Sunday, February 16, 2014



I am the experimental result
Of my mother's curiosity;
A prime example of
A birth by accident,
Not by choice!
In the river she set me afloat
Just when my eyes were waiting
To be filled with the sight of her
She was gone and, I was...
Abandoned and forgotten

Fortunately, I survived!
I was raised as a charioteer's son
Now I am the price she has to pay
For I represent her grave mistake

It was Duryodhana alone
Who saved me from humiliation
He was the only one, who stood by me,
Put his hand over my shoulder
And generously gifted a kingdom
Without a second thought
When I was facing
Nothing but disgust
It was he, who took my hand
And offered nothing more,
But friendship
When everyone else,
Had forsaken me
For not being of royal blood

Only in the hour of need,
Only during the time of peril
You come to me
Afraid that my brothers - my enemy -
Will be slain by my own hands
Then, be it so!
Nothing will change my mind,
I won't change my stand

I know he is in the wrong path
But I will not deceive him;
If I do, I lie to my instinct
I won't be a prey of treachery
As nothing can be more
Hideous and cruel
Than betrayal
I will abide by my duty
And it is my moral right
To serve a true friend
I will not fail him at any cost!

I know death awaits me
For I am also in the wrong path
I will die, not as a coward
But as a hero, fighting for a noble friend
I will not dishonor the generosity
Of love and trust he has bestowed upon me
Thus, I will die for friendship
This is how my loyalty will be repaid
Which is due all long
And this is how the world will
Remember me!

Karna is one of the most powerful characters in the Hindu mythological epic: Mahabharata. This poem is the retelling of Karna's words when Bhishma, badly wounded by the enemy forces, laying on a bed of arrows, tries to convince him to end the war by making peace with the Pandavas.
October 21, 2013

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I am featured in Zest!

Wow! What a way to start 2014! My poem: The Condemned Stone is featured in the third issue of Zest Literary Journal. Before I start blabbering about my excitement, here the link to the issue. It's such a "WOW!" feeling to see my poem placed first in the Poetry section. I am jumping up and down like an animal gone frenzy with happiness. Its beautifully published in PDF format; it looks authentic and fabulous! You will see my short bio along with a mugshot. Oh, sorry! Not a mugshot, haha, but a nice picture of mine in the Contributors section. I hope you like my poem and other pieces of art by writers across the world. Please be patient while you are downloading the PDF as it is a big file. Its rich with priceless pieces!

I had submitted the poem early November 2013 and I received a response from the editor, Kate Alexander, on December 31, 2103 at 23:17 hours! I am so used to responses from the editors that the lines resonate inside my mind when I see a mail from them. They say:
Thank for submitting your work. We enjoyed reading your pieces. But, we can't select your piece at this time. Please submit your piece somewhere else.
It's like one tight slap on my face when I see a straight acceptance or rejection one-liners in their responses. They don't not tell me why they didn't select my piece. I have to figure it out by reading their previous issues. At least I am always thankful for their replies. Some magazines don't even respond to my submissions. Having said that, I never expected a positive reply even this time. It came as a mind-blowing surprise! This is my New Year gift and it came in grand style.

In response to my submission, Kate gave me a detailed feedback. No editor has given me a feedback on my work so far. She not only read it, but studied it extensively! So, it was worth waiting. Here is what she said:
I thoroughly enjoyed reading your poem, 'The Condemned Stone' and it would be my pleasure to publish this work in the third issue of Zest. Your descriptions are strong and written with thoughtful eloquence. I particularly appreciated the depiction of the stone as 'insignificant, repulsive and brittle with razor sharp edges'. This, in conjunction with the relatively simple rhyme scheme, enhances the overall meaning of the poem, further empowering the importance of its allegorical message.
I replied expressing my happiness & gratitude to her for the kindness and humility she showed in selecting my piece for Zest. This is my second foot print in a British magazine!

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Kate, for her fine qualities she exhibited as a remarkable editor. I liked the way she thoroughly examined the pieces and engaged the contributors along with her in the editing process. She is soft and considerate in giving out her suggestions. She constantly kept me posted on the updates on where and how the publication is heading. Every thing she said, was said with a human touch. I never felt like it was writer-to-editor conversation, but more of a writer-to-friend talk. The talks went back and forth few times; it was required and done only to bring out the best! I admire her patience, perseverance and passion in carrying out such an exhaustive process in a disciplined way. She is a prime example of a true editor. It was a wonderful experience working with her. I look forward to work with Zest again.


Sunday, February 2, 2014


The long-lasting days
When our lives were flowing
With words of eternal love -
Permanent and
Still fresh in my mind -
Carved deep in my heart;
How can they be erased?
How can they be forgotten
When there is no question
Of you being forsaken?

Everything now is so clear to me
I was just a toy - a precious one -
With which you played with great joy
The words I said, were not just words, 
But they were honorably meant
For you alone

The words of love and care,
Compassion and belonging
Were not just uttered
When you were left
Stranded all alone, but...
They came right from
Great depths of my heart -
Deeper than the oceans -
For I cared for nothing
But you

When you found new toys,
You stranded me -
The one who cared the most -
The pain tears me up
When I swallow the words:
"I am  thrown away"
The realization stabs me
To the core and screams:
"I was merely used!"
Now you don't even know
I exist and the question
Haunts me every time:
"What are you anyway?"
My soul burns to cinders when
The thought keeps engulfing me:
"I was merely...
An escape
For you, all along!"

September 2013