May 31, 2016 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION


Sukrita Paul Kumar









Said the boy from Badayun,

Teach me to write a letter,

A letter that my old Ma can read,

She never went to school, Saabji!


And remember, Saabji,

I won’t learn to write

what she can’t read!





Dreams are to be dreamt in sleep


To die when the eyes open,


Deny them, dismiss them


For the green pastures are nowhere

Dreams sink like paper-boats

when belief sits in them


Each day,

I must work, I must earn

And eat, just so

That I go home


But that too is a dream, I confess.












Can’t there be flights?

Into the skies? Beyond the horizon?


Will I always keep sinking


A rudderless boat in

Deep waters

Empty of colour


Waves folding above,

Around and beneath


Salty eyes

Sea taste in the mouth


That way

This way








Sukrita Paul Kumar

Born and brought up in Kenya, Sukrita Paul Kumar is a well-known poet and critic, who currently holds the Aruna Asaf Ali Chair at the University of Delhi. Formerly, a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, she is an Honorary Fellow of the International Writing Programme, University of Iowa (USA), as also of Hong Kong Baptist University and Cambridge Seminars. She is honorary faculty at the Durrell Centre at Corfu (Greece).

She has published several collections of poems and many critical books including Dream Catcher, Without Margins, Folds of Silence, Narrating Partition, The New Story, Man, Woman and Androgyny and Ismat, Her Life, Her Times. As Director of a UNESCO project, she edited a volume of Urdu short stories in English, Mapping Memories. In 2006, she published, as its Chief Editor, Cultural Diversity in India (MacMillan India) prescribed at Delhi University. While her latest co-edited volume is Speaking For Herself: An Anthology of Asian Women’s Writings (Penguin India), she has also recently published Poems Come Home (HarperCollins) & Rowing Together (Rajkamal), bilingual books of poems with Gulzar and a fellow Hindi poet, Savita Singh. Her translations of fiction have been published by Katha and National Book Trust (Stories of Joginder Paul and Sleepwalkers). Her poems have been translated into many languages including French, Chinese, Swahili etc. A recipient of many prestigious fellowships, she has lectured in many universities in India and abroad. Her paintings have been exhibited and published in several journals.

She has also been the Guest Editor of several journals in India and abroad, including Crossing Over (University of Hawaii), “Muse India” (Indian Literatures) and “Margaret Lawrence Review”.


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