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Sunil Sharma
Sunil Sharma

The fading sun
mixes up the blue and white
with red
and splashes the electric combination across
the dark-grey of the lonely sky
hues natural and bold
modulating strokes and lines
like heaving tattoos on a maiden’s chest
the masterly juxtaposition
starkly reminds the lonesome terrace-viewer
of Monet
in a deserted museum near the Paris Mall
the self-same sky and its varied colours
make him hear an old strain
of the Blues
once heard
by a rapt audience
in the Harlem of the 1960s
then imported of New Delhi of the 1980s.

All the social life compressed
into a clutch of apps only
controlling every thought and action
of the culture fixated on gadgets and virtual spaces
but frightened of the real-time realties
the smart-phone---
real heart of the mass society
the new device
exalted as the latest deity
displacing the attic gods
with new mythologies.

The crows caw
at 1 am
on this stormy Mumbai night
with thunder and lightening
popping up frequently
in the background
as they do in a horror flick
repeated on the TV for the
ones seeking thrills in the
beyond of the physical life
the crude call rises up
consistently like some
broken notes of a symphony
no longer in circulation in a hungry market
the crows
some place
wake up a solitary figure in a sleepy house
off the main road, near the sea
scared by the harsh sounds
that continue for half an hour and then stop suddenly
the listener shudders as if re-reading Poe in an empty theatre-hall
minus the macabre-lusting spectators.
Is death around?
Is it visiting the neighbourhood?
Some sounds
Mid-night hours
Can be s-o-o e-e-rie!

In each petal-stalk
on this blessed spot
i see the imprints
of the Olympians
the scent and presence take me back
to the early dawn of the Greek civilization
where i mingle with the heroes and divinity
in alleys, lanes outside ramparts
and see Homer talking war
and Sappho---of love and nurturing!
Oh, Athens!
Oh, Lesvos!
So close, yet so afar
Each pathway there
of the ancient Greece
each bower trod by the gods
so heady a concoction this---
earth sky ocean fused
in a single instance!
so many possibilities

A pigeon perched on the cable
Shrunk within its grey feathers
Head bent inside the underbelly
To beat the cold draughts.
It is 10 am and 10- degree Celsius.
A man, grey stubble, head bent, sits hunched
On the tiled pavement in the Connaught Place
In a sun that hardly warms the air
He clutches a torn quilt around shrunk shoulders
Blankly stares at the high-rises and frenzied vehicles.
Both--- pathetic figures
Welcome dear disenfranchised to Delhi of the Moguls
The constant Indian power centre.


Issue 83 (Jan-Feb 2019)

feature Indian English Writing
  • Editorial
    • Charanjeet Kaur: Editorial Comment
  • Poetry
    • Amlanjyoti Goswami
    • Anju Kanwar
    • Damini Kane
    • Harnidh Kaur
    • Ishmeet Kaur Chaudhury
    • Kalyanee Rajan
    • Menka Shivdasani
    • Mohammed Zahid
    • Nabina Das
    • Rochelle Potkar
    • Sanjeev Sethi
    • Shanta Acharya
    • Sonnet Mondal
    • Sunil Sharma
    • T R Joy
    • Taseer Gujral
    • Vidya Premkumar
  • Conversations
    • Anvita Budhraja: Conversation with Gauri Viswanathan
    • Kalyanee Rajan: Discussion with Keki N Daruwalla
  • Fiction
    • Abha Iyengar: The Land of Butterflies
    • Apoorva Saini: A Fractured Reader
    • Bhaswati Ghosh: Finding Mama
    • Bhupinder Singh: Abdul Hayaat and the Shadows of his Age
    • Dadasaheb Salunke: Out of Tune
    • Ishmeet Kaur Choudhary: Lahore to Amritsar
    • Malsawmi Jacob: Twilight House
    • Manmeet Chhabra: Pall Bearer
    • Murli Melwani: The Turning Point
    • Priyanka Mathur: Watch and Learn
    • Rachel Bari: Closure
    • Sakoon Singh: Let me Go - In the bazaars and boudoirs of Bathinda
    • Varanasi Ramabrahmam: Brigita
  • Non-Fiction
    • Anvita Budhraja: Thoughts from the Highest Cafeteria in the World
    • Daman Singh: Asylum
    • Loveleen Mann: The Prince of Bangles
  • Readings
    • Charanjeet Kaur: Saleem Peeradina’s Heart’s Beast
    • Z M Wise: Usha Akella’s 'The Waiting'