Dr. Varsha Das, INDIA

Exclusive: Best of Women Poetry: Edited by Padmaja Iyengar-Paddy

A border, a boundary, is it a line, a fence or a wall?
or is it a mountain, a valley or the sea?
or is it a mere metaphor, for a different identity?

Yes, I speak a different language,
eat different food, wear different clothes,
the colour of my skin is different,
but I was born exactly the way
the girl across the border was born,
was breastfed, as she was,
and was loved by my parents, exactly as she was.

Love across the boundary, is not different
The heart throbs with the same rhythm
and the blood of the same colour
flows in similar veins, going in and out
of the heart of the same size and shape.

And when in trouble,
we all look up for love and protection
trusting that invisible, yet known and visible,
in my heart, in your heart, in the hearts of all those
who seem different, who live on the other side
of the so-called border.

When border divides, we look at dissimilarities,
when love unites, we look at commonalties.
Let’s call out with love, and hear resounding echoes,
from all the ten directions
no matter how long and strong, are the borders!

Dr. Varsha Das writes fiction, non-fiction, poetry, radio plays and also for children in Gujarati, Hindi and English; and translates from Bangla, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi and Odia. Her journey as a writer started in her teens, and the first award she received when she was 18 from the Government of Gujarat. She is the recipient of several awards from organizations like Kendra Sahitya Akademi, Gujarati Sahitya Parishad, Soka University, Tokyo, etc. Her poems are included in several anthologies in India and abroad. She is the former Director of National Book Trust, India and after her retirement served as the Director of National Gandhi Museum, New Delhi.

Best of Women Poetry -2020 :: Setu, March 2020

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