Mitali Chakravarty

A Paean to the Past

I grew up in a country that thrived with diversity. I grew up in a country where we were taught to accept diversity of cultures, languages, religions as a normal…

Bridging Narratives: Exploring Play

Review by Mitali Chakravarty of Sanjay Kumar’s Performing, Teaching and Writing Theatre: Exploring Play, published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing About a hundred years ago, Tagore had tried to close social…

Will We Still Love?

As the war in Ukraine completes a year, different scenarios are being painted by different media. There can be no denial about the large-scale destruction of life, resources and environment,…

Lay Red Roses

February, the month of love, is now coloured by incarnadined cries from battlegrounds.   Irrawaddy has turned red. Dneiper weeps ashes and blood. Yet, red roses will distribute love bought…

Ideas

Ideas are hard to curb even if voices are silenced. Ideas will float in the air, waft on a sunbeam till they   embed themselves in more minds. Ideas will…

A Song for Our Mother

What songs can we sing for you O Mother, on this Earth Day?   Intercontinental missiles fly. You lie wounded by bombs. Wombs emptied into tombs of soldiers weep, decimated…

In Memoriam —

Let us write poetry in memory of peace. Let us write poetry of love in times of war.   Erasing the anger, the hate, let us sing love songs for…

Song of the Himalayas

Stretching far beyond the distant horizons is a mountain where trod the gods on their way to heaven, where mankind prayed for redemption, for a broader vision, for union  …

Dulce est Vivere

Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori*   It is never sweet to die. Death ends all. There is no sweetness in dying. Sweetness is only for the living. Is…

Poppies’ Song

The climate is changing. Clouds thunder protests for trees turned to paper. Lightnings throw bolts   on vehicle-filled roads. Viruses clog veins with fear, fear of what is to come.…

Cry, the Beloved Humanity

Some countries are in shambles. Some countries are in a wreck — war torn, poverty-ridden, divided deeply from the world where such expressions are only hyperboles and not a reality.…

A Human’s Song

The pain of man wrings stories of pain from my pen I cannot write of happiness as the world weeps, weeps   on pyres and graves with smoke spiralling up…

Earth Day 2021

To care, Nurture and Cherish till Death do us part —   A day to celebrate the Fecundity Fertility and the Rites of the passage of Time.   Make the…

Our Hearth

Defaced by a virus, the Earth stands all alone. Humanity — will it survive the crackling of the coronal core? Write, write   of the masked men. Faces forgotten. Lipsticks…

Holi

“…the destruction of what you people call evil, is less just and desirable than the conversion of this evil into what you call good…”  — The Caves of Steel by…

The Witch Finder’s Army

Left and Right. The witch finder’s army hunts each night. In stealth, the army seeps   prowls, creeps under floorboards. The army, hooded and masked, takes tiny ants to task…

Future

The tree, shimmering in a puddle, ripples as a bird pauses for a drink. The sun peeps from behind the grey lined with silver.   The river mirrors the sky…

The India I Loved

kitnaa hai badnasiib zafar dafan ke liye do gaz zamiin bhii na milii kuu-e-yaar men Exiled in Rangoon in the colonial British India, the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar…

 Freedom

Freedom —   All the while, they talk of freedom. What has freedom rendered them?   Has it given them the ability to soar? To fly? Has it given voice…

In conversation with Devaki Jain

‘Follow your dreams and don’t be frightened of orthodoxy’ A woman who at eighty-eight brought out her autobiography based on the urgings of among others, Alice Walker, author of  the Pulitzer…

A Woman Who Dares Dream Big

Aysha Baqir, an expat in Singapore, grew up in Pakistan. Her time in college sparked a passion for economic development. In 1998 she founded a pioneering not for profit economic…

Make Mankind Great Again!

“It has often been said that the only thing that could unite mankind was a threat from space.” I read this in Arthur C Clarke’s novel, 2061, Odyssey Three. The…

Migrants

The mass migrants to Mars stood poised to take their first step. The Red Planet crimsoned further by the blood of scientists who realised the vision of a musky monied…

 Slash & Burn

I watch with my lips sealed Watch each girl burn burn the stains of Predators’ Hands till their life is done   I watch with my ears closed Watch rancid…

Rebuilding Rome

Rome burnt as Nero* played the fiddle.   Fiery flames walk highways, creep into homes, stalking, burning, killing not only coronal heat but hearths.   Inflamed by the surreptitious smoke…

Mourning 9/11

  Forgotten souls that weep for an Unfinished dream, for a life Half-lived that ended in an agony of twin blasted Implosions. Forgetting the past — Al Qaeda Osama the…

Onekind

  Why does Hate extend her reign? Why do divides raise ugly sides? When will mankind unite?   Casteist fervour, abhorrence and race   Manmade borders that breaches create, tolerance…

The Tricolour

A 40 kg silver brick overrides the threat of the grim Saffron coronal rim that explodes in the stomach of a fever-ravaged populace   Hunger floods the Green challenging it…

Imagine

Did the caveman laugh? Did he have a toothache? The cheering thing for him would have been, he would not have to visit a dentist. Or, is that a cheering…

The Story of Ram

Was Ram a Nepali, Indian or Thai Or was he from Indonesia?   Celebrated worldwide human rights   The story trumpeted with fanfare as Ravana inflamed burns evils to ashes…

 Colours

Am I white, black, purple or pink?   Names given by mankind to diverse reflections of light   Names given to create borders between colours   Colours earlier that rainbow…

One Hundred Years Ago

Where were we one hundred years ago? Mankind was out of caves long ago and Asia was learning lessons from colonials about drawing boundaries. Colonialism was still an accepted way…

The New World

  On the edge of annihilation, a tiny virus rimmed by an aging sun draws on the sap of bread earned by man   The conquistador of Nature, the hunter, the…

 Why?

Sometimes,   One needs to get away from the torrid darkness of words. A darkness that annihilates. Swirling, twirling a blackness laced with blood, anger, hate   Marginalised   —  …

How many –

How many people cried? How many people died? Sunderbans submerged Nearly five thousand starved Will they die of Corona Hunger or Amphan? And the animals? Biodiversity Day — what happened…

Man and Money

Was Man made for Money? Was Money made for Man? On which side lies the land What is the truth? Did Man for Money walk straight — From Ape to…

Katsaridaphobia & COVID19

I have to admit I suffer from acute katsaridaphobia — My Kastaridaphobia is stronger than my fear of COVID19 or cows. While COVID is being kept at bay with isolation,…

Stay Safe; Stay Home

Stay Safe. Stay Home.   The birds flew home. They had nests.   Stay Safe. Stay Home.   But, men? Did all men have a place to stay? A place…

The Big C

In the 1990s, the three Cs — credit card, condo, car — defined “status” among the bourgeoisie. Now, another C has overtaken all the three Cs, the Big C —…

Marginalised?

  Marginalised? Who said we are marginalised? We are humans walking side by side.   Women, Men and Children Dalits, Tribals and the Abused —   Who said we are…

Hang down your Head

Rapes — How many a day? How many a week? How many a year? The victim stays till Doused with kerosene and burnt The victim stays till Pelted with stones…

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