Santosh Bakaya (Climate Change, Eco-activism, Whisperings of Social Justice)

Santosh Bakaya

Award winning poet, novelist, biographer, TEDx Speaker, acclaimed for her poetic biography of Mahatma Gandhi, Ballad of Bapu, Dr. Santosh Bakaya’s twenty three books encompass multiple genres. Reuel International Awardee [Poetry, 2014], Setu International Awardee for ‘stellar contribution to world literature’, 2018 [Pittsburgh, USA], WE EUNICE DE SOUZA [WE Literary Community, 2023], for ‘rich and diverse contribution to Poetry, literature and Learning’, she runs a very popular column, Morning Meanderings [Learning and Creativity. Com.]

Her collaborative e- books [Blue Pencil] Vodka by the Volga [With Dr. Ampat Koshy, 2020, From Princep Ghat to Peer Panjal [With Gopal Lahiri, 2021] are # 1 Amazon bestsellers.

Recently published: What is the Meter of the Dictionary? [AuthorsPress. 2022] The Catnama [With Dr. Sunil Sharma, AuthorsPress, 2023]

For Better or Verse [With Ramendra Kumar and Dr. Ampat Koshy, AuthorsPress, 2023]



Through my meshed window, I see a host of yellow flowers.
Wild. Free. Lissome. Graceful.
A wholeness seeps into me as I feel their joyous vibrations.
The dew- drenched flowers sway
in sun -swathed, limpid ecstasy.
The leaves of the nearby tree, beckon me in joy.
Oh boy! I fling my window open and lo!
I see a bird looking right at me.
Merrily perched atop a blooming palash tree.
A chunk of the aquamarine sky creeps into the room.
For a few minutes, it sits on the edge of the window,
and hastens back.
An amber morning light fills the room.
With one glance of the sun, I am entranced.

Joy in the morning, joy at noon.
Joy at dusk, joy at night. A boon!
Nature morphs my heart into a helium balloon,
swooning to a loony tune.




The Cottage near the Lidder River

One morning, as I stood near the windowed nook,
 of the cottage, overlooking the Lidder River,
I glimpsed a fedora hat and a glass of ginger beer on a table.

My love-besotted quill yearned to pen a love duet
sung by the fedora hat and that glass of beer.
Long forgotten cornfields flashed in memory.
 I saw a scarecrow standing upright,
donning a fedora hat in that cornfield.
 A tiny wren hopping on to the hat,
clutching the notes of an unsung song in its beak.

At night, a shivery draft slithered in
from the casement window.
The cold air blew right in.
I needed no ginger beer or any other libation
to ward off the cold.
 Life for me has always been a massive keg,
meant for celebration.

Not for me the ‘still hearth,’
or the insane rat race,
hoarding, sleeping and greedily feeding.
Dashing- Clashing- bashing- slashing.
But, still, I plod forth.
 “I cannot rest from travel: I
will drink
Life to the lees:
”* as the poet said,
leaving not a dreg in the keg,
 inhaling the fragrance of a thousand flowers,
 and elegant dreams hanging from bowers.

 I know I will always be ‘roaming with a hungry heart’*
through “scudding drifts” and drunken delight,
till something upsets my apple cart.
On an eternal quest, ‘to strive, to seek, to find and not to yield’.*
Beholden to bounteous nature and its edifying signature.

*Italicized words from Tennyson’s poem, Ulysses written in 1833 and published in 1842.



The Glint of Gratitude

 I saw myself perched on a boulder, on the seashore
and there was sudden magic,
before my very eyes.
I had morphed into a mermaid
swirling, twirling on a cresting wave.
Real, surreal and fantasy merged.
I broke into a jig.

The gulls overhead broke into a crescendo,
in avian glee. Did they like my dance?
But in their squawks, I read, 

Save her
save her

Save her
save her 

I watched, aghast.
In the distance, a mother Golden Oriole
was hovering around a pine tree,
letting out anguished chirps.
I jumped down from the boulder,
and swam to the shore, racing toward the pine tree.

 A Golden Oriole chick had fallen from its nest.
I bent down and peered closer. It was still breathing.
Tenderly picking that fistful of gold, I slithered up the tree,
 like those days of yore.
 I put it back in the nest, and broke into a jig.


And the Golden Oriole danced too.
With some brilliant new steps. 

What was that glint in the eyes of the Golden Oriole?
A drop of golden sun? Or a hint of gratitude?

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