Santosh Bakaya

The Midas Touch

The painter in the east was in a fiery mood today.
Splashing fire – red and yellow,
sprinkling the Zabarwan Hills with golden lentils,
 filtering through the pine trees,
falling on the weeping willows,
and on the pristine white fur of the back of a lost baby goat,
 bleating piteously for its mother.
 In the gold- splattered Dal Lake,
the old boatman rowed his boat
singing a melancholic song,
his cap fringed in gold.

The Night

Jaws clenched, eyes bloodshot,
the night could not sleep, tense.
It had the look of a drunk with a hangover.
Cowering in fright, the insomniac night,
plodded towards me, in a somnambulistic trance, lackluster.
It peeped through the window [or was it I who was peeping out?]
“Can’t you sleep?” it asked me in a hushed whisper.
Tongue- tied, I could not even lisp,
but the empathetic night smiled,
looking at the agonized expression on my face,
struck an instant rapport with the darkness inside me,
and put a soothing hand on my head.

I nestled close to the night, the trees outside the window
rustled a lullaby.
I put my head in its lap, and slept.
The demons crept out, spewing fire.
The night also slept.

Nature Can Be Vicious Too

Nature can be vicious too , not just calm and serene
If it deems fit , it can even throw a frenzied fit , mean ,
 howling  in strenuous notes , bent on drowning  folks ,
uprooting trees and  submerging ships .

Under its vile ministrations , the sea water
 shoots out of the chasm
 with an upwards twist, like some vicious gorgon,
shaking its grey matted locks,
frightening away the flock of geese and gulls
The storm rages on , unabated.

Nature watches  unfazed , as people choke by its cruel lashes  ,
flipping , tripping , gripping them  with airy talons,
evoking  defensive snarls  from the watery chasms,
making foam flakes fly about like frightened  feathered friends  ,
scooping up armfuls of watery crest ,
splintering tarpaulins , knocking people off their feet ,
beating a sinister retreat – thud- thud  - thud…
delivering blow after smashing blow , not going slow .
Not going slow

Santosh Bakaya

Dr Santosh Bakaya is  an academician- poet- novelist - essayist and Ted speaker , with   many books to her credit  ; Ballad of Bapu, a poetic biography of Mahatma Gandhi, [Vitasta publishers, 2015, Delhi] Where are the Lilacs? [Peace poems, Authorspress, Delhi, 2016] Under the Apple Boughs [poems, AuthorsPress Delhi, India, 2017 Flights from My Terrace, [essays,   Authorspress Delhi, India, 2017]. A Skyful of Balloons [ a novella , AuthorsPress , Delhi , India , 2018 ] Bring out the Tall Tales – a collection of short stories in collaboration with Avijit Sarkar, a writer - composer- artist -cartoonist from Sydney, Australia. [Authorspress 2019] Some books which she  wrote as Santosh Magazine : Three Mystery novellas for young adults: The mystery of the Relic [Indica Publishers, Delhi] She  translated this book in Hindi, adapting it for the stage and it won many laurels as a stage play on terrorism. The Mystery of Jhalana Fort [Indica Publishers, Delhi] The Mystery of the Pine cottage [Yak Publishers, 2010, Jammu and Kashmir]