to an intense romance between young Raunaq (Omkar Patil) and Jassi ( Neha Sargam) who belong to either clans, leads to a compelling tale of helpless but hapless love. The two lovers are torn between loyalties to their own clans and the fatal attraction to each other.

Khan, however, insists his production was an original script told in an Indian context.”It is kind of a homage to Shakespeare, but it is a completely original piece of writing, and the fact that we are doing a musical, that’s the fresh aspect of it,” He is reported to have said. There is some truth in that because,  very simply, while Romeo and Juliet can be considered a tragedy as the protagonists – the young lovers – are faced with a momentous obstacle that results in a horrible and fatal conclusion. On the other hand Iqbals play has a happy ending because Raunaq is able to convince both families to give up their decades old rivalry and allow them to marry.

The play has a huge cast of  30 artistes including dancers and actors, It has 11 songs including two original compositions by the playwright. The performers have done a remarkable job. Dancers were agile and their steps were in perfect sync with the music. While the character of Jassi is played by Neha Sargam, actors Omkar Patil and Mahendra Singh Pal took turns to play Raunaq. One does not know who was playing Raunaq,s role on the day of the show. Neha’s performance stood out for her intensity laced with live singing. What is remarkable is the fact that all performers sang live, there was no playback except for the background scores which were played behind the crooner’s voice in Karaoke style. The lead singer Mirande Shah was like the spine of the play her matchless singing held the play together as she doubled up as a Sutradhar. The audience was applauding clapping and tapping their toes with memorable folk songs such as ‘Dama Dam Mast Kalandar’, ‘Kala Sha Kala’ and ‘Tumhe Pyaar’. This review would be incomplete without a word for performers who played supporting roles.and gave substance and flesh to the story. Dhai Maa (Sonal Jha) and Gurdip Mama (Jeetendra Shastri), who had a romantic history of their own in the play gave a peppy performance and drew huge applause. Gurneet in the role of Jarnell, the antogonist suitor of Jasssi with his remarkable stage presence was impressive. Farhan Fatema gave a robust enactment as the Chaudhraen with her clear diction and energetic voice.

This entire production became successful because of the visionary approach of the Director Feroz Abbas Khan with his out of box ideas in Production design and in booking Ashish Hemrajani of Book My Show to produce the play




Khamohsi

Aksar baat karne ki kosish main Zubaan Khamosh kyu nahi reh jaata

Kyu nahi gum main asoon nikalte nahi

Kya duniya ki aagosh main yese sawaar hui

ki angaar baraste hain asoon nahi

Kya aise haalaat sahi

kya sirf angaare hi ankhon ka ujala bankar rahe

Aur awaaz uski asoon

Ek baar sirf tum meri  nami bhari ankhon ko hi meri pechaan banao aur usi main meri baaton ki nishaani rakhna




To be eternally lived

Her crumpled clothes still lies on her beloved bed

Her uncombed stands of hair lying still

They are not strands of shredded shrouds

But create the wave of tumultuous lived lives

of moments …of minutes…the hands of the clock lying still

To be unwound by her alone to live…to be eternally lived

 

 




I KNOW / Sangeeta Gupta

I know/ you are
still holding my hand
I feel you in my palm
pain looses its intensity
I am smiling at myself
your kindness twinkles
in your eyes
In your light
I sail through darkness
I go deep in your energy field
soak myself often
I  recharge
Taking baby steps each day
towards my passion
towards life
I know you are
Still holding my hand.

 




The Poetry Page / Alessio Zaneli

 

 

Who Cares?

Anyone who believes exponential growth
can go forever in a finite world
is either a madman or an economist.

                            —KENNETH E. BOULDING

 

Scientists hold

the age of the Earth

is about 4.5 billion years.

Human civilization

hasn’t yet entered its tenth millennium

but has already fucked up the whole of it.

Who cares

the generations to come,

the preservation of life,

the health of the planet?

To put it bluntly:

who cares about the future?

All that occupies our mind is today,

tomorrow morning at most.

Who bloody cares

the species reduced to extinction,

the savage deforestation,

the toxic air we breathe,

the sea reduced to a dump?

All we want to be concerned about

is the latest in next-generation mobiles.

To hell with all the rest!

Why should we care?

Why us and why now?

It’s our turn to spoil the world!

