Dr. Santosh Bakaya, INDIA

THE GIRL AT THE RED LIGHT

Ah, there is a quiescent spark in those eyes.
Untouched by the infinitesimal wonders unfolding,
she hears only the rumble of some distant thunder,
 as she blunders into yet another day.
Afraid of some hidden shark, is she?
Mark the dark lines under those eyes. Those unheard sighs.

What lies between those lines? Some unspoken pain?
A shaking hand she stretches forward,
 holding the stem of a flower, wilting.
 Please buy it, her eyes plead. None heeds her need.

Her free hand fumbling in her bag,
 reassured by the touch of the bedraggled teddy,
to which she readily clings, tightening her grip,
when the nocturnal monsters go berserk, frightening her.
She lives a lifetime in those unending moments
at the intersection, clutching that flower.
The day crawls, someone buys that flower, after all.
A silent song on her lips, finds the lost notes. 
Her eyes glow, as she glimpses the contours of a rainbow,
brightening her tiny world.
So soft, so beautiful, so tender.


THE WOMAN EXTRAORDINARY
 
Malign her,
condemn her,
bad mouth her
belittle her
but, forget not,
that this so-called brittle woman
that you maligned,
condemned,
badmouthed and belittled
can unfurl a new, compassionate world.

Salute the magical aura of this woman extraordinary.
Benign
Grandiloquent
Valiant
so compassionate and caring
so raring to go!
The fire in her heart,
the spark in her eyes
the unsung song on those lips
can grip the world by the scruff of its neck,
shaking it out of its entrenched misogyny.
No, she definitely is not little. 
Her phenomenal strength
can whittle away at patriarchal pomposity,
kick away those roadblocks,
and tackle those centennial shackles.
Every second climbing one notch higher.
Untiring,
Relentless,
Resilient
The woman extraordinary!


THE SPUNKY BIRD

She is the wounded, though valiant bird,
still flapping her bruised wings,
singing of better things.

She is the touch of spring
on a freezing winter night.
The first ray of sunlight
inveigling itself through sinister clouds.

She is that soothing touch healing a crazy world.
The first glimmer of hope on a deserted beach.
 No restricting laws,
no claustrophobic clause
no cruel claws
no alleged flaws
no sharp jaws
no unfair cause
can drown the crowning applause,
coming her way.

You, lesser folks!
Take her not for some whimpering,
woebegone, weakling, severely circumscribed,
of all energy sapped, inextricably trapped,
chomping off her own toes in a fit of imposed inadequacy,
 snapping at life’s lows, choking on her supposed frailty. 
She has spunk; she can strike, watch out folks.


Dr. Santosh Bakaya, academic, poet, essayist, novelist, reviewer and a TED Speaker, is the recipient of, Reuel International Award-2014, Pentasi B Universal Inspirational Award-2016, Bharat Nirman Award-2017 for Literary Excellence, Aagman Tejaswini Award-2017 and Poet Laureate Award- 2017 from the Poetry Society of India.  She has been critically acclaimed for her poetic biography of Mahatma Gandhi, ‘Ballad of Bapu’. Her other books are: ‘Where are the lilacs?’ [poems], ‘Under the Apple Boughs’ [poems], ‘Flights from my Terrace’ [essays), ‘A Skyful of Balloons’[novella], besides three mystery novels that she wrote for young adults.  She She has co-edited a number of poetry anthologies notably: ‘Umbilical Chords: An Anthology on Parents Remembered’, ‘Darkness There but Something More’, ‘Cloudburst – The Womanly Deluge’ and ‘Muffled Moans Unleashed’.


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