Varsha Das
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. She is the recipient of several awards from the organizations like Central Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, Gujarati Sahitya Parishad, Ahmedabad, Soka University, Tokyo, etc. She worked for three decades in the National Book Trust, India in different capacities, including Officiating Director, and after her retirement served as the Director of National Gandhi Museum, New Delhi.


Unless I am locked down and in solitude,
I have no time to look within.
As I shut my eyes in prayer
Wide opens my inner door.
I expected a garden of flowers and fragrance,
but I discovered a huge pile of rubbish,
stinking with self-righteousness!
In disbelief I asked myself, is that me?
How can it be? How much I hate it in others!
When did I accumulate so much?
I picked up a long and strong broom
of determination and courage,
started sweeping my inner negative traits.
They were so steep and slippery.
The task was not at all easy.
It would be a revolutionary step
if I succeed in cleaning that mess.
I sprang up to clear the space.
The more I cleaned the more filth surfaced!
In shifting sands of time
It’s never too late to discover one’s inside.
I’ll continue to clean till my outside shines,
Because that’s the only proof of inside being fine!

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