Award Winning Poems
Organized in collaboration with the
British Council, India
|The Poetry Society in collaboration with the British Council,
India organsed nine
All-India Poetry Competitions
since 1988. Thousands
of poets have participated in these competitions.
Nine volumes of short listed poems were published under the series
POETRY INDIA. The
following are the names of the award-winners:
Eighth National Poetry Competition : 1998
Vicki Feaver was the chairperson of the panel of judges. Dr. J.P. Das, Dr.
Eunice de Souza, Prof. Shiv K. Kumar and Mrs. Imtiaz Dharkar were the
members of the panel of judges. Mr. Nic Humphries, First Secretary,
Cultural Affairs and Dr. Rajni Badlani, English Studies Officer of the
British Council Division, and Dr. H.K. Kaul, Secretary-General, The Poetry
Society (India) were the ex-officio members of the panel of judges.
Sri Lata for her poem In
Santa Cruz, Diagnosed
Gopal for her poem Lines
on Meeting a Cousin, Long-Lost
1. Falguni Dutta for her
for her poem The Vigilante
3. Acushla R. Narayanan for her poem On Leaving College
4. Gopi Krishnan Kottoor
for his poem The Old Boyís Silver Jubilee Reunion
Award Winning Poems
IN SANTA CRUZ, DIAGNOSED HOMESICK by K. Sri Lata
At the gift shop by the wharf
I bought an indigo octopus
I, a newcomer to this
out-of-the-way white-hippie town
settle into the sea.
My two-month hostility melts
even as I see what divides me from home
more clearly than I did from my airless plane.
The sea knows ways of connecting too,
in long-armed benevolence,the puzzle-edges of vast continents.
|LINES ON MEETING A COUSIN, LONG-LOST by Revathy Gopal|
"You have your fatherís mouth," she says,
"and the family nose we have all inherited.
Such a gentle man your father,
I remember him with great affection."
She says nothing, practically nothing,
a perfunctory word abut my mother.
Silence fills the spaces between us,
Where once we shared noisy baths
And each otherís skirts.
The years cannot be breached.
Her muscular wrist, the strong jut
of jaw, the rough palm on my cheek
at greeting and parting,
tell their own story.
My mind the mirror,
I meet my motherís eye
narrowed in recognition.
It is hers, the same geometry of bone
beneath the skin.
I could match her now, word for word.
I could meet her now on equal terms. I thinkI could draw blood.
|HOMECOMING by Falguni Dutta|
No, there is no road by the name you quote.
This is no address of the long-haired girl
of the furtive glances.
The grass green field in front of your house
ringing with your motherís come-back-home calls
is a couple of unfinished houses
baring iron fangs.
No, the rains no longer wake you up
drumming the asbestos roof. This is concrete.
The children do not raise sand temples
under the ghost crowded tamarind tree.
No, there is no tamarind tree.
THE VIGILANTE by Supantha Bhattacharyya
Smack in the middle of the road he sits,
Anonymous, inscrutable, at peace.
Every morning I have to circle him
On my morning constitutional-
A one-eyed, broken-armed god,
Coated in layers of vermilion,
A few dried garlands around his neck,
Stubs of incense sticks stabbed
Into half an ant-infested sweetmeat-
Inside a ruined little temple,
With only the sighing wind
And sparrows playing hide-and-seek
Through the brick-toothed cracks
I leave plenty of daylight
Between him and myself.
Itís not politic to cross a god.
Squatters warm around tyre-fires
And speak in awe-husband tones,
Of how there are never any accidents
On that stretch of road (Well, seldom ever),
How women can walk unharmed
Even at the dead of night,
No ferments of race or caste,
In fact, trouble steers clear
In that tiny community
Through which the road twists.
Having lost my faith
On a long ago cold wet day
Of sad-eyed doctors
I still somehow find the idea
Of a mindful watchdog
Yet trying his best
To maintain a semblance of order
In an alien world,Strangely comforting.
|ON LEAVING COLLEGE by Acushla R. Narayanan|
A drop of mercury
Sinks into the heart of the river
And is carried by an innocent current
Around it everything changes
Forests to cities to farmlands to deltas
And it learns to wean its way out of fields
And crevices and beaks and claws
It sees a bull-frog on a lotus leaf
Big, beady eyes and dark green skin
They swim together for a while
And the memory sticks unlike any tangible thing
The lion gazes at his reflection
And notices the little bead as it passes through his eye
Intrigued for a second
And life goes onUntil the ocean is just a few shells away.
|THE OLD BOYSí SILVER JUBILEE REUNION by Gopi Krishnan Kottoor|
So, you came all the way from Silicon Valley
Just to attend this? See our greying crony there
How much the classic absent minded professor
Of the English movies he has become
Forgetting our names, our faces, his own home town
Making sad efforts to remember
The bylanes of yesteryears. Ah, Alex, baldy
Big shot in the International Academy of Pure Sciences
I still remember your thickly sprung coiled jet of hair
As you wept in the class dunce corner
Punished for your diarrhoea flowing down nay blue knickers
In History class and we called it
The Great Plague. Hello, old pal shaking hands with me
You were our squirrel. You sneaked that to the Principal
Got us all flogged in the assembly sun. We christened you again.
The name stuck. Those were the days.
Those were he days, friends,
When our little sticks used to sniff up every passing girl
Stiffening like red needles in hot valves
Tuning into faintest beeps
Of smiling pig-tailed stations. Remember Jube
Hit by a military truck, thrown into NDE
And calling himself God? Handsome David
Whose sister threw acid all over his face
Ďcos he blew up her lover story? Where is he now?
Gone. Disappeared with his disfigured face like a sad river
Leaving just a wasted bed of dry sand.
Beer turns topaz in gleaned ice
Held together in cold comfort.
Now, in spite of his busy schedule, our handsome Rector too
Is amongst us, off his priestly overalls
Sipping bloody Mary, staring at the 3D wall poster
Lighting Cindy Crawford in the nude. Rev. Sir, boys will be
Together again, those left of us, huddled together in coloured
This dead of night
(As stranger-time still wears us like loose rings
In raining fingers of hawking clouds)
We stab a little harder into leftover chicken steak
Standing upright never quite mentioning
Our bright little pricks turned to hurt greying cocks
Dangling inside torn over-wrung briefsAs burnt wires in long dead homes.