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

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 .

Gaza burning

Gaza burns bright day/night, sans any succor,

While the world debates on and on,

The TV captures the sound-bytes;

It is a place where every poetic heart bleeds

For the young, the sick and the hapless ones

Condemned to die by screaming missiles

Dead on targets inside/outside homes/hospitals,

The pixs look so familiar in a hate-filled world,

The wounded cry out in pain, while the dead, disfigured

And bloodied, are beyond that human threshold and crossed to

A different world where perhaps, peace and love and light prevail;

Their suffering is over but the living suffer the pangs of loss and

Life-long mourning, while the depraved celebrate on both sides

Of divide, thus stoking fires of hatred via their mad laughter

And eyes crazed;

The fight will erupt somewhere else and another cleansing will

Take place, bombs will go off and murder and mayhem will be staged

Till every human that carries a bit of poison inside cleanses that;

Till that moment is realized and peace becomes a mindset

And is permanent,

Each fresh victim is part Gaza and part Israel,

And in the theater of war, it is innocence that gets finally killed.

 

Do I wake or sleep?

Was it a vision, or a waking dream?

                Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?

That is a question posed by Keats

In his inimitable Ode to a Nightingale.

Between a vision and a waking dream,

Lies a sphere unique processed by the brain;

An enchanting area full of melodies,

Some heard; some, un-heard.

The sole self roams these territories

Bound by time-space, yet un-bound.

Between waking up and dream,

The elusive state of being

Asleep and awake,

The intermediate zone/place

Between physical and meta-physical,

Real and fancy,

Determined and non-determined,

By heavy material constraints,

The creative mind navigates the

Labyrinth of the Unseen

And finally discovers the poetic

In the everyday, the Seen.