Oct 30th

Ode to Fear

By Annapurna


A Annapurna Sharma


Struck by fear!

Nah! Not me.


Hideous ants furrowing sugar candy

An obnoxious locust crawling in the savanna

Ah! The goose bumps widespread. Not my fear!


A nasty cockroach sprinting over leftovers

The spineless lizard nesting on the wall

A housewife’s nightmare. Not my fear!


Charming slithering snakes in the thicket

Snarling tigers stroking games of prey

A ranger’s fun. Not my fear!


Men painted dark-oiled to rob mortals

Queer men parading isolated lanes for a weak victim

A wanderer’s noose. Not my fear!


Flowing white robes of nocturnal devils

Guffawing witches hanging from marooned trees

The night traveler wets his pants. Not my fear!


While the erudite me chortled at ‘fear’

The silent winds burst

A tiny, blue polythene crept, from rear.


It shook the winds out of me

The sudden surreptitious polythene bag

Whispered without words. Fear is innate!


Like an old man’s tale –

Fear is the Emperor!

To be revered. To be venerated.


Fear from the scent of falsehood!!!

Fear before embracing injustice!!!




Oct 27th

Women's Corner

By Ush

About the Book


Women play multiple roles in their lives with élan. They are adept at multi-tasking, moving seamlessly from one activity to another. Their ability to rise up in a crisis is admirable. It is always interesting to know how women manage to do this. I’m sure that the readers will concur when I say that reading about women’s issues is more relevant today than ever. More written on this issue is always welcome. So let’s bring it on...!!


To be a woman I am indeed proud

over the years, my true identity I have found.

I know I have a long way to go

but I have begun my journey of  discovery to grow.

I am now up to any task assigned to me

completing it well I can surely guarantee.


I am in no competition with my male counterparts

I too wish to rise up in my life chart;

so I will revolt against any biased rulings

that goes against my spirit and my being.

So please, don’t be the jury

and curb my voice and liberty;

I will not take it lying down anymore.

My dignity in full, I plan to restore

so that my victory I can ensure.


In return, to you, I wish to assure

I will in situations behave mature

I will act without fear and always be fair

I will discharge my duties, responsibilities with care.


More power to women!


Kudos to all the women who strive to establish their own identity, independence. I have titled my book ‘Women’s Corner’ – it has eight short stories sketching the life experiences of the protagonists. I have endeavoured to capture a few snapshots of how women think, perceive, behave and act in different situations. I’m painfully aware that this is a limited picture – but this book is just a beginning!


A woman’s priority is often considered flawed if she chooses a career over her family. Ambitious women are sometimes berated and ignominy is heaped on them; when they should be praised for showcasing their talents in their respective fields. But some have achieved their goals in spite of the obstacles they have faced in their path to success. ‘A Rare Retake’ tells one such story through the life of the protagonist Rama who focuses on her professional life for a major part of her life. She faces many tribulations in her life both professionally and personally. She gets a rare chance later to make amends in her personal life due to her wonderful parents.


Age is no barrier for change; this is exactly what is shown in the story ‘A Spring in Life’. Jaya, a homemaker in her sixties – decides to bring about a change in her life after her husband’s demise. In order to be independent and helpful she sets up a homestay for working girls at her place. A decade of her experience of interacting with the various girls forms the theme of this story. 


Parents work hard and make many sacrifices to give their best for their children. But in some families the reciprocal feeling is missing as the children fail to take care of their parents in their later years. Maya in ‘Reverse Swing’ faces just that situation in her old age. It is a tale on how her children abandon her, refusing to take care of her, when Maya falls victim to Alzheimers in her old age.


‘A Train Sojourn’ is a narrative on how four women who are strangers become friends and enjoy a rather tedious journey together – sharing, and regaling each other, with their stories. 


A Mothers’ love for their children is so subjective and unconditional, that sometimes their help to other children may fall short. Prema in ‘A Mother’s Remorse’ has two lovely children but she takes another child Geeta, in duress, under her care. She treats her like her own child and provides her all the comforts. But when she sees that her own children turn out to be just mediocre in sharp contrast to Geeta, the ‘mother’ in her rebels, and she tries to quash Geeta’s dreams. Prema is filled with remorse at her own deeds – but only after she loses everything precious to her. 


