“a Woman of Essence”-Dr. Santosh Bakaya

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One day, a sunday morning like today the sun is nowhere and i lazily lounged on a hammock,  “am i an indolent cloud floating in the sky, waiting for heavy wind to carry me through, to usher rain,  usher storm”, as i look at the clouds, it asked me.

O cloud O cloud 

consume me… consume me!

You’re a magic to my eyes

you are the curtain that hides 

the beautiful sunrise…

you are the thought

that opens the words

creating a language 

of poetry. _ade c.

 

Santosh Bakaya final photo HD woe 2019Santos Bakaya hails from Kashmir, [India] which is called the paradise on earth, she was born and brought up in Rajasthan, where her father was a professor in the department of English, and where she got her first posting as a lecturer in a post – graduate government college. “I find the silver linings in the grey clouds, my eyes turn to exciting new colours – the colours of the rainbow, the azure blue of the skies, the flamboyant colours of the birds, this how I find myself. One day… I wrote my first poem The fort, but showed to no one, then wrote limericks, which again, I showed to no one.” 

She stays in Jaipur with her husband where they both teach, while their daughter, works in Delhi. Her husband and daughter are both very passionate about literature, there are times of healthy discussions and she considers them as her greatest critics and strongest supporters. A die-hard optimist with a high self-esteem, “ no definitely not bordering on narcissism,” she claims. “ i am an emotional fool, because I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve and become attached to people easily.” She has always been an incorrigible romantic, a die – hard dreamer , staunchly believing in  Martin Luther King Jr’s Dream and John Lennon’s’ ‘Imagine’ yearning for  a day when ‘there is nothing to kill or die for’ and ‘all the people sharing all the world’  and  the hues of peace to be splashed all over the world.  I firmly believe that it is love which propels life forward, and if there had been no love, the world would have long back slipped down a dark abyss. I have been relentlessly instilling these values in my students. 

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VENOM POCKMARKED  

Hatred scribbled in the dust of Aleppo. 

 Venom pockmarked on the walls of Manchester Arena.  

 ‘So one last time, I need to be the one who takes you home. ’ 

Lovingly kids echoing, ‘one last time, one last time’. 

Exhausted, they fall silent, hatred once again takes