Compitition for General)
4 5 6
7 8 9
All-India Poetry Competition
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:
National Poetry Competition :
judges of the competition were Mr. Anthony Thwaite, Mr. J.P. Das, Mr.
Nissim Ezekiel, Prof. Shiv K. Kumar and Dr. Lakshmi Kannan. Dr. Neil
Gilroy-Scott, First Secretary, Cultural Affairs, the British Council
Division, and Mr. H.K. Kaul, Secretary-General, the Poetry Society
(India), were the ex-officio members of the committee of judges.
Bhaya Nair (New Delhi) for
her poem, ĎKalií
1. Lokesh Deep, (Village Rehnwa, Haryana) for his poem, ĎMy Sister, Mother, and Meí.
2.Vivek Khadpekar (Ahmedabad)
for his poem, ĎAll in a
3.Mr. C. Raju (Bombay) for his poem, ĎMy Lifeí.
Mr. S. Shiva Kumar (New Delhi) for his poem, ĎDavidí.
Rukmini Bhaya Nair
A goddess chews on myth
As other women might on paan.
Red juices stain her mouth.
Bored by her own powers
Immense and spectral, Kali broods.
About Shiva, she is perverse.
She will not plead with him
Nor reveal Ganeshaís birth.
She will not ask him home.
Shiva loves her, but absences
And apsaras are natural to
No god is hampered by his sins.
Kali desires a mortal, whose day
Begins with her, ends at nightfall
In her arms, a man who will die
Without her, whose love is fallible
But secure, she wants to be held
Like a warm creature, not a fable.
Loneliness drives this goddess mad
She is vagrant, her limbs askew
She begs a mate, her hair unmade.
Fickle as Shiva, memory deserts her
Chandi or Durga or Parvati, which
Is she, which of her selves weeps here?
Even Ganesha, for whom she feels
Only tenderness, excludes her, even he
Seems impatient with her flaws.
Where should such a goddess turn?
Kali, mistress of the temporal world
Wants bliss defined in human terms.
Staid Ganesha Knows this wildness
Must be curbed, Shiva, peripatetic
Agrees, and across the wilderness.
Both gift Kali a companion eagle, hurt
But no arrow, fed on nothing, it returns
Each night to its eyrie in her heart.
My Sister, Mother and Me
by Lokesh Deep
Did you say pain, Sir?
My sister is married to pain.
Every night, he peels her skin,
turns her into mashed potatoes
And devours her in starved mouthfuls.
Every morning, he vomits my sister back.
You wonít hear any wails.
Each cry, each shriek turns into supersonic angels,
Who come directly to my bed and rape me en masse.
What, Sir? Fear?
I can write a book on fear.
So can you, once you meet my mother.
That is, if you donít recoil in horror and run away.
No, Sir, she is a woman all right.
But her head, arms and legs have shrunk inside her torso.
She is a diminutive figure of solid fear.
Fear oozes out of her body,
Constantly filling our home, our bodies, our souls.
Do you think I am hallucinating, Sir?
I look into the mirror and see a garbage can
Constantly being stuffed with litter, staring at me.
I am worried, Sir.
The dump in my soul is slowly fermenting into pus.
Donít you think itís dangerous, Sir?
Especially with safety valves all clogged up.
How much longer can I hold the pressure?
I am going to explode, Sir.
I am going to blast this sky with a nuclear shriek.
Yes, Sir, very soon.
All in a Summerís Madness by
Up in Hilltoptown in summer, distant from the sultry plains,
Thatís the place to be, me hearties, thatís the place
until it rains.
Thereís a toy train that chugs up and down twice a day.
It has first class and second; dogs travel with the guard.
Here they flock-the rich, the mighty, parvenus and
Sans-culottes and sandal-wearers, ragamuffins and hoodlums.
And the plebs, in their moth-eaten, mothballed woollens
Come to ogle the beautiful people at play.
Housie in the club at forenoon, lukewarm large in the bar,
Veteransí band in park at sundown-you can hear it from afar
Playing waltzes and dirges and hot favourite urges
The scores are goe-eared and the trumpets are bleared.
Pony rides a tenner hourly; bikes on rental (rates ad hoc);
Chemist shop and video parlour-they stay open round the clock.
In a lane round the corner are houses of pleasure.
The girls are quiet comely, their favours are dear.
Callipygous Catalina, pendulating down the mall,
Brings the traffic to a halt and drives the coppers up the
And the hopeful Lotharios loitering around.
Set to pursue her tail with their eyes all agleam.
Weekend bonus for teenagers, disco dancing by the lake,
Monotonometronomous rhythm helps you keep awake
Through late in the night and into the wee hours;
Itís a satiated crowd that greets the new week.
So the show goes on through summer, all the way until the
And the shops and restaurants, they multiply their business
When itís over, the hotels reduce their rates,
And the season of sales repsí conventions begins.
My Life by
I have learnt to love, what was
superimposed on me-the English
language. Like a pregnant woman
I have borne it with hope. Godís
seems to be rather limited
as he had implanted pleasure
in the wrong places. The gods put
pebbles in my mouth to impede
the river. For many years have
I strutted in an English garb-
a ventriloquist deceiving
the cuckoo. Only in drowning
could I get a mouth to mouth kiss.
And how I have become a pebble.
I have whistled for the Thames standing
on Gangaís bank. What dominion
have I over the 26
fishes of the Enlgish sea? What
can I do with gobbets of English
blubber when my soul cries for Krishnaís
flute? I have traded my mangoes
for daffodils and my tongue has
found an alien grave. Is this the
end of my Tibet Road?
S. Shiva Kumar
And she said, ďDavid the sheep-skin is like a psalm.
I see the need but there is no warmth.
Even You cannot work up a sweat.
Hold me tighter.
Donít look at me like a pelican in the wilderness.
Donít roll your eyes.
You canít see all of me at once.
Some of me is inside.
Solomon made eyes this morning; I looked away.
No; You donít have to kiss me now.
Women hold their lips together.
What can You add to it?
A buffer of grey?
David, pitch your pole in my tabernacle.
Shepherd, bring forth your sheep and feed on my pasture.
You shall not want.
I shall not complain of your still waters.Ē
David turned away. She began to knead his bottom.
ďDavid, how long will You deny me? For ever?
How long will You turn your face away from me?
Shall I put out the fire?
The generations of Israel await thee.
I do not speak to You with a double heart.
Shall not the Lord cut off all flattering lips
And the tongue that speaketh proud things?Ē
for the Young Contact
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