Santosh Bakaya: Poetry (Voices Within 2021)

Santosh Bakaya is the winner of Reuel International Award [2014] for Oh Hark!, Setu Award for excellence [2018] for her ‘stellar contribution to world literature’,[Setu, bilingual Journal Pittsburgh, USA], the First Keshav Malik Award [2019] for her ‘entire staggeringly prolific and quality conscious oeuvre’. An essayist, poet, novelist, editor, TED x Speaker, Dr. Santosh Bakaya has been acclaimed for her poetic biography of Bapu, Ballad of Bapu [Vitasta, Delhi, 2015]. Her latest books include Only in Darkness can you see the Stars [A Biography of Martin Luther King Jr. Vitasta, 2019], Songs of Belligerence [2020], Vodka by the Volga [poetic collaboration with Dr. Koshy, 2020]


The Homeless Human Chunk


I watch from a distance

 as a tiny, unkempt, homeless human chunk,

lovingly sculpts a home from a discarded carton,

for a hungry, shelter- less kitten.

He rummages in his frayed pocket for some loose change,

buys it a cup of milk and dilutes it with water.


His round eyes sparkle with vicarious satiation.

 His own hunger miraculously disappears

 as the little kitten slurps up the diluted milk.


The kitten survives.

So does humanity- alas, only for the time being.

The chunk now happily whispers sweet- nothings

 to his growling and indignant stomach.

The stomach growls a little more,

and then falls silent.

Silent, like all of us-

Silent about the injustice all around.

Silent about the unfairness.

Silent about societal inequities

Silence reigns – deathlike.

Not a word is uttered

Not a malediction muttered

against the vain high-ups

who gloat,

floating happily in this triumph for survival.




With an effervescent spring in my gait,

I stirred out of the gate, following countless days

 of incarceration. After all, it was a new year.

 My eyes fell on a bloated raindrop hanging from a leaf.

I shuddered.

Why did the dewdrop remind me of a bereft person’s tear,

who has lost a dear one to the dreaded virus?

I peered closer, and was dazzled by a riot of colours,

all spelling hope.

I stopped mid- stride on my tightrope walk.


Does hope reside in a drop of dew?

Ah, strange but true.

There it was- a rainbow with hope imbued.

Nestling in the drop of dew.

I smiled, and I knew my smile was precious –

it radiated diamonds.


The meaning of nothingness


I often remember those lofty snow- covered pinnacles

 of my homeland,


in the early morning rays, and the river


with incredible grace,

but too mild to thaw the cold-hearted peaks.


But the fire in my heart,

 all- knowing

 ignites my entire body, making me burn.

Tongues of fire leap up trying to singe me

 as heartless barbarism and treachery are relentlessly unleashed.

 I sit slumped, gauging the meaning of nothingness,

till reconciled, I liberate myself into a future unknown.


But the optimist in me surfaces,

 changes gears, veers me

towards a log cottage in the woods

where a creek flows tranquilly

and a father son- duo sits silently, fishing.


There is nothing great about a fish

refusing to fall for the bait.

 The child frowns a tired frown,

but then glimpses a balloon-seller,

and he goes berserk, behaving like a loon

in the joyous pursuit of a colourful balloon,

 Night falls and he starts crying for the moon.


Ah, for that precious boon to wake up

 to a pristine dawn, one of a kind,

all perked up, wrapped in the warm innocence

 of freshly fallen snow

 in that once peaceful homeland I left behind.


  1. Honoured and humbled to find my poems rubbing shoulders with some wonderful poets .

  2. Lovely poems radiating hope and positivity!


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