Gayatri Majumdar (Voices Within 2023)

Gayatri Majumdar is founder, editor, publisher of critically acclaimed literary journal, The Brown Critique. Her published and upcoming books include A Song for Bela (a novel), poetry collections ShoutI Know You Are Here and The Dream Pod and A Warm Place With no Memory; The lotus of the heart (non-fiction) and ‘Home’ anthology (co-editor). As co-founder of ‘Pondicherry Poets’, she has been curating the beloved annual Pondicherry/ Auroville Poetry Festival apart from several other events around the country. She often features poets/artists on the Brown Critique YouTube channel. Gayatri is associated with Sri Aurobindo Society and lives in Pondicherry.



Still Life Yellow, MatriNiketan


Yellowing around the heart of a circle of chirpings
and hint of blue breezing the evening green

They bow, swing with merry abundance
everything flux –
the form frail-ing to hold the beauty and wisdom….

The rage continues – uprooted, shackled, un-wild
they will not succumb. Still undeterred unashamed –
they continue slow breathing – an artist’s implosions…

Once sunflowers, they still under Vincent’s stars;

not withered yet as if trapped waiting,
charmed by the light in ink and crayon
arriving in their brown hearts, gazing up
with lowered heads – rebellious;

somehow held together
in search for other realms,
on a stoic wooden chair,
the green-brown day wrapping around
distant sounds of ancient chants;
resigning to random occurrences
and of being sketched or placed in an altar.

The sacrifice imminent – the light, fading,
but held still as eons collapse and bend –
the vase wobbles, but will not break.

In a symbiotic dance of human screams, violence –
undercurrents of sweet love –
the hour holds together
all that lights up
a moment, unshakable belief in
that which cannot be seen, only dreamt.

And they nod their brown-centres at once
with the rhythms of the day, speeding bikes
and deep concentration.

The colours smudge the art-paper –
everything yellow
in the ebbing light
of play and ignorance,
how is it do you wish me
to appear?
What is the shortest way to your heart centre?
What is the best way to surrender
this hour, this dying to you?

I can see your solemn eyes –
lie lines cutting across your defences,
when do you begin to yellow,
green and sun flower?
Wait for nothing in particular? No one.

Unmindful of this outward house of
appearances, secret passages, tall doors,
with heads bowed, wind in your frail-petal,
the troubles, my child, She says,
will surely abate –
measured in unmapped distances and timelessness….

In the hour of absolution,
embracing the love in your lightening looking away,
we wait,
not for you. Nothing.

Shifting colours of the various shades of silence,
the heart sheds pain –
love intensifies.

Each petal a story – each slow
gyration, a lifetime spent in acquiescence.

Mango Tree-ing Against the Yellow Wall


The tree was raising itself
when they built this giant human yellow –
unmindful, as they tend to be.

Cornered, cursing, undaunted,
it made its green-headway toward the sun
and other deliciousness of a rooted existence –

head-butting elbowing kicking it
            to scour the sea –
trawled boats, other human inventions
with the wind in its hair,
twinkling into the pink starlight and old melodies.

Scarred, bruised, the wall is unmoved –
a clever someone (as humans are)
thought of fence-wiring cutting into its
darkening brown and bark,
and the two just wouldn’t give in!

Swinging shadowed light-patterned dreams bruised,
sick to the stomach, calming before the impending overhead
storm, this love story is not over yet.

The inebriated moon waxing forgetting all about time
light up hideouts of untold secrets;


To Be (That Is Perfect)


White Spider Chrysanthemum against
a lavender evening, with a hint of fire
a whirling dervish overhead
the cat pretend-nap on the morah

short-eared owls landing noiseless.
The eerie chime from Svarim inevitably
skips several beats of my heart
hanging on the wall – assorted gods
typically whisper mostly to the dead – and
at the soul’s entrance – no allotted number,
or even sidekicks.

Someone somewhere is hurting still
wreathed with ravishing colours
a tombstone for a head
tuberoses, Italian asters, lilies,
peace in the belly – simple sincerity.
The azure within with a wisp of ether white
the mynah perching on the highest branch nods,

this conversation is about to commence

same old over several lifetimes,
habitual deliriums – ending with nothing,
phantasmal; ruminative, still what can I say!

Did I say, this all means so much to me.
I meant to.

At best, be.

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