• Kumar, Basanta Das


    midnight train tales never cease to emerge from


    no clouds sky the moon in slow motion


  • Kumarendra Mallick

    old song
    every word I hear
    sounds so new


    deep meditation
    the cactus blooms once
    in twelve years


  • Kushal Poddar

    panda eye mask
    on the wrinkled bed sheet
    light slices sleep
  • Lakshmi Iyer

    the dusk
    in an inverted shell...
    what matters
    is the lost trail
    of the sleeping moon 

  • Lakshmi Iyer

    first snow...
    the child learns
    a new colour


    grandma folds
    and unfolds her childhood


                the sky
    gets a new crown

  • Lingering

    The Mathur household was known for ayurvedic remedies practised by the family. Their house bloomed in a heady mix of herbs, leaves, oils and powders. It was a must-visit place on my list. Insect bites were a common feature in Grandma’s home. I would not be satisfied with her prescription of smearing the holy ash on the swollen skin and insist on having one of those mystic oils from the Mathurs. Even after the family had diversified into other business interests of homemade papads and pickles, I would be the one going there to pick up Grandma’s order. No one else.

    The last time I visited the village, I was told that they had shut down the home pharmacy. All that remained of the aromatic sojourns was the stout tree of night flowering jasmine in their compound.


    prayer beads the scent of her skin


  • live your life

    honesty is not always the best policy. sometimes you need to lie for your own good, sometimes you need to change your color and wear a mask. people may call you a traitor or laugh at you behind your back. but remember that your life is yours and yours alone. someday the one who calls you a coward will sing of your success.

    no death warrant
    for the caterpillar

  • Locks and Keys

    Circa 1977

    “Soul searching is best done whilst sitting on a wall overlooking a garbage dump,” says Guru, my new office colleague-cum-friend.
    I nod in reply.

    It is late evening. We are sitting on a dusty ledge looking down at a mountain of human refuse. The smell wafting up is nauseating and I fight the impulse to throw up.

    My pal isn't a 'guru' in the classical sense of the word, meaning spiritual master. But once in a while, he lets loose profound statements that has earned him the nickname.

    Guru is an eccentric introvert and I am his only close friend. For some reason, I find his thoughts attractive and like listening to him.

    “This is Tamas,” he continues, pointing to the dump below us, “what we human beings are stuffed with. Darkness and filth.”

    “Hmm,” I murmur. He has a point, in a strange, unexplainable way.

    “And it is our duty to recognise this fact, shake off our delusion, and elevate ourselves from our despicable situation. Bye.” He hops off the ledge and walks off.

    The next morning, I learn that Guru has left town and moved to somewhere in Guyana, South America. I feel a pang of regret on hearing that, wishing he had told me his new address. It would have been great to visit him and discuss spirituality.

    I don't hear about Guru again until one year later.

    the lingering stench of
    bitter almonds

    wrong map my Driver takes the right turn


    According to Hindu philosophy, 'Tamas' is one of the three qualities that constitute the world. It represents darkness, ignorance and destruction.
    In 1978, the cult leader Jim Jones killed almost a thousand of his followers in Jonestown, Guyana. He is supposed to have convinced or forced them to consume potassium cyanide, a poison that smells like bitter almonds.


  • Maithili Khamkar

    heated argument -
    I'd forgotten
    words could burn


  • Mallika Chari

    hot day
    two cuckoos wait
    for the fountain to start

  • Mallika Chari

    flower market
           the fragrance
    free in every shop


  • Mallika Chari

    highway —
    a herd of cows overtake
    on the dotted line


    open window
    a sparrow balances
    on the grill


    swaying branches
    show up the nest


    night stroll
    my shadow reaches
    home first


    even trees sway
    without a rustle


    family meet
       at the base of an old tree
          a new growth




  • Mekala, Indra Neil

    geography class . . .
    is it just the equator
    dividing this world?
    9th Yamadera Basho Memorial Museum English Haiku Contest
  • Mekala, Indra Neil

    old age home –
    a pill for everything
    but loneliness

    old books sale
    beating me to the top shelf
    a silverfish
    mourning –
    the loudness
    of a ticking clock

    free period . . .
    even the blackboard
    Buddha’s half-smile
    for a moment I forget
    the moment
    Hiroshima Day –
    flying across the globe
    our paper cranes
    home after holidays
    the doorknob shimmers
    with a cobweb
    cumulus clouds
    shimmering through the window
    the airplane's wing


  • Mekala, Indra Neil

  • Milan Rajkumar

    monsoon night...
    the wind chimes tell
    another story


    spring morning...
    sunlight opens the gate
    of nimbus clouds


    swirling leaves –
    the rattle of
    an old typewriter

  • Mirror Mirror On The Wall

    Before I left for University I said goodbye to the stars in my part of the sky. I had named my stars and as a child, I would talk to them every night. 'Goodbye Sam, Myra, Timothy, John, Harry, and little Georgia!' I whispered softly, thrusting my suitcase into my wrist and slowly walking away.

    away from home...
    in the breeze the fragrance
    of mother's cooking

    Now as I gaze at the skies above here in the England countryside half a decade later I can no longer recognize the stars of my childhood. I squint hard trying desperately to identify at least one.

    And it isn't just the stars I cannot recollect. Even Mother's face is a haze intertwined with vague memories party true and partly imagined. Try as I might I am unable to smell the pilaf which was Mom's forte. Even the breeze has a different fragrance. Slowly, in my utter dejection, I pace the hostel floor. Passing the looking glass I gaze into it. With horror.

    The young girl who looks out at me with bewilderment is a stranger I have never set eyes on before.

    early dawn---
    still trying hard to hold onto
    my dreams


    --- A collaboration by Praniti Gulyani and Gautam Nadkarni

  • Mona Bedi

    lockdown blues
    just another morning
    which day is it?

  • Monalisha Gogoi

    whiff of air -
    the field swells with
    ripening rice

  • Musunuri, Somayajulu

    heavy rains
    streets drown the voyage
    of paper boats