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This is the evening of the 5th of February 2010, the curtain of the Poetry Festival Kritya 2010 has just been dropped and we are all together, but in a mixed mood.

We have been blessed by the golden glows of the most powerful poetry expressed. We are all bound by a feeling of fulfillment and bliss. We are all ready to journey back to our nests. Though we come from different parts of India and even the world, speak different languages, are torchbearers of diverse cultures, we are bonded as though we are one.

Israel's Diti Ronen and Shyamla Nair from India are conversing as if they are long lost friends. I patiently tell them there are other people too from other places, to which Norway's Bjorn smilingly replies, "They will talk until world's Peace is resolved"

The young Tibetan, Tenzin Tsundue, had claimed at the beginning of the festival that he was Tibetan not Indian, but he changed his thinking pretty soon. He said, "I belong here, I cannot leave this country." His pain hurt us also:

"When I was born
My mother said
you are a refugee.
your tent on the roadside
smoked in the snow.

Rati Saxena

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From home you have reached
the Horizon here.
from here to another
here you go.

From there to the next
next to the next
horizon to horizon
every step is a horizon.

Count the steps
and keep the number.

Pick the white pebbles
and the funny strange leaves.
mark the curves
and cliffs around
for you may need
to come home again.
Tenzin Tsundue
You are what rolls
what leaps what sees
can you coax out the weightless
a leap out of the impossible
can the incredible happen some day
between measured order
something that bursts the confines
of the finite
Odveig Klyve
While a plane zooms past in the sky
Ants gather around a tree
A woman spreads out some clothes to dry
A postman delivers letters to a house
A farmerís spade strikes the earth
A calf runs merrily
A woman takes a dip in a pond
And a girl gets her share of bliss
Or a sorrowful moment touches her
But if the plane happens to be a warplane
dropping bombs
all this disappears in a flash
Prayag Shukla
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This convention is centered on the poetry of exile, the poetry of diaspora. With increasing mobility, being physically uprooted from oneís familiar environment is becoming a common experience. In the globalized world, which is shrinking day by day, we see people of diverse natures and nationalities thrown together, their ties from their physical as well as spiritual landscape snapped, and rootlessness as the only common feature among them. The world is one, but one in nullity. It is a sad picture. But I do not think it is such a modern phenomenon, although it is being much talked about today. We all leave our home at one point of our lives or another and then spend the rest of our lives trying to go back to it. It is a fundamental human experience. It happens all the time. It happened yesterday, it is happening today and it will happen in future. There is no escape for Man from this essentially human predicament; if being exiled is seen and understood as not only a physical reality, but also a spiritual and emotional phenomenon.

Mahesh Elkunchwar

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Biographical Data

They booted my homeland
out from under me
ó what they call exile ó
that is, all of a sudden
the ground was gone
and distance lay everywhere before me

But one day,
before that happened,
they stripped me
of my freedom,
and then ó
gasping for air,
surrounded by iron bars

They cut out my voice:
I have two voices
I pour out my songs
in two different tongues
They stripped me of the sum
two new suns
like two resplendent drums
I am playing
They isolated me from my people
and today my twin song
is returning like an echo
to my people And
in spite of the darkness
of this banishment,
today my poetry is aflame
before the mirror
They cut out my voice:
I have two voices

I felt
a little better than when
they grabbed
my daughter out of my aims:
on that day,
everything -- the future -- was gone

Alicia Partnoy

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Over the eastern hills,
Rising the shining moon;
The face of the maiden,
Is forming in my mind.

Green shoots sown just last year,
Are this year but dry thatch;
Aged, the body of youth,
Bent stiffer than a bow.
If the one whom I love,
Could be mine forever;
This one joy will compare,
Gems from the oceanís depth!
Sweetheart of the wayside,
Though fair and sweet-scented;
Like a faulty turquoise,
Was found but cast away!

Set not thy heart upon,
Daughters of the mighty;
Like peaches on tall trees,
Ripen beyond your reach.

When love doth steal the heart,
Sleepless are the long nights;
Heartache follows the day,
That brings not the loved one.

When transient flowers fade,
Mourn not, thou turquoise bee;
When transient love doth wane,
That is no cause to mourn.

Cold frost on the flowers,
Agent of the north wind;
Is here to tear apart,
The flower and the bee.

Dalai Lama

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(Feb & March- 2010 )

Chief Editor  

Rati Saxena

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