All in all the Earth is only a fleck of dust

revolving around a gigantic furnace

and liable to incineration any moment.

Who fucking cares

this doggone solar fart we inhabit?

previously unpublished

 

A Dispute On Modern Physics

Fairy hands at work—

unwavering realm of perfection

claiming room, bliss is what it brings.

Blank night, after the journey, the price

to be paid. And the trivial stands as high

as the peaks of thought. The yardstick’s

different, as is what’s sought, restyled,

displayed on stage. The mundane.

Invisible divide. Cosmology.

The key to cognizance,

to all that out of darkness

can’t be accessed. Light appeared

over one life ago and you’re still blind,

no … deprived of eyes! More snow collecting

on glacial basins, new ice forming, but you don’t

belong to ecstasy. The realm has plenty of time, if

not enough to rescue you from the platitudes of

certainty. So—Boltzmann, Maxwell, Planck,

Einstein, Dirac. Their true identity and

what their blood was really about

I strive to grasp, wasting ink

and hours away. I won’t

succeed and—I believe—neither

will fairies ever speak to me. Yet what

about your grounds? Is there a point of yours

or anything consistent beyond what little I can see?

Indeed, anything you trust in or your erratic soul is after?

previously unpublished

 

Abscent

She has fled.

Gone like morning breeze

suddenly dying out

at the rising of the disk

above the horizon.

All she has left

are fragrant silences,

a speckled looking glass

and a vintage bottle of champagne

forgotten in the fridge.

What is taking her place

is faint light,

soaked in mugginess,

barely filtering

through the shutters ajar.

And heavy air,

smelling of heated water

exhaling from the scorching tar.

Her killing scent

killed by the miasmas

of the mushy streets,

and by sugary forgetfulness.

first published in Main Street Rag (NC)

 

Fall

After one has walked in the sky

higher than the highest clouds

glorified in the purest light,

it’s hard to find oneself squashed on the ground,

floundering about through soggy black earth,

groping in the dark in search of a way,

whatever way away from shame.

Now that such glare has been your undoing,

you clumsy beastie puffed up with pride,

don’t swear at the soil you’re worming on!

That which is sticking to your hair,

lodging under your nails,

slipping into your eyes,

well—that’s no filth at all,

but your only possible salvation.

So don’t despise what may appear the direst place,

indeed the nastiest one for you to fall onto,

as from such empty height

there’s nowhere else where you could stop.

And from the earthworms you touch

feeling around enshrouded in blackness,

from the tacky grains teeming with secret life

that cover your body throughout

have yourself obtain your nourishment.

Now you have to place your trust

in your most pristine senses and basest instincts.

And be sure,

once you and this mold are one,

you’ll no longer wish to bask in that infinite light.

Nevermore—in the misleading purity of heady altitude.

Here you landed, here you belong.

So weak, so blind, so lost,

and yet—you still don’t know—

so unprecedentedly strong.

First published in Chitron Review




The Poetry Page / Donia Gobar

 

As I Watch

Presenter’s power point scans, spans
As moments un-peel time
And the words,
bold and blank,
bleed
Slipping in ribbons of
silence
Around dark bodies in gray places,
Tongue-tied brick walls,
Faces, gazes…
Around foggy features
And thousand-tongue frozen gestures.
As blank words scream in soft silence
As faded wounds
bleed
in dark silence
Through the valleys of the past
Through the allies of the cast…

As I watch
Oh, as I watch in darkness…

Copyright © Donia Gobar




The Poetry Page / Pallavi Mishra

 

 

 

No Retakes!

 

“It tricks, it teases
It smiles, it ceases

It hurts, its insane
But they say no pain, no gain

It is love, it is compassion
It is Jealousy, it is full of passion

It never fails to surprise
What if at times I pay heavy price

Love the way it unfolds its mystery
Rest everything is captured in memory called history

Although in this life there are no retakes
I am profoundly proud of my mistakes!”




