Drunken Cockroach in my Wine Glass

By Saranyan Bv

Drunken cockroach in my wine glass

Dear Panchami,
Today I woke with a new angle to look at the way
The world revolves.
Panchami, don’t get hassled about my drinking,
Things could have been worse like for the cockroach
I met this morning
After I got off the bed.
By the way Panchami, how are you?
How sound was your sleep? Let me know.
The lone cockroach, Americana Periplaneta,
Suffering loneliness like I do
Had fallen last night
In my empty cup of wine.
Oh Panchami, my soul,
As you always complain
I had forgotten to clear the table.
There was this residue of that purple vintage
That stayed in the cup through the warm night,
Upon which, the roach floated
On its dorsal, looking up,
Beating its six legs, two antennas
Like old women in old days
When someone old died.
Dear Panchami,
I didn’t want to play God,
Didn’t upturn the fellow, I let him remain
In that unfussy state of combat with air.
Panchami, my soul which stands apart,
I didn’t want to play the devil either,
Didn’t want to reclaim him
From his stuporous state of inebriation
Where the universe seems faultless.
Dear Panchami,
After all he chose to drink,
Partake a sip of the Bacchus without encroaching into mine.
What if I didn’t clear the table
Put away the empty glass, wash, dry
And stack it where you always did.
Dear Panchami,
We are not here in this infinitesimal life
To play God or Devil, judge and judge not.
I am sure you are angry, but please.….
I don’t even ask your forgiveness
Dear Panchami.
For I don’t want to let you suffer the burden of
Judging and being entangled 
In matters of judgement knots.
Roaches are survivors Panchami! So am I.

Saranyan BV is poet and short-story writer, now based out of Bangalore. He came into the realm of literature by mistake, but he loves being there. His works have been published in many Indian and Asian journals. He loves the works of Raymond Carver.


The Lonely Path

By Rachel Jayan

I see a little girl amongst the millions
With dreams in her eyes and wild curls in her hair,
Her unbreakable spirit to survive and her passion for life.
She moves forward in life playing by the rules one day at a time, 
until she asks herself, 'Why am I here in this rat race?'
Some say to bring new life.
Some say to live for others.
Some say to be creative and to appreciate creation. 
Some say to love. 
Some say by God's will.
Some say for money and to build empires. 
Some say just to live, and
Some say, just about make it each day.
She bravely treads each path to see
Where would she find peace?
What could be her final destination?
She chooses each path
And looks for footprints to follow 
Till she finds a lonely untrod road.
She makes that one her own.
She finds she has no need to 'fit in' anymore. 
She fought her fears and won her wars. 
She lived for others and found true love.
At last, she found her way, her peace.
She had finally found her heart, her God!

Rachel Jayan has been a passionate educator for 24 years and is currently the Primary Years Coordinator at Indus International School, Bangalore. This is her maiden attempt at writing.




Pigeons, Us & Gods

By RJ Kaimal

Pigeons, Us & God

In the hall
stare down at
us as we
chant and sing
devotional songs.

Are they
if it is really
necessary to be so
loud to be

Isn’t God just
around the next
corner of our

That Day

That day there was
much to be

Not a word was

Eyes Looked at
each other and
much love was


I sent a part of
myself very far away
to explore and chart
unknown territories of
my mind.

RJ Kaimal has more than 2000 poems on the site. His writings are featured by The Classical Poets of New York,, & Poetrysoup. He lives in Bangalore, India. 




Rumination : Lockdown is a long flight.

By Sapna Agarwal

I haven’t travelled much recently but I remember when I was in the middle of a ‘hi-flying’ job (literally here) and had to travel internationally twice a month, the only good sleep I had was in-flight. This was unusual because most people I know cannot sleep well — especially in economy class.

The reasons I could sleep so well were many – the ordinary ones were that I was generally fatigued after my fourteen-hour job; I was not interested in the alcohol on board; I am 5ft nothing and could be comfortable in the economy class seat ( much to the envy of the Germans in Lufthansa flights ); the microwaved  food didn’t excite me so I didn’t need food breaks and hence loo breaks.

But the real reasons (and that is why I am linking it to the lockdown) was that I was mentally at peace since once on board there was nothing under my control.

