Sanjukta Dasgupta (Voices Within 2023)

Sanjukta Dasgupta,Professor and Former Head, Dept of English and Former Dean, Faculty of Arts, Calcutta University and Fulbright Fellow. She is a poet, short story writer, critic and translator. She was a member of the General Council of Sahitya Akademi New Delhi and Convenor, English Advisory Board, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi. She is the President of the Intercultural Poetry and Performance Library, Kolkata. She received the WEI Kamala Das Poetry Award in 2020 and the ETHOS Literary Award in 2022. Dasgupta has 26 published books. Her eight published books of poetry are Snapshots (1997), Dilemma (2002), First Language (2005), More Light (2009), Lakshmi Unbound (2017) Sita’s Sisters (2019) Unbound: New and Selected Poems edited by Jaydeep Sarangi and Sanghita Sanyal) (2021), Indomitable Draupadi (2022). Her poems have been translated in German, Serbian, Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, Kashmiri and Tamil. Forthcoming- Ekalavya Speaks (Poems)

 

In The Holy Land

 

Vultures are circling in the blue skies

The Holy land stands petrified

Sacrilege and sacrifice lie scattered

Cries and screams of dying children

Rend the toxic air

 

There is no water

There is no food

There is no shelter

There is no safety

There is rubble everywhere

 

Fathers scramble for a slice of bread

Mothers wish their breasts had milk

Children cry and shudder and starve

Children die every hour, torn to bits

 

In all Holy rule books

Killing is a sin

Savagery sweeps over

The Gaza strip as never before

 

Bethlehem and Jerusalem

Watch in hopeless grief

An eye for an eye

A tooth for a tooth

Inhuman animals

Bomb and gun down

Every innocent child

Every shelter, every camp

All burn in the fire of frenzy

In the killing fields of GAZA

 

 

 

Urban

 

They are all infused

In an inextricable embrace

Layers melting into each other

Rural, suburban, tribal villages

All stream into the urban flow

Despite borders and barricades

 

The lazy footfall of the bullock cart

The chirpy tinkle of bicycles, totos

Autos, bikes, buses, cabs, cars

Trains, trucks and trams

Connect workers, visitors

The sick and the fun-seekers

The allurement of the enchanting

The serenity of the faraway paths

Merge and mingle and new roads

Create tracks that the bustling busy ones

Pace and embrace as the flowers of hope

Blossoms of aspiration arch the gateways

As bridges create a communion.

 

Lakshmi Puja On Kojagori Purnima

When she comes along with

Her Mother Durga

Lakshmi is the dutiful daughter

 

When she returns in a few days

She is the Mother Goddess

Beautiful, bountiful

 

Her footsteps etched

In every doorstep

She sits in every home

 

Blessing all who seek her

Blessing all with prosperity

The harvests and farms

Smile as Ma Lakshmi

Smiles her serene beatific smile

 

She arrives on the full moon night

A dazzling disc of mystical light

Kojagari Purnima,

 The divine autumnal night

That shines with heavenly light

 

Ma Lakshmi, The Goddess of

Benediction donates her bounty

Blessing huts, houses

Mansions and camps

 

Every home glows

Lamp rays illumine

Shining nightlong

Awaiting her silent footsteps

Elusive Ethereal Mercurial

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