Author Archives: Sunil Sharma

About Sunil Sharma

Sunil Sharma is Principal at Bharat College – affiliated to University of Mumbai, Mumbai – at Badlapur, Mumbai Metropolitan Region, India. He is a bilingual critic, poet, literary interviewer, editor, translator, essayist and fiction writer. Some of his short stories and poems have already appeared, among others, in prestigious journals like: Hudson View (South Africa), Munyori, The Plebian Rag and the Bicycle Review (all three USA e-zines), Asia Writes; New Woman (Mumbai); Creative Saplings, Brown Critique and Kritya (Indian e-zines); the Seva Bharati Journal of English Studies (West Bengal), Indian Literature (of Sahitya Akademy, New Delhi), Labyrinth (Gwalior), Poets International (Bangalore), Contemporary Vibes (Chandigarh), Indian Journal of Post-colonial Literatures (Kerala) and Prosopisia (Ajmer). Some of his poems and shorts have been anthologized in national and international collections. Besides that, he is a freelance journalist in English. His areas of strength are Marxism, Literary Theory and Cultural Studies. His book on the Philosophy of the Novel – a Marxist Critique is already published and got a good response. His debut novel – The Minotaur – dealing with dominant ideologies and sociopolitical realities of the 20th century was also published from Jaipur (India) in 20009. The novel was released in South Africa in December, 2009. As a freelance, he has more than 1,000 news articles published in DK Plus, Times of India, Mumbai. His six short stories and the novel Minotaur are prescribed currently for the undergraduate classes under the Post-colonial Studies at the Clayton University, Morrow, Georgia, USA. He has also edited, along with Dr Jaydeep Sarangi, an anthology of shorts, The Editors’ Choice: Contemporary Short Stories in Indian English, published by Gnosis Publications, New Delhi, 2010. He is one of the editors for the NFJ (New Fiction Journal), an international journal devoted to the short stories. A collection of poems: Poetry amid the Golden Barrel Cacti was released in November-2011 from Authors Press, Delhi. He serves on many advisory boards of quality international literary and online journals. He can be contacted through email at: drsharma.sunil@gmail.com Special achievements: Featured in this encyclopedia: http://www.best-poems.net/editors/1329 Poet of the month at The HyperTexts: http://www.thehypertexts.com/Current_and_Back_Issues.htm

Politics of hatred

Two South Boston brothers Scott and Steve Leader beat a homeless man

A 58-year-old Hispanic, on August 19, inspired by the hate speech of a man called Trump.

Hispanics, homeless, blacks, Arabs, Sikhs, Muslims, Indians and practically every immigrant are suddenly suspect and these groups kick up hysteria on those mean streets that were once made by the immigrants from Europe and UK and slaves from African continent!

How immigrants demonize others as illegals and sub-humans and even zombies!

The one appearing different—in a hoody or tattooed or with a top bun—can become a grave threat to the commune/collective/gated communities. Paranoia has no expiry label, feeding upon our urban angst, fears, insecurities and make us all vulnerable!

The politics of hatred spreads everywhere like a swollen river of toxins flooding the cities and towns on its destructive course.

In this era of Internet and social media, such messages circulate seamlessly and create the Instant Other even in advanced nations, transforming friends and neighbours into enemies.

When politicians in democracies talk of the Hispanics and immigrants as threats, the virus kills the conscience…and nobody wants to see the deadly power-games.

The two brothers urinated on the old victim’s face and beat him with a pole and broke his nose and teeth…and laughing, went away from crime scene, feeling vindicated for a vast nation built upon the bones of the previous immigrants and massacred indigenous folks.

If looks decide the fate, we all are doomed, one place or the other; we are the fall guys for the wrong lingo, clothes, beliefs, hairstyles, sexual orientation and skins; the 21-century sadly rewinds to an age of feudal anarchy and bloody revenge.

 

 

A Tribute To Gabriela Mistral

A child’s tiny feet,
Blue, blue with cold,
How can they see and not protect you?
Oh, my God!

Tiny wounded feet,
Bruised all over by pebbles,
Abused by snow and soil!

Man, being blind, ignores
that where you step, you leave
A blossom of bright light,
that where you have placed
your bleeding little soles
a redolent tuberose grows.

Since, however, you walk
through the streets so straight,
you are courageous, without fault.

Child’s tiny feet,
Two suffering little gems,
How can the people pass, unseeing. 

 

O great mother to all the invisible kids of the world!

You wrote these lines in 1922

Yet they sound so true even in 2015!

The world never heard your heart-felt appeal

The crying of a heart for a child of the street

With bleeding feet.

For the Chilean poet

Adopted by other versifiers as a symbol of protest

Their icon and teacher

You show the snow and the path underneath

Those two suffering little gems

And how empathy works across the

Time-space continuum for poetic hearts;

You make us see the blood trail left by a poor child

Where tuberose springs up fast.

Things have not changed much here in the Indian streets

The child worker, bare-feet and ill-clad, matted hair,

Brown-eyed, hollow-faced, hunting food bins and rubbish

For daily survival in a gleaming city with flying cars and beckoning malls

Full of a sunny smile and hope, despite being Unseen by the surging mass!

On lonely nights, perhaps, another Oliver Twist hears your songs and bucks up for another day

Of hard war against a system denying him inclusion, agency and rights.

