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

Roaming the muttering streets with Mr. Eliot

Let us go then, you and I,

When the evening is spread out against the sky

Like a patient etherized on a table;

And there, you, Mr. Eliot, my companion,

On these grey half-deserted Indian streets,

Searching for that overwhelming question,

Should I ask now?

Well, the streets go on un-ending,

Arguments in closed bedrooms

That go on and on,

Never resolving in the humidity and heat

Of coastal Mumbai;

I find that we still talk of you,

In elite drawing-rooms and stuffy academe,

Mr. Eliot, the prim and proper gentleman,

And a classicist surveying inner/outer

Wastelands,

Despite a post-colonial experience

Of more than 66 years!

Is it not very strange?

Redefining current selves/ ourselves through your

Blue lens.

 

Kindness

A fat man on a pricey bike

Stops nearby— to feed a brown cow

Near a busy curb, while other motorists swerve

Around the idling figures,

And the lolling cow nods her big brown head

To his reverential touch;

Another slim woman in a Punjabi dress

Enters, once the man exits in a jiffy,

Offers a pale-yellow banana to the placid bovine,

Touches her forehead and is gone

Random acts of kindness and empathy,

In an Indian metro known for cruelty

For its hapless strays and homeless alike.

Figures in the sky

 

In the in-between sky,

A rain just gone and a rain

About to arrive,

Tinged with hues electrifying,

Some dark-light and some light-gloomy;

Swollen clouds, dusty and grey

Alternating with gossamer white/pale-white;

Like a swarm of kids unleashed,

Enjoying the heavenly drops,

On the broken footpaths,

Outside their leaking hovels,

These ethereal figures dance and gallop,

At the edge of a muddy ocean and jutting

Shadowy islands in the immensity above,

Created and then left hurriedly there by

The angry monsoon that reluctantly has

Finally reached Mumbai and nearby.

 

 

Elusive

You are now,

Like the shy

Monsoon clouds

Evading for days

Mumbai’s famous

Masculine skyline,

Jagged and soaring high,

Stretching wide into

Dimness white

In a long-long sky;

The ballooning clouds dark

And floating so light;

Here,

There,

Scattered everywhere,

Yet, cruelly,

Not there

For eager

Waiting

Hopeful hearts.

A late message: Mother’s Day

Mere words will not help,

Real change/deed required,

Mothers being abused, ignored, forgotten

Across a monetized world,

And conveniently

Dispatched to old people’s homes,

When they needed families the most

In the sunset of their lives;

Sadly they get completely erased from minds,

A fading picture in an old album in a dusty pile,

Being erased and sent to oblivion

By their own, the ones nourished in caring wombs!

A line or emoticon will not

Help remove the deep scars,

Perhaps, a long-delayed visit to her

Costly home peopled by memories grey

Or

A loving call to an aging heart

Will sure revive a smile on a furrowed face,

Lighting up eyes that see but dimly,

The splendors of a lovely spring outside,

A closed window of a cubicle shared by one more

Doddering inmate in a flowery gown,

Go and hug that solitary woman,

Surviving on pills, prayers and occasional chats,

The frail person that always

Stood by you in happiness and pain,

And guarded you against odds and bullies

Like a roaring lioness.

A Real Happy Mother’s Day to all!

Bring back our girls—and a country

 

Out of the depths of darkness came sinister forces

Of pure evil

And took away innocence in the budding form

Of young teen girls from a government-run school

In Chibok, Nigeria, on April 14,

The 276 girls brazenly abducted by the Boko Haram gunmen

In retaliation—they do not want them to be educated and independent,

all in the name of their version of Islam and this ambush, a warning for others—

The hapless girls are still missing…like many others in that lawless country,

And most likely to be sold as slaves on the market as per their leader Abubakar;

The world so far has not cared for these children,

As strongly as it should have done, simply because

They come from an impoverished nation, dark and distant,

In an unstable region known for endemic violence;

Why should the ruling elites care for the Other?

The disappeared ones, after all,

Are black, poor and girls, and

Not from a rich and mighty Western nation, their own;

The social outcry on social media forcing now a slow re-think

Among the international governments that regularly talk of human rights and their violations in various hot spots in despotic parts other than their own courtyards,

The great democratic leaders that can make a difference

Have not yet

Hardly talked in a single voice of anger and moral outrage;

Then, in such a bleak scenario of grim helplessness,

Let us rise,

You and I,

As We,

The disenfranchised netizens,

The remaining 99 percents of the world,

Against any kind of oppression and exploitation,

We are the new army of the

Literate and hard-working professionals,

Let us raise our voice in anger,

For our trapped young sisters and daughters, now in another jungle,

The emerging solidarity should now grow into a global protest/chorus persistent,

Against this ruthless kidnapping and global human trafficking of girls and children.

 

 

Fall painting

 

The tree

In fall,

A mass of leafless

Branches;

Crooked

Straight,

Tender

Thick,

Radiating outwards

Like sharp lines in a drawing,

In a wavy plain;

A masterpiece planted there

By the famed Guo Xi;

The scene, desolate, still

Creating serenity

In the viewer

Even

From afar.

To a mother: A song

In my bloodstream

Run all the all songs

That you could

Never sing, tied down

As you were to the kitchen,

House and office duties;

You nurtured a full family

That has largely forgotten you

In the autumn of your life,

But you continue to smile

Through your tears of pain;

In the post-retirement years,

You sing God in moving hymns

Created by you,

This is the second phase of creativity;

Now, liberated, you chant His name

And offer sincere tributes to God,

Adding a spiritual dimension to your

Rich personality of an arts teacher;

Your life, humble, eventful,

Mirrors the country in its struggles,

You taught your fragile son that

Faith and hard work and integrity

Are the virtues loved by God

And those in possession of

These great human qualities,

Can never be defeated by

Heavy odds!

Your hymns are now

My songs and I sing

The joy of being alive!

 

The cicada song

 

The forest vibrates

With a deep humming sound

That clearly overpowers the senses

Of the startled passers- by;

The loud buzz filters through the vertical thickets

Of gnarled trees,

Tall sentinels

Stripped and still,

In this time of the year,

On both sides of

The serpentine highway in the middle

Of the dull brown-coloured jungle;

The bleak landscape comes suddenly alive,

For the curious child, peeping out of the

Window of the pricey car, speeding up the sharp incline;

It is as if thousands of bees had been released abruptly

On the dry wood and parched-up plain, ceaselessly chorusing

In a long monotone that won’t subside,

The haunting orchestra being performed by the swarms of

The dog day cicadas that are

Invisible to human eye, but very persistent in their collective

Calls for their mates of the species,

That can be heard for a mile;

The music is so strange, and, loud,

Piercing the quiet of the mid-summer idyllic scene.