The Poetry Page / Ute Margaret Saine

Water

Water on Water

water paints waves
of water on water
loops of light spread
over the gently
rolling surface
trembling air
stirs gentle motions
threads of luminous
brilliance collect
in rainbow colors
from a distant sun
to weave a lucid web
over the blue

bounty and beauty
water ever alive
there and always there
at the edges of the seen

Bodies

the wisdom to forestall
the shattering of bones
shadows on an X-ray

the naked body
lying on a vacant shore
lying on inland soils
tenderly overgrown
with apples and grass

the flight of nightbirds
of seabirds soaring
over the waters

the wisdom to forestall
the shattering of bones

The Dimension of Desire

To hold you tight
finally
to hold you

with half closed eyes
scrutinizing the future
searching for hope
always searching

Internet and Handy
as Dimensions
of hope

To observe
always more keenly
disappear
farther and farther away
till I reach the land
following you
the land of desire
always following you

Pray to some wise god
whoever s/he may be
hidden from us
and equal for all

and to the angel
who appears out of focus
on all the picture
who mocks me
hanging from the cornice
above which there are
only stares of cold stars

To hold you tight
finally
but where are you?

Forgetting

How easy it is
to forget you
your hands your lips
on my body

How easy it is
to get lost
in the daily chaos
that separates us
and each from himself

stuck
in a grey world
submerged
in ugliness

A world that knows not
the trembling
of glowing bodies

A world
without an instrument
to measure the vibration
of a kiss on my breast

that burns on me today
with your absence

I want a Date

I want a date with your mind
want to sing on the roving sands
where thoughts run rampant
with desire in a high tide of fun
spun surf spraying threads of sun

I want a date with your mind
to laugh at the day’s dismays
indulge in ‘come what mays’
and chant to the sinking sun
the cradle songs of yesterday

I want a date with our bodies
till sleep will separate all
but our thirsty revolving skins
embracing love-crazy planets
in dreams uniting us
again and again

Red Carpet – A Haiku Cycle

The dreams you told me
I embroider in secret
I stitch them in sleep

I stitch them in sleep
in the middle of a room
dreams hard to come by

Dreams hard to come by
since I live you by dreaming
I crave every word

I crave every word
and every secret nuance
a verse from the heart

A verse from the heart
now a calm reassurance
the world has vanished

The world has vanished
I, the magic carpet and
the dreams you told me

The Hourglass Moment

This is the moment to
turn the hourglass around
time had run through

it had almost run its course
now we’ve found each other

round the bend lies the new

life made from of the same
trickling grains of sand
that viewed from upside down

seem more magnificent


As from a kaleidoscope
shaken again and again
emerges beauty and order

unforeseen just like you
and yet seen as the light
in your eyes

I will only smile
and abide by this light
between us that shines
at a might of hunger and love

This is moment
time has been found
a time that was run through
this is our moment
to turn the hourglass around

Afternoon

The sun puts the clouds
on the table
between the glasses
and the crackers
a piece of luminous sky
between floating smiles

bits of today’s heaven
come down to us
as a light
right here looking into
each other’s eyes

Fingering

What I had under my fingers
Third down over the thumb
Though it didn’t at first make sense
Is still under my fingers
Decades later as I listen to
Glenn Gould playing
Bach’s Italian Concerto

My fingers remember
The lonely contemplative
Voice of the second movement
Ranging is small second steps
And big sixth or seventh jumps
With my fingers not jumbled
But behaving sagaciously
As though the music
Had been written for them

And it was

How Animals Move

Placid or doomed
nervously pacing the fence line
swishing their tails
the chewers the sighers the scratchers
those who bicker and fuss
and those who just stare
those who roll in the grass
those who cry out curdling the air
who seem to lug their bodies
home to nowhere
all the way home

And some
who in their strange tongue
call out to me

Going South

Do I know the way home
when the way home for me
is to go far out
into the world

of summers and springs
holding onto a suitcase

I carry all that’s mine with me
says the philosopher
and it means
carry very little, only

for the humblest needs
of body and mind

Mining the world
with mine eyes and ears
and other given senses

Mining friends’ eyes and brows
the knowledge of their town
their laughs
and meeting their friends

Mining the world
maybe
with a sixth sense
and maybe even going south

Haiku

the morning rising
on the edges of the seen
asks us for the dream

~~~

I write always write
I’m writing to remember
writing to forget

if it flies, let it
sing in rain and shine, let it
fly out of your hands

you see some red leaves
and you think of fall before
summer ever came

small world an absurd
cage of words, my rattling bones
haunted by desire

we are like mayflies
like insects caught in amber
happy one moment

your shadow when you
arise dances on my walls:
the house is happy

~~~

we can’t see the moon
it has not reached us yet
and would be useless