Showers of gold

The clusters of the yellow flowers

Tucked on the Gulmohar trees

Now in full summer bloom, spreading an umbrella

Behind the shacks of sheets and cardboards

Along the serpentine highway in the

Suburban Mumbai;

The tall trees, slim and smiling

Rain down the tender showers of gold,

Thus turning the asbestos sheets of the

Illegal hovels into shining canvases of pure

Colours of dull brown, white and bright yellow

Branches green kissing the airless tiny boxes

Providing the forgotten citizens cool shade

And succor in the hot winds.

 

The Nepali earthquake: A prayer

 

A giant snoring in the womb of the earth

Woke up and hit with mighty vengeance

Roaring and erupting/rupturing the solid surface

With uncontrolled fury, hissing and pounding, tearing

Everything on his way up;

The 7.8 magnitude quake jolted violently

The tiny kingdom on last Saturday,

Killing thousands and maiming others,

Sending tremors as far off as New Delhi,

What a terrible morning for us!

With the infra flattened and folks buried

Under grey mountains of rubble,

A scary situation which can hit any place

Or time with immunity;

Slides, floods and quakes have been rattling

And devastating the battered planet,

Waking up the giant more frequently now

Always leaving a trail of bloody destruction

And tragic results, be it Haiti or India or Nepal;

Let us pray for the dead and show solidarity

In this hour of crisis to all the affected humanity by

Doing our humble bit!

Let us stop raiding the natural resources for greedy purposes

In the name of ill-planned urbanization and illogical progress;

Instead through concerted green efforts, try to make safe

Livable/habitable this old earth for the future.

 

To Papa Hemingway

 

You continue to inspire me

One among your die-hard fans

Across the world still in turmoil.

You drove an ambulance during the

World war I and got wounded,

You were always there leading

From the front be it Paris or Madrid

You hunted and fished and boxed

Bullfighting was another passion

That provided insights into the

Game of life and death for him

The man who saw the wars and climbed hills

Did the safari and talked of a code of conduct,

And committed suicide, when fed up with life,

And became known as Papa Hemingway to others,

Giving succour and hope in the face of ugliness

And a world brutalized by the power-hungry.

He tells us there is no gap between his beliefs and

Daily conduct, thus making his work truly authentic.

Flowers in a pot

Flowers in a pot

—Sunil Sharma

The slim widower

Tends daily to the potted plants;

His speciality the white flowers

In a corner of the balcony

Of the one-room apartment

On the eleventh floor,

In the heart of the commercial district,

From that vantage point, the world is a blur

And nobody cares for the grumpy man,

Nor he, for them,

He is so bitter;

But, flowers beckon, dancing in the wind,

And the muttering occupant, lonely and miserable,

Waters them daily and they both talk,

And he sees in their smiling

Tender petals,

A son now forever lost;

These brief conversations

Conducted twice, everyday

Delight an ageing heart.

Through fragrance and colour,

The long-stemmed flowers,

Fragile and vulnerable,

Spread cheer everywhere,

Every nook and corner,

Like the sunflowers of

Van Gogh.

(Courtesy: The UN’s anthology on Happiness: The Delight-Tree)

 

To my Valentine

To my Valentine
You, Sangeeta Sharma, my
True Valentine.
Love is more than—
The gold or platinum
Sold through aggressive
Ads for those seeking or
Expressing love.
It is an emotion that can
Never be commodified,
Rather it is—
Reaching out to the silent other,
Crying out silently along
With her, on moonless nights,
When bitter winds roar
On deserted streets and ruined homes,
It is sharing anguish felt like a cruel stab,
When she suddenly remembers a
Recently-deceased mother,
In far-away home that was
Left years ago,
When she was a mere teen;
She chokes, tone thick,
A grieving daughter remembers, while
Others mostly have channelized or
Erased her;
It is, love, my dear, —
Opening of the secured heavy doors,
Before your Valentine even rings the bell;
Talking to her, quietly by her side,
Busy in the humid Asian kitchen,
Preparing the hot dinner;
And, gazing lovingly,
Again,
At her tired oval face,
With long fluttering,
Black eye-lashes,
That tenderly cover a pair,
Of pure almond-eyes,
Reminding you of the young doe,
Trapped in an urban jungle,
Full of ugly predators,
Masked as friends and co-workers,
It is gently caressing her prostrate,
Worn-down body,
Like a tender mother,
When she is asleep,
And roaming in a
Free, equal,
Different world,
Where she ceases
To be, for an instant,
In a strange dream,
No unpaid
Unacknowledged
Constant care-giver
To a demanding, forgetful family.

I am a drop

I am a drop in a murmuring stream
flowing in a verdant and scented vale
the stream then flowing into the Holy Ganges
that is the source of the Indus civilization and culture
the ancient river then flowing into the Bay of Bengal and
mingling there with the mighty Indian Ocean that is
kissed by the Phoebus, winds, moons and the distant stars;
A mere drop—i
but part of the land, sea and sky
originating in nature and dissolving in it
tiny, yet mighty; fragile, yet strong
flowing always, yet contained;
Let me be part of the whole universe
o, kindly gods,
and never be atomized in this world
because, i becomes I, only
when it finally merges with the universe.

To Emily Dickinson: An epistle

Your words comfort

Across the divide of

Time- space and race;

You lived in isolation,

 

I am Nobody! Who are you?

Are you- Nobody- too?

Then there is a pair of us!

That is what you said in

One of your famous poems

That might shock today’s narcissists

Poets and all others that revere

Their self-image;

Yet, living and dying un-loved,

Your poetic soul was incredibly rich,

And included the whole universe in it

Like that other distinguished voice,

Walt Whitman, your peer,

And both of you

Spoke about us,

And still speak to us,

Although the world hardly listens

To its own great masters .