‘A Sombre Silence’, traces the life of a happily married couple till tragedy strikes one of them in their old age. The silver lining in the cloud appears when relatives and close friends come together to be the life support for Sashi – the protagonist in the story.


In ‘A Collective Resolve’ a group of young and determined women decide to change the age old regressive practices and attitudes in their village. The story describes the trials and tribulations of the women as they set about their task. But in the end success smiles on them, as there is a visible change in the economic and social status of the people residing there. The men folk gratefully acknowledge the contribution of the women in reviving their village. A theatre group tells the tale of these brave women and the impact of their work in and around their village in the form of plays to a wider audience across the country. 


Girls enjoy a carefree life in school where their personality gets moulded by their peers, teachers and the school environment. Schooling is a very important phase in their life; and that is why they never hesitate to relive the memories with their peers, even much later. Rainbow Reunion is one such story in which six women meet after several decades to catch up on their present lives, and to recollect their nostalgic school days. I hope it brings a smile on some of the reader’s faces as they recall warmly some of their own personal experiences.


I hope you enjoy reading these stories as much as I did in penning them. 



Dr. Usha Sridhar

Women’s Corner is available Amazon_India, Amazon_com, and Authorspress



Name of the Book

Women’s Corner – A Collection of Short Stories

Name of the Author

Usha Sridhar

No. of Pages



ISBN-10: 9386722283;ISBN-13: 978-9386722287


Rs. 695/ US $ 29.95


Authors Press, Q-2A, Hauz Khas Enclave, New Delhi 110 016. India

Author’s Email-ID


Oct 26th

An adoption

By Padma

Oh! Dear Father! 

Adopt a child who you love and care

Please assure, love, you surely share!

Neither leave her alone, nor ignore

Every child is born, truly to adore!


She brings you smiles and joy

You always love to enjoy

Anything she does is a play

Do not interrupt her stay!


If you do not own  a child

Never make her unfiled!

Let her play in your laps

Please do not make gaps!


A child only knows blessing

of her father's sweet caressing!

She never demands any gift

Try to provide her a good lift!


(Note: I wrote this after heariing about a three year old adopted child who was deliberately killed by her father! She got milk choked and died while she was drinking milk. She died due to ignorance of her dad! He neither took care of her, nor took the treatment from a doctor! She was left in a lonely place, after she was dead)

Oct 26th

Lend me your ear

By Padma

Lend me your ear, Oh! Dear!

Let me help you hear

all the worldly things

that are evil and good,

to see you turn an usual

perceptive child!

Oct 23rd


By madathilnair

Bone-dry she lay

in the heat of May

raising mirages -

a parched wasteland

of shimmering sand.


The Ganges of the South,

deserted by life,

contouring a countryside,

devoid of any mirth,

like a ghost’s smoky trail,

lined by plastic waste,

dry grass and bushfire.


Trucks queued on her sides

countless, waiting to slide

on to her bosom of sand beds,

their bellies empty

craving for hungry fills.


While those that had got in

ravaged her flesh

like maggots that feast

on a mammoth cadaver -

a ghastly sight

of necrophagous greed.


Shanties that lined her sides

waited at dried up taps

hoping for unexpected boons

of trickles from unsure heavens.


An old man labored on the roadside

to wash himself free

of the lather he had built

with just a morsel of some precious fluid

in his rusty bucket whose bottom leaked.


While motorists wearing goggles

sped past sipping water from bottles

bought from distant shops

at exorbitant price,

looked on by the thirsty street.


The celestial beauty who was ordained

to help churn the nectar of immortality

from out of the turbulent seas of mundane inconstancy,

then, later to be the consort

of sagely wisdom

whose stoup she escaped

to sing the song of love,

to flow and fecundate lands desolate

and to wash the Feet of the Truth of Reality

resting on the Snake of Eternity,

enroute, at the three temples

of manifest reality - future, present and past.


She lay dead – the sacredness of yore

my aunt used to chant holy hymns about

every morn with water in her folded palms

looking at the crimson Sun emerging from the clouds.


