(Poetry Compitition for General)

Compititions : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Compititions - 9

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:

Ninth National Poetry Competition :  2000

Mr. Nic Humphries was the Chairman of the panel of judges. The other members included Mr. Paul Farley, Dr. J.P. Das, Mr. K.N. Daruwalla, Ms. Imtiaz Dharker, Ms. Eunice D’Souza, Dr. Rajni Badlani and Dr. H.K. Kaul (Ex-officio members)

The Awards

First Prize

Shahnaz Habib for her poem  Of Hypocrisy and Cheekbones

Second Prize

Revathy Gopal for her poem  I Would Know You Anywhere

Young Poets (Commendation Prizes)

1.Priyanka Sacheti  for her poem  A Tourist’s Impression of New

York: Before and After

2.Moneesha Nayak  for his poem  The Witch’s Cauldron

New Millennium Poets (Commendation Prizes)

Sampurna Chattarji  for his poem  Age

Best Poem in Translation (Special Prize)

Pariksith Singh  for his poem  Journey of the Fallen Son

Award Winning Poems


Sometimes you see a man

With such irresistible cheekbones

You feel an urge to raise your hand

And touch them

Simply to know how they feel

To your skin.

And then he looks full in your face

And dazzles you with a reckless, innocent smile,

Not of invitation, merely inviting.

And then,

All those years of prudent upbringing,

Your religion, your values,

The stern concern of your father

The hushed chiding of your mother,

The sour wisdom of generations

The hardened core of civilisations

Rise in indignation within you

And quash the cave-woman


So that you give him

A grim, ladylike glare

And turn your face away in disgust.

And then,

The next day you take care

Without really thinking why,

Not to get into the same bus.


I would know you anywhere

even as a line drawing,

with only a suggestion

of broken tusk.

A mischievous arc

of belly and trunk;


I know you in stone

and wood. Terracotta

is fine; once in someone’s

living room,

I saw you made in jade

with the light trapped inside.

In shops sometimes.

they seal you in plastic.

Even on a crowded, noisy street

you make

an area of stillness

around you.

I stand in a trance

watching the dance.

One leg lifted high,

or in the indolence

after sleep,

balancing your elephantine

head in your hand.

Renegade, clown, purveyor of dreams,

Dispeller of darkness, arbiter of destinies.

You stand just beyond

my angle of vision,

untamed, unclaimed.


My first genuine cup of coffee in New York City

Was at small, narrow, lit café,

Overlooking the Rockefeller Center.

The few trees had gleamed spring-green,

Clad in freshly unsheathed baby leaves.

And even the flowers,

Despite being smothered

With yards of dew-splattered plastic,

Had smiled innocently.

In front of the exploding fountains,

Beaming Japanese tourists, with digital cameras,

Had posed, while statue-masked executives

And detached dreamers

Piled the thronging square.

The waitress served cold apple-pie,

Iced with snowdrifts of whipped cream,

And the sharp, invigorating coffee.

I remember the colour of her eyes:

The snow’s blue sheen

When under sunlight.

"Gee," I said. "It’s pretty cold here...

For late spring." The waitress’ cold blue eyes

Glinted, like sharp points of icicles.

"It is always cold here," she said "Always."

It was only after I had looked more deeply

Into New York and scraped away its

Deceptive frosting that I realised

She wasn’t talking

About the weather.
THE WITCH’S CAULDRON   by  Moneesha Nayak

The witch bends over her cauldron,

Mixing in this and pouring in that

Her spell will work when the moon’s full

Or, in witch-language, you might say,

The night of the bat.

Bubbling and frothing,

Thicker than blood,

But thinner than water.

Or, in witch-language, you might say,

As consistent as ‘goo’.

Her cauldron seems to come alive,

With plops and gurgles

And screeches and screams.

What’s in it? You might ask.

Trust me, you really wouldn’t want to know

But, since you’re persistent, I’ll tell you

On the condition that you will not barf.

A rug slug or two

A pint of some brain drain goo

Five files’ eyes

Ten mice lice

Some smelly jelly,

The lint from her belly,

And a couple of fleas’ knees too.

You’re starting to look sick.

I think we’d better leave the witch alone

And all go home

But be wary of the full moon night,

Or, in witch-language you might say

The night of the bat.
AGE (OR WHEN DID SHE GROW SO OLD?)   by  Sampurna Chattarji

Can you feel her bones under your fingers?

My arms hold a smaller bundle of flesh

than they did before.

Once she held me bundled in her arms.

Now she barely fills the space

between my body

and her embrace.


A "homecoming" they had of it,

after three-and-a-half dread years,

across half the globe, and eighteen-hour

flights in economy coops, an American

wife and a two-and-a-half-year-old.

And the jet-lag while stranded at Heathrow,

the dysenteric dishes and beggars

nudging at our elbows. But the face of a father

aged by years of waiting egged us on-

the fumes of auto-rickshaws choking

in the dust, the eight-hour ride from New Delhi

with a broken windshield, a dead AC,

on a one-lane honk-highway,

the right-hand drive a hemiplegic nightmare.

At dusk, we reached the apartment.

The daughter busied herself with lacquer

bangles, anklets and henna, and saris of silk.

Trying to be oblivious of my mother’s eyes,

the next two weeks were well-known rehearsals

with cousins grown malarial

and neo-pubescent. While I let go

of the soft-disk memories, was I ever the same

while my world had moved on?

Wasn’t I, an alien in two lands,

a man with lupus, reacting to my own blood,

worse than the lepers and tuberculars I scared?

We returned to the U.S., our own house,

but no longer at ease here, with I.N.S. registration,

my own people now foreign.

I had lost my home.

(Translated by the poet from his original in Hindi) 


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