Gandhi at Crossroads

By Professor Dr Laksmisree Banerjee

He grew and grew like a huge banyan

with knotted roots

and a leafy shade

for us to sit under

and introspect.


He now stands at the crossroads

spectacled in stone,

piercing through the dimness

of truth

in iconic distance

in the labyrinths of history.


The vendor still fights

under the sun,

under the load

of his wares,

the slum dweller

still droops in death

inebriate in poverty,

the capitalist still

swoons in exultant vulgarity

bought from the sweat and blood

of the down-and-outs.


The Mahatma

in his statuesque immobility

carved in rocky apathy

at the traffic signal

remains forever forgotten

in the quagmire of life.


(First published in Dr Banerjee’s book, Peahen-Passions)

  *Prof. Dr. Laksmisree Banerjee is an established Sr. Poet, Writer, Educationist, Scholar, Rotarian & practicing Classical Vocalist, with many National and International Awards, Accolades & Publications to her credit. She is a Senior Fulbright Scholar (USA), Commonwealth Scholar (UK,) and a National Scholar & Gold Medalist in English of Calcutta University, India. A University Professor of English & Culture Studies, she is a recipient of the coveted UGC Post-Doctoral Research Award (Govt. of India), which she was awarded for her Path-Breaking Post-Doctoral Research Work & Global Lectures on the Comparative Studies and Transformative Vision of World Women Poets. She has also been felicitated by the Sahitya Akademi with the “Avishkar” Award/ Honour for her dual expertise as a “Scholar- Musician and a Poet- Artiste”. Prof. Banerjee has been the Founder Pro- Vice Chancellor & Ex Vice Chancellor of Kolhan University, the largest in Jharkhand India. She has lectured, taught, performed and recited in premier Universities and Literary Festivals across continents. Widely published and anthologized, she has Five published Books of Poetry, One Hundred and Twenty Research Publications with Several Academic Books to her credit. Prof. Banerjee also has the rare Honour of being The Indian President’s/ Rashtrapati’s Nominee on Boards of Central Universities. Her pivotal areas of specialization include Women’s Global Writings, Tagore’s Poetry (Studies) with her English Transcreations of Tagore, Oriental Mysticism & Sufism, English Romantic Poetry, American Transcendental Poetry & Eco-Feminism. Dr. Banerjee is also a Sr. Rotarian & a Multiple Paul Harris Fellow. Through her Poetic, Academic & Other Writings as well as her Vocal Music & Poetry Recitals and Socio- Cultural Activism, she practices the avid Promotion of Peace, Freedom, Good Will, Equality and Universal Brotherhood for a Better World—- through Trans-Cultural Understanding which shines through every facet of her work.





By Prof Dr Laksmisree Banerjee

Laksmisree Banerjee

Our tears have washed the Tricolour, intensified the ruddy blaze
Of rocks, rivers and streaming veins
                        With our white now gone stained and colourless
Our green has crossed mountains of flinty black pathos ------:
Vijay-Divas, our conquering day with no souls conquered,
Flags off or does it, to a better day perhaps!
The hills of Kargil touch the skies with tired hands,
With fingers gnarled, stony and eternally skeletal,
The summits weep with entrenched virulence in their wombs,
The azure mirrors the red fierce, gushing bruised wounds.
Cannons piercing the fluttering silenced throttled blue 
With the darkness of bloodstains gone dry, acidic.
Kargil and the martyrs, who sleep endlessly
On its forsaken beds of history waning into nothingness,
Our weeping songs praise their heights and heroism
With the blank stupor of choked voices, 
Damp hearts, with cascades of flowing tears and hues, 
In frail dreams of re-births, of possibilities or no hope.
We hear and speak the lessons of life in languor,
Of terror and trauma recycled forever,
                        With a soulful yearning for peace, that moment of the flower
Yet drowned deep in the ceaseless waves of love 
Perhaps, just perhaps, in the centuries to come,
We may return with the flying doves, to hold hands once more.


This poem was first published in Peahen Passions (Author’s Press) in 2013

Prof. Dr. Laksmisree Banerjee, a Poet-Professor, a Scholar-Vocalist, has been widely published and anthologised across continents. She is a Sr. Fulbright (USA) and Commonwealth Scholar (UK) and a National Scholar and Gold Medalist of the University of Calcutta. An Ex-Vice Chancellor and University Professor of English and Culture Studies, she has Five Books of Poetry with One Hundred Twenty Research Publications, two Academic Books on Romantic and World Women Poetry, her focal areas of specialization. A Rotarian & Multiple Paul Harris Fellow, she is the Indian Rashtrapati’s Nominee on Boards of Central Universities. She has lectured and recited her Indian-English Poetry and Vocal Indian Music in premier Universities, Literary Festivals and Conferences across the globe.