Voices Within: Nishi Pulugurtha

Nishi Pulugurtha is an academic and writer based in Kolkata. Her publications include a monograph on Derozio (2010), a collection of essays on travel, Out in the Open (2019), an edited volume of essays on travel, Across and Beyond (2020) and a volume of poems, The Real and the Unreal and Other Poems (2020). Her recent book is a collection of short stories, The Window Sill (2021) and a second volume of poems is forthcoming from Writers Workshop, Kolkata.

Noises from the Dark

a whirring that becomes a jarring 
as the varied noises break the silence of the dark
the nose of quietness
a stillness that lingers
to be broken by the sounds
that seem to groan 
machine sounds 
a halt –
a pause –
and then they break through again
a chain, a rhythm
hmm grrn grrr hmm
not like this 
they are different
as they go on
a whirring, perhaps.

And then stillness 
that soothes
a quietness that comforts
to last for a while
till the sounds begin to trouble
the struggles continue. 

The red blooms that seem to smile

a branch cut off
from the tree that has now been chopped off
to clear some space
to clean up things
the broken stem still there
rooted – in hope I want to think

that branch, now grown
shades of green
with a few small buds

awaiting as they turn big
two flowers
one above and a little to the right
holding on against the concrete

wall behind
the broken plastic bucket
edges jarred
faded colours

and the three cats atop that wall
in the winter sun.


the light slowly comes in, 
a little at a time
and what was dark and unseen, 
slowly become clear
the mist still lingers on
for a little while longer

the moaning of the black dog
as the breeze disturbs its quiet sleep
breaks the silence for a while
and then a silence that calms
 as redness shrouds the white peaks

a gentle flutter of the plastic on the hut in the distance
and some smoke that moves upwards
to get lost

Humdrum . . .

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