in collaboration with the
British Council, India
The Poetry Society in collaboration with the British Council,
Poetry Competitions since
1988. Thousands of poets have participated in these
volumes of short listed poems were published under the
series POETRY INDIA. The
following are the names of the award-winners:
First National Poetry Competition :
Mr. Alan Brownjohn, Chairman, the Poetry Society, London;
Mr. J.P. Das; Mr. Nissim Ezekiel; Prof. Shiv K. Kumar and
Mr. Keshav Malik. Mr. N. Gilroy Scott, Head, Cultural and
English Studies, British Council Division and Mr. H.K. Kaul,
Secretary-General, The Poetry Society (India) were the
ex-officio members of the committee of judges.
Vijay Nambisan (New Delhi)
for his poem : MADRAS CENTRAL
1. Vivek Khadpekar (Ahmedabad)
for his poem : RUSTOMJEE
2. Vinayan Bhaskaran (Trivandrum)
for his poem : OUTSIDER
3. S. Ganapathi (New Delhi)
for his poem :
MAKING OF A GOD.
is not with us any more
He faded gently, like a star at dawn,
And with him went a world of make-believe
Where time was frozen-future, present, past.
All fused in one great fantasy he wove
With yarns and anecdotes which left you dumb
With disbelief; but yet you listened on:
When, on the Indus, Porus did defy
The Macedonian, Rustomjee was there
To cheer him on. When Lucan’s Light Brigade
Was trounced at Balaklava by the sea,
Rustomjee was at hand to count the dead
And wire their number back to Tennyson.
Nostalgia is no longer what it was.
The tintinnabulation of the trams
On Vincent Road is truly silenced now,
With none to make it come alive. And his
Old 78’s and Sawantwadiware
Will miss those straining ears, that loving glance
Which gave them life: the joy of being more
Than mere collector’s items--wanted friends.
The pince-nez on the table is now blind.
The meerschaum on the mantelpiece is dry.
The almond by the wrought-iron gate laments.
The cat next door is nowhere to be seen.
All that remains—a whiff of distant breeze
Laced with the fragrance of rain on parched earth-
Is fond remembrance and a poignant fact:
Rustomjee does not live here any more.
black train pulls in at the platform,
Hissing into silence like hot steel in water.
Tell the porters not to be so precipitate:
It is good, after a desperate journey,
To rest a moment with your perils upon you.
The long rails recline into a distance
Where tomorrow will come before I know it.
I cannot be in two places at once
-That is axiomatic. Come, we will go and drink
A filthy cup of tea in a filthy restaurant.
It is difficult to relax. But my head spins
Slower and slower as the journey recedes.
I do not think I shall smoke a cigarette now.
Time enough for that. Let me make sure
I have everything with which I equipped myself.
My wallet’s in my pocket; the white nylon bag
With my papers safe in its lining-fine;
The book and notes are in the outside pocket;
The brown case is here with all its straps secure.
I have everything I began the journey with,
Including a memory of my setting out,
When I was confused, so confused. Terrifying
To think we have such power to alter our states,
Order comings and goings: knows where we’re not wanted
And carry our unwantedness somewhere else.
remember mother packing me off
to school with a wet kiss and
a satchel full of loneliness.
I remember the unfriendly classrooms
and the sunlight weeping in a corner.
In the river the fish
refused to bite my worm.
Maybe they didn’t like little boys whose
nights burned with a banished light.
A girl with the distances in her eyes broke
my silence. The first hairs broke on warm flesh
and the first cigarette
the white innocence of teeth.
Sandal: mother turned away
disgusted while the younger crowd
lit candles in their eyes. I shaved my head
not so much in repentance as in
At college it was all
fashions and passions.
Strikes, fights, rights.
A crumbling sky held up
by a dragger of young blood.
And at home between dinner tables
_noeuvres and the wall lizard frozen
in penance, I understood the meaning
MAKING OF A GOD by S. Ganapathi
more to the already large Pantheon
wouldn’t do any harm
Push her into the raging pyre
of her imbecile husband
When it comes to gods
the more they are
the merrier for us
Let the heavenward tongues of fire
raise her to the celestial abode
Clang the cymbals, beat the drums and
chant in chorus the Great Name
till the voices go hoarse
Lest the desolate screams of the would-be-god
reach heretic ears
A gentle nudge into the fire,
or, if need be,
a firm whack in the rib cage
would only help speed up
the glorious journey to godhood
Till yesterday she was just a daughter,
a sister, a other, a negihbour
Young and pretty she was
setting several hearts on fire
The flagrant pyre is
but a centaur with its wings aflutter,
raring to transport her
to the company of gods
Pious as we are,
we could do with one more god,
set the fresh widow aflame.
for the Young Contact
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