October Online

Not exactly a book review; rather some wonderings-out-loud🙂


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September Poetry

Another poem of mine, published here:

I hope you enjoy reading it!

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So remember my last blog post about a poem I wrote, “From the Dingy Apartment Everywhere”,and which appeared last month in the online magazine called “The Algebra of Owls” (oh how I love that name!)? Well, it’s up for poem of the month. Yaay!

Kind people who still read this mainly defunct blog, please do vote. Just click on the link below and do the needful. Thanking you and wishing you poetry, moonlight and chocolate.


21st Century Poetry

Source: Welcome

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From the Dingy Apartment Everywhere – by Baisali Chatterjee Dutt

Coming to this space of mine after AGES! And that too for selfish reasons…for archival purposes. I keep promising myself I’ll be more regular. I guess I’ll just have to surprise myself🙂


Between the space of your last grunt                                                                       and first snore, there is much to do. I must first peel……

Source: From the Dingy Apartment Everywhere – by Baisali Chatterjee Dutt

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What I am about to share here is nothing new. The feelings are as old as the Art of the Word. This is not my first time feeling these feelings, nor will it be my last

and I know I am not the only one. There are others who have felt this way and died millions of tiny little deaths inside their souls, and there are people, as yet unborn, who will inherit this awful legacy.

Writer’s Block.

How does one kill a feeling? How does one gain mastery over it? Conquer it? Most important of all, how does one not let it cripple you?

The blank pages staring back at you, sometimes unyielding, sometimes pleading and sometimes just stone cold dead, aren’t the worst things about this affliction. The plague of self-doubt that tags along as a side effect? Yes. That is quite the cyanide pill.

Writer’s Block. Bloc. Blog.


Like a stuffed up bladder with no release. Like killer constipation. Because this feeling? It’s as shitty as fresh dog poop on the heel of your expensive new shoes.

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The Rhino Speaks

I was going to start off by saying ‘Last year…’, but I just did a quick check and the text reads, “First published – February 2013”, so that’s two years ago. Two years ago. Already. Already the first month of the new year over. Just like that! Sigh!

But, as usual, I digress. Two years ago, a poem of mine was selected for an international anthology called, “For Rhino in a Shrinking World”, edited by poet Harry Owen. Recently, we were informed about a lovely review that came out in which my poem was mentioned. Some of my friends have requested me to share the poem. Now being the good friend that I am, how can I not oblige?

So here it is. My poem, “The Rhino Speaks.” And below, the link to the review.


The Rhino Speaks

Sit down,
o stranger-with-a-gun,
and let me talk to you.
Before you render me
one with the dust again,
you must know me.

Did you know,
for example,
that in my next life
I would like to be me again?

What do you see
when you see me?
Am I only this lock of matted hair
upon my nose?
But I am so much more;
if only you would open your eyes
and look.
These wrinkled folds of skin
hold ancient secrets of this land;
of those who walked before
and how it came to be.
The dust of the Kalahari,
the sand of the Sahara,
even the seeds of the acacia tree
and drops of great Savannah rain,
all live within
these wrinkled folds of skin.
The Congo
and the Nile
flow from each eye;
these eyes hold memories
of this land
where my family,
once in plenty
and in multitudes,
roamed wild,
and in peace –
before you came,
o stranger-with-a-gun.

I should like to come back as me
in my next life
and the life after that.
But for that,
you have to let me live.
and thrive
and just be.

What will you tell your children,
o stranger-with-a-gun,
when I am gone?
Will you build monuments in my likeness
and name parks after me?
You cannot grind my bones for bread
or use my hide for designer shoes,
and bags.
You cannot drink my blood
and yet you spill it,
o stranger-with-a-gun.

I am not scared of you,
you know.
I am scared for you.
Your scarring,
killing ways
will one day,
swallow you whole.

Kill me now,
for I know that
that is what you intend to do.
You are not stronger than me;
Simply blood-thirsty
and greedy.

