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Shweta Garg
Shweta Garg

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Dear amma
I learnt from you
To shield myself from
To grimace at words
That celebrate my worth
From you, I learnt
Frugality of desires
Shedding the excess
Baggage of my body
Of my dreams
I wanted to grow roots too
Just as you were grounded
Even as your feet bled
I yearned to learn the art
Of keeping myself last
Sustain from the left-over morsel
From the household fully fed
Your hands are hard
From kneading our lives soft
Dear amma
Now when you plead
With your feet firmly rooted
With your hands, hard, joined
That I need not leave my skies
For the ground, need not aim
For a fruit hung
On the lowest branch
Need not lose my wants
For others’ demands
Your syllables sound
So incomprehensible
From my mother tongue.

(For Smeetha Bhoumik)

From the ravages of Kurukshetra
It smears gold across the wheat fields
From the dungeons of tyrants
It reverberates in every street
From the shackles of the shiploads of slaves
It clanks in the beats of blues
From the gas chamber of fascists
It flies into the parliaments of hope
From the ruins of Palestine
To the lullabies of safe homes
From the crematoria puffing human lives
To the healing corridors of hospitals
Every time a heart beats its last
Poetry lives in memory
For every blood drop, every teardrop shed
For every corpse tossed into the river of anonymity
Splashes out poetry and drenches the towns
Where flows that river
It lacerates your numb skin into feeling
It blows gentle on your chafed heart
It coagulates your oozing grief
It also stabs you till you show, you scream, you act.


Issue 97 (May-Jun 2021)

feature Indian English Writing – Memory, Ancestry, Legend
  • Editorial
    • Charanjeet Kaur: Editorial Reflection
  • Conversation
    • Taseer Gujral: Taseer Gujral in conversation with Sakoon N Singh
  • The Library in My Mind
    • Annapurna Sharma: My Powerhouse
    • Gurudarshan Singh: Of books within books
  • Memoirs
    • Atreya Sarma U: Oh, Grandpa! Bless us from the Heavens!
    • GSP Rao: Jamalpur, the British Township in Bihar
    • Ishmeet Kaur Chaudhry: Journey – A Memoir, 1947
    • Kavita Ezekiel Mendonca: Jewish Legends
    • Narinder Jit Kaur: Memoir
    • Saaz Aggarwal: Snapshots
    • Sambhu Nath Banerjee: The Legend of Rays – The Everlasting Influence on Indian Art and Culture
    • Vidya Premkumar: The German Legacy of Panchikkal Madhavan Kunjkunj
  • Poetry
    • Ishmeet Kaur
    • Mahasweta Baxipatra
    • Mark Floyer
    • Priyanka Das
    • S Parul
    • Sanjeev Sethi
    • Santanu Das
    • Semeen Ali
    • Shweta Garg
    • Sneha Roy
    • Surbhi Sharma
    • Vidya Premkumar
  • Fiction
    • Charanjeet Kaur: You live in flowers
    • Ishmeet Kaur Choudhry: Kheti Bari
    • Murli Melwani: The Child of Prayers
    • Rachel Bari: A Tear shed for you
  • Book Reviews
    • Charanjeet Kaur: Stories Brought Alive
    • Paromita Chakrabarti: Constantly moving, relentlessly seeking, furiously exploring
    • Sneha Roy: A Ruminative Account
    • Vidya Premkumar: A Pioneer Then and Now