Dr. Varsha Das, INDIA

IT'S AN 'INTERNATIONAL DAY OF WOMEN'                        

A woman is pulled out of a cellar
Her veil is removed, and the face is shown,
from a piece of furniture, she turns a human.
This day is celebrated annually
to remind us of Durga, Lakshmi and Sarasvati.
She adorns pretty clothes,
appears on radio, TV and newspapers,
some men talk highly of the Goddesses,
blow their own trumpets from dawn to dusk.
The woman from the cellar is
princess Cinderella for a day.
But at the fall of night, prince remains the prince
Cinderella is back into the role of a maid.
Woman endures abuses, lies naked in the bed
to quench trumpeter's insatiable thirst.
This has to end, and end for ever.
Let's reveal our true worth, and
release hidden rainbow out into the sky.
With gentle showers let's drench the earth,
so that the soil is soft, and the hearts throb

TREASURE OF THE HEART                                           

A huge wave at a distance
rose up, and curved itself,
rushed to the rock, hugged it hard,
and instantly receded.
Another wave,
did the same, yet another
and yet another....
Why such a big hug
that hardly lasts a moment,
showers of kisses all over
and leaves in a haste!
Are they telling me
how transient physical love is?
The flow is intermittent, and yet incessant
‘Coz my smile never fades,
my arms and eyes are ready for embrace.
I share my treasure of the heart with all,
each one on the earth
always wants it more!

PROVIDED I KEEP WALKING                                                                                               

Someone touched me here
And someone there.
It all happened long long ago.
 All those touches pleasure me,
Even today.
They are fresh like morning dews
On the blades of green grass.

But they have all left
One by one,
Some to far off places in this world
And some others,
Beyond this world.

One narrated stories,
One recited poems
One smeared fragrance of the soil
And a special one painted
Myriad colours of the horizon.

I went on weaving dreams
On the loom of my heart
Warps and wefts.
I loved them all.

Then all of a sudden
There was a thunderstorm.
My loom,
With its spindles and tools
my fabric,
And all my colourful threads
Flew high up
Like a heap of dry twigs
They were scattered all over.
Some of them poked my arms
Some brushed my bosom
And some others scratched my cheeks.

I felt an emptiness,
Very deep
Very vast.
It shook my soul.
I was caged
In vacuum
In stillness
In silence
Between two notes
Of ephemeral music.

Then for no reason,
And quite unintentionally,
I suddenly peeped within me,
 And realised –
That nothing was lost!
My present is because of that past,
Inextricably linked,
More beautiful
More bright
With sunny side up!

I shall continue to walk
And continue to breathe,
The road will come to me
With all those fragrances and
Rainbow colours
 with its open arms.
They will adorn my tomorrow.
I keep walking.

Dr. Varsha Das, M.A. in Sanskrit and Hindi from Bombay University, has a Doctorate on ‘Potentials of Traditional Performing Arts for Scientific Temper’ from Osmania University, Hyderabad. She writes in Gujarati, Hindi and English, and translates from Bangla, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi and Odia. She has more than 100 publications to her credit including originals, translations and adaptations, in the genres of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, radio plays and books for children. She is a recipient of several prestigious awards notably, the first one received at age 18 Gujarat Government for her book for children, besides awards from the Kendra Sahitya Akademi, Gujarati Sahitya Parishad, Ahmedabad and Hon. Professorship conferred by the Soka University, Tokyo for her contribution in Humanistic Education and Peace. A former Director at National Book Trust, India for over 30 years, post retirement, she served as the Director of National Gandhi Museum, New Delhi.

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