Mansions of concrete will be built

mixing truck-loads of her sand

cluttering the entire countryside and beyond.

Brides will enter them holding earthen lamps

with prayers on their lips,

dreams brimming in their eyes.


Will Kaveri join in

and sing with the dames again

her ancient celestial strains?

Or will the sands wail from the walls

echoing the whimper of their imprisoned souls?


(Written after viewing the sad plight of River Kaveri (Cauvery) near Trichy (Srirangam) in May earlier this year.  Legend is that the river is Lopamudra, the celestial beauty, who helped gods in churning the ocean for amrut, the nectar of immortality.  Later, she married Sage Agastya. However, her passion to serve the world forced her to flow out of the stoup (kamandalu) of the Sage as River Kaveri.  The three temples of Lord Vishnu (Ranganatha), where he reposes on Ananta (the snake of eternity), are situated on the banks of Kaveri.)


Oct 21st


By JohnGon

Tied in a knot
the pressure is piling up
I tried to touch it
but it was way too hot
the steam is escaping and
whistling out of the teapot

and now my hand is burned
It's amazing how the positions have turned
you tried hurting me once
but I saw right through that
I learned

you came to apologize
but that was just another disguise
you tried playing me
but I could see the lies in your eyes

you broke my heart before
that won't ever happen again
I will learn from my mistakes
until my heart can beat again
like the snare of a drum

don't you dare think that I'm dumb
I have been hurt before
now I don't feel a thing
I am numb

Oct 21st


By JohnGon

I remember
being depressed
thinking about taking my life
heavy weight on my chest

went to talk to my friend
he replied saying "You're weak"
however strong that may sound
it is why I am still able to speak

now happy with my life
believing that everything happens for a reason
ready to strive
I will not be beaten
I will not care what people think
for they are the reason I almost stopped to blink


Oct 21st


By JohnGon

Sad to see
what the world has become
it was like a beautiful painting
so colorful and fun

but then came man
dropped coal on the world
that wasn't the plan
at least that's what we have been told

now the world is
so black and gloomy
being torn apart
and destroyed cruelly

and no one even cares
no one even dares
to try to better the world
from its despairs

I just hope that one day
future teens
would forgive our mistakes
and the world would return green

Oct 18th

अबकी दिवाली एक ऐसा दीया जलायें

By Dinesh Gupta 'Din'

अबकी दिवाली एक ऐसा दीया जलायें

कि फिर अँधेरे रौशनी से भय खायें


ना किसी की आँखों में कोई ख्वाब टूटे

ना किसी के हाथों से कोई हाथ छूटे

ना चौराहे पर किसी की अस्मत लुटे

सीमा पर इतनी शांति कायम हो जाए

ना किसी सुहागन के हाथों की चूड़ी टूटे

गम के बादल छंट जाएँ

खुशियों के तारे टिमटिमाएँ


अबकी दिवाली एक ऐसा दीया जलायें

कि फिर अँधेरे रौशनी से भय खायें


ना मरहूम हो कोई बचपन

ना रुसवा हो कोई जवानी

ना उजड़ी सिंदूरी मांगें


ना हो ऑंखें पानी-पानी 

भले ना हो सूट बदन पे अरमानी

पर ना हो हाथों से कोई बेईमानी

ना हो सियासत सैनिक की लाश पर

ना व्यर्थ जाए कोई क़ुरबानी


हट जाए आँखों से डराने वाले काले साये

अबकी दिवाली एक ऐसा दीया जलायें

कि फिर अँधेरे रौशनी से भय खायें


सत्ता बाहर निकले वोटो के फेरों से

जनता बाहर निकले बाबाओं के डेरों से

खोल के घर का रोशनदान

नए ख्वाब झाकेँ छत की मुंडेरों से


गम के बादल छंट जाएँ

खुशियों के तारे टिमटिमाएँ


अबकी दिवाली एक ऐसा दीया जलायें


कि फिर अँधेरे रौशनी से भय खायें 

Oct 17th


By Padma

Love for an art teaches us patience and attentiveness

Love for beauty makes us enjoy everything around us

Love for nature helps us lead a life with full of joy

Love for species enables us know how methodical they're

Love for fellow men prepares us love the entire life!



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