I just know,
that in my next life,
I would like to be me again.
I should like to return
and again
and again
until the last gunshot
has felled me to the ground.

But imagine,
o stranger-with-a-gun,
if in my next life,
I should come back as you…



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(An outpouring of grief and outrage over the unspeakable violence and heartbreaking massacre of over 120 children in Peshawar’s Military School on 16th December, 2014)
#IndiawithPakistan #PeshawarAttacks
Sob #1

I walk under a canopy
of hatred
and on a carpet of bodies.
The songs I hear
are the screams
of children,
and dead.

We live amongst beasts
and everyday is
I could lay down
with lions
and feel safer.

There is no merciful god.
There is mythology.
In different tongues
and forms
and faiths
all expounding one essential lie —
that you don’t matter,
that your existence is not valid
if you are not one of them,
and therefore,
you don’t deserve to live.

The human condition
is putrid.
the Earth
is oozing blood
from all its pores
and there are empty,
sobbing wombs
lying about in disarray.
The sky bleeds
and the rivers hide
as ugly beasts
thump their chests
and howl at the weeping stars,
dancing around the bodies
of massacred innocents.
first loves,
and life-dreams
snuffed out
in this macabre reality show
called life.

And what of us?
We are wounded zombies
glued to the images
being played out in front of us.
We’ve lost our voices.
We’ve lost our senses.
We’ve lost the remote.

Sob #2

Knock, knock.

I don’t know where You live,
it’s in Mount Kailash
or Vaishnodevi
or Jerusalem,
the Vatican City
or in this wonderful sounding place
I don’t know
if I’ll find you in my mother’s
puja room
or simply inside my heart,
because that’s a bit difficult to believe
since my
have been at war
for as long as I remember…

You see,
my head sometimes says
that Your time on Earth
is up
and You had to move on to Mars now,
and then You’ll go
to Jupiter
and Saturn
and so on and so forth.
If that’s true,
I’ve gotta say,
Your timing kinda sucks.
at other times,
my head says
You’ve gone back to
where we got unicorns,
tooth fairies
and hobbits from.
Then in that case,
this won’t matter…

just in case You are there,
that tiny,
infinitesimal chance,
that You are indeed
the Harbinger of day,
the Maker of moons,
the Grand Perfumer,
the Master Builder,
just in case You are all that
the screaming multitudes
say You are,

I would like to,
very respectfully ask,
what the fuck just happened?

Sob #3

Shhh! Little child!
Be quiet,
don’t say a word!
Just lower your eyes
and whisper the great names of God.

No little child,
don’t ask me questions!
I can’t answer them,
knowledge is not your right.
Just lower your eyes
and whisper the great names of God.

ABC’s are not for you
and you can’t play with numbers,
you can’t play with toys.
You can’t love your neighbours,
and must never ever sing!
Dancing is for the devil.
Just lower your eyes
and whisper the great names of God.

You mustn’t reach for the stars
or stare at the moon,
the grass is not meant to be played on.
Don’t listen to the birds
or feed stray pups.
Just lower your eyes
and whisper the great names of God.

And when you are shot
in the back of your head
or right in the middle of your chest,
the stars you quietly wished upon
will fade,
the grass you secretly touched
will soak your blood,

and your eyes will be closed,
your voices stilled.

Sob #4

The silence in my house
this morning
after I sent my boys to school
was not of the usual
The shouts of
‘I love you!’
‘Have an awesome day!’
hung about in the air longer
than usual,
and yet the silence
was deafening,
almost oppressive.
My daily desire
for a cup of tea
and the newspaper
was lying comatose
under the knowledge
that across the border,
my sisters’
wombs are bleeding
and they are thrashing about
in pain
at the forever silences
that now hang from
every corner
of every room,
resting on windowsills
and living in beautiful faces
frozen in photographs.

Their pain
cripples me.
The stilled voices
deafen me.
And the handfuls of Earth
are a burden
on my soul.

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