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Shruti Sareen

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Shruti Sareen

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The Midnight Black

Arabian eyes. Oriental eyes.
Wicked, mesmerising, soulful
eyes, Witch eyes, big-fish-eyes
Laughing, black buttons of
eyes. Kohled eyes. Kajra eyes.
Heavy sooty beauty eyes.
Clothed eyes. And a playful
twirly-swirly moustache.


Anyways. This poem
is about Anyways.
Anyways is such a cliché
Let's write a poem about Anyways
Anyways to drop the subject
and anyways to change the topic
of Anyways.
Anyways is my boredom
Anyways is incomprehension
Anyways is anticipation
of rejection. Anyways.
Anyways expresses everything
without needing expression.
Anyways is not a lexical word anyways.
But who cares? Anyways is "our" word
Anyways so I decided to write a poem
about the delightfulness of Anyways. Anyways.

Dear Old Eighteen

Dear old eighteen
your naiveté could not read
other people's minds
your trusting innocence believed
too much too quickly
your meekness could not refuse
imposing demands and pompous exteriors
your receding backstage modesty
held you back from center stage
you were ignorant
to the blunt point of dumbness
Uninitiated into this world
You were a stranger from foreign lands
perhaps you stepped off a rainbow.
But your heart was true, dear old eighteen
I will say so much for you
Courage enough to play the fool
and laugh at it afterwards
Idealistic and stubborn, you wanted
to keep the cake and eat it too
You were the seed half a dozen years ago
that gave birth to me, to the last quarter
of my twenty four
Learning, skipping, sliding, falling
Cursing, aching, yearning, mourning
I look at you with amused nostalgia
Thank you for you, dear old eighteen
It ain't that I'm wiser
I've picked up a couple more years
on you baby, that's all.
I am still as true
a little less naive
and a lot more wicked. 

Flee Fly Floo

Fumungus grothucus wurrwurr
buzz growl wuthering smurthering
Frazzy hishy frooky pooky
wolving snappiting frappish snarging
the humbug grotchety way of the world.
Wuzzbuzz poof! Stomp it, Shuntit!
Damn it, whumpit! Fly floo
wheeze around it, frick it, jonk it
and waddledydoo, escape from it!
Furly in the friggin morn
Let fluty warbles ting-a-ling
chant fleely flawly flee fly floo
birdies chreeping, freezes flowing
Stomp the fumungus, whomp
the wurrwurr, frick and jonk
the wolvish snorging
Wheeze around it, gleely, plyly
easy there now! Hunt and runt
for zing, zwang, and zappyness
Flout the Droner, Free Chielo.

The Ladies’ Car

Running for the pink lines
that mark our sex
A bee line for an empty seat
Putting down stray men who dare encroach
upon this female sanctum.
Shooting invisible glances
at earrings, slippers, foppish hairstyles
Eve, Belinda and Becky
travel in style through Vanity Fair
We do not like to pull push snatch
We believe ourselves more civilised
than those uncouth men.
The train hurtles down a tunnel of darkness.

Requiem for a Dream
"Fasola is a sweet girl", the teacher said,
"and she writes lovely poems".
She flashed her a precious smile
Stars rose in her eyes that night and
gave birth to a dream.

Another day, she avoided Fasola's gaze, returned
a poorly marked paper, praised
the stout girl over there.
A sacred dream died its death and
buried itself in the classroom dust.

One day the dream will learn from Sylvia and Lady Lazarus
and rise again.


Feature–Young Adult Literature

    Deepa Agarwal : Young Adult Literature in India

    Panchanan Dalai : Don’t Tell My Mother
    Devika Rangachari : Gender as an Issue in YAL
    Jojo Joy N & Merin Simi Raj : IE Fiction in new YA Age
    Manisha Chaudhry : Multilingual Publishing
    Dhriti Ray Dalai : Bhibhutibhushan’s Chander Pahar
    Nandini Nayar : Ranjit Lal’s Survival Fiction
    Neerja Sharma : Narayan’s Swami and Friends
    Stuti Goswami : ‘The Quiet, the Robust and Very, Very Naughty’

In Conversation
    Siddhartha Sarma : In discussion with Sunita Baveja

    Keki Daruwalla
    Sampurna Chattarji
    Shelly Bhoil Sood
    Shruti Sareen

Short Fiction
    Anil Menon : ‘Shrieknath’
    Rajni Gupta : ‘Indian Railways’
    Sanjay Khati : ‘Pinty’s Soap’
    Swapna Dutta : ‘Yesterday’

    M Venkatesh – The Fang of Summoning

Children’s Section
    Aritro Bose
    Gunjas Singh
    Tanvi Banerjee : Tagore’s ‘Dhrishti’

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