I was blissfully devoid of FOMO – fear of missing out on the chance of utilising my time better. There was nothing I could do high up there – no clearing long pending tasks like visiting the bank, replacing my torn handbag,  arranging for a birthday party,  getting my car serviced — in general all the tasks that I postponed with guilt while on land. In air, I was at peace that for the next 22 hours everything could wait. Once I had mental peace, I could just roll up and go to sleep. It was magic. There were times when the air hostess ( Quantas and Thai in particular) would wake me up and insist I eat something instead of sleeping for 15 hours straight.

The other thing that made in-flight sleep so peaceful was that there was little my accident-phobic self could do to save myself in case of a disaster. I do not have the same peace of mind while travelling by taxi, bus or train. In a taxi or bus, I always keep an eye on the driver willing him to avert any head-on crash. In a train where I cannot see the driver, I am normally evaluating my chances of escape in case of a collision. But in a flight, it is binary – in the unlikely event of a crash there is nothing a hapless passenger can do. So, I could sleep in peace.

Now after many years the lockdown is giving me the same feeling — a calm, soothing feeling that there is not much I can do except wash my hands.

One — There is no urgent task I can complete because everything is closed and legitimately so.

Two — In case of a disaster, that is the deadly virus takes over the entire world, there is very little I can do.

So I’d rather say my little prayer, roll up and catch up on my sleep – peacefully.

Sapna Agarwal is a management professional and has worked in the corporate and education sectors for long years. She writes short poems and articles  mostly on current issues. She is a keen observer of human nature and how they react in good times and bad. She lives in Bangalore with her eleven-year-old daughter. 


The Tiniest Man on Earth and more…

By Aditya Shankar

The Tiniest Man on Earth

Was so tiny

he did not belong among humans.

Too big for microbes and fungus to befriend.

Too small for mushrooms

to feel the entitlement of a rain shelter.

Eliot’s practical cats were too practical

to respond to his queries.

Orwell’s Old Major

was busy inspiring a rebellion.

With none to acknowledge,

his happiness bore no relation to happiness.

His grief bore no relation to grief.

He watched the communion of men from afar—

their greets, hugs, smiling eyes.

He was happy.

But with none to share it,

his happiness hurt worse than grief.

He watched the war of men from afar—

their slit throats, longing, silence.

This hurt him.

But with none to relate with,

his grief grew light and comical.

He roamed the lonely world,

depressed and happy at once,

a microcosm of the humanosphere.

On his epitaph, he wrote:

Emotion seeks a watching eye

and lay in his grave.

But death never came for him.

It did not want to devour a breath

that wouldn’t distill into a potion of loss.


Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by TS Eliot.

Old Major, a character from Animal Farm by George Orwell.

Annapurna// A History of Food

Mouth opens like the door of a shrine.

God, hungry and veiled by gloom is within.

She clutches her children tight.

Sets her men and women to work on barren lands,

pickaxes in their hand.

They plant crops, harvest the yield.

Chases away pigeons and crows.

War, they charge at rats in the granary.

Time is but the rushes of a never ending film on food—

the land our ancestors moved/ oxen ploughed,

earthworm that wiggled/ lizard fish that splashed,

cranes and parakeets that flew.

Not to forget the much more ancient recordings.

Spears that we darted/ meat that we roasted,

forests that thronged the fields once/

hills that we scaled.

No love story, without an episode of meal.

No battlefield, without a thirsty dying throat.

No captivity, as unbreachable as hunger.

Grounded by roots that we assume are severed,

an indoor sapling channels light.

A hand fed parrot pecks from our digital nest.

Concise and edible in its beak,

the epic of Annapurna, my mother’s fond deity.

Note: Annapurna is the Hindu goddess of food and nourishment

Aditya Shankar is an Indian poet, flash fiction author and translator. A Best of the Net and two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Aditya has his poetry translated into Malayalam and Arabic. His poems have appeared or is forthcoming in The Little Magazine, Chandrabhaga, Asiawrites, Indian Literature, Poetica Review, Columba, Periwinkle Literary Magazine, Reality Break Press, Brasilia Review and so on. Books: After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014), and XXL (Dhauli Books, 2018). He lives in Bangalore, India.