April 23, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Arindam Ghosh photo



Santosh Bakaya




His Granny’s Cheeks



When things get tough and the terrain rough

He quickly creeps into that snug place

That lap of granny into which he often snuggled

clutching her gnarled fingers, with a childish grip

running tiny fingers over wrinkled cheeks

And then pointing towards the snow-sheathed peaks.

That tall, sturdy oak under whose comforting shade

grandad stopped, and he hopped on his shoulders

as he sang a song while he merrily lisped along.

Ah, it was a happy place.

“You will trip, son”, granddad yelled,

running after him to tie his shoe laces

in those feisty, flower flecked farms.

The reassuring touch of a doting mother,

the affectionate reprimand of a loving father.

 Ah, they were always there; so sure, so certain.


But now, alas, uncertainties strike with the certainty

of a terminal illness, hammering away

at the very grain of existence in this dreary place

where he doesn’t belong.

An anguished cry escapes his dry lips

as he sits hunched under the skeletal tree

his body all a quiver with a melodic memory – resonance

of that idyllic place, once his home.


Now, alas, he is a refugee

an exile, a castaway, who does nothing but roam

hither, thither; displaced and marginalized,

waiting to wither with that final cruel gust,

the aliens’ hostility remains undisguised.

Sitting hunched under a nameless tree in a strange place

where he can decode the chirps of the birds

but not the words that the humans utter.

Ah, uncanny place; weird and so cold.

He yearns for the warmth of the snow-sheathed peaks

of that exquisite place he once called home,

and his granny’s cheeks

Ah, his granny’s cheeks!





Why Dither?



Why dither? Drift hither and thither?

So what, if you feel your life has become a raging tornado?

Why keep quivering in fear of that last hammer blow?

Why mourn? Why groan?

Move out of the limbo

Go! Go! Just let yourself go.

Let go of woe and dance that fandango

get those castanets and tambourine

Take that last breath into the unknown.

Swirl and whirl, and clap away the blues

dancing that last fandango.






Santosh Bakaya

Dr Santosh Bakaya, academician, essayist, novelist, poet, reviewer, has been widely published, winning international acclaim for her works especially Ballad of Bapu [A Poetic biography of Mahatma Gandhi], Flights from my Terrace [A collection of essays], Where are the lilacs? and Under the Apple Boughs [two volumes of poetry].

Besides figuring in many anthologies, she has edited three anthologies of poems and short stories:

Umbilical Chords: An Anthology on Parents Remembered

Darkness there but something more: A collection of eerie Tales

Cloudburst: A womanly Deluge [a compilation of 28 lyrical voices from India]

Recipient of many awards, she has been invited to many literary festivals and was recently a delegate from India to SAARC SUFI FESTIVAL [Jaipur].

Her novella A Skyful of Balloons will soon be out.

Editor review


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.