(Poetry Compitition for General)

Compititions : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Compititions - 8

Award Winning Poems
                                          All-India Poetry Competition

                                          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

Ms. 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.

The Awards

First Prize

K. Sri Lata for her poem In Santa Cruz,   Diagnosed Homesick

Second Prize

Revathy Gopal for her poem  Lines on Meeting a Cousin, Long-Lost

Commendation Prizes

1.         Falguni Dutta for her poem  Homecoming

2.         Supantha Bhattacharyya  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


At the gift shop by the wharf

I bought an indigo octopus

all arms...

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,

fluidly hugging,

in long-armed benevolence,

the puzzle-edges of vast continents.

"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 think

I 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

For company.

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

Stone-eyed corpses,

I still somehow find the idea

Of a mindful watchdog

Handicapped, undemanding,

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

And thermometers

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 on

Until the ocean is just a few shells away.

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.

Well, cheers.

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 briefs

As burnt wires in long dead homes.


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