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:
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)
Shahnaz Habib for her poem Of Hypocrisy and Cheekbones
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
Nayak for his poem The Witch’s
New Millennium Poets (Commendation Prizes)
for his poem Age
Best Poem in Translation (Special Prize)
Pariksith Singh for his poem Journey of the Fallen Son
Award Winning Poems
|OF HYPOCRISY AND CHEEKBONES by Shahnaz Habib|
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.
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.
The next day you take care
Without really thinking why,
Not to get into the same bus.
I WOULD KNOW YOU ANYWHERE by Revathy Gopal
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
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
an area of stillness
I stand in a trance
watching the dance.
One leg lifted high,
or in the indolence
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,
|A TOURIST’S IMPRESSION OF NEW YORK: BEFORE AND AFTER by Priyanka Sacheti|
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 talkingAbout 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 sayThe 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.
|JOURNEY OF THE FALLEN SON -Pariksith Singh|
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.
by the poet from his original in Hindi)
© Copyright 2003.The Poetry Society (India) L-67A, Malviya Nagar,
New Delhi-110017, India
© Copyright 2003.The Poetry Society (India) L-67A, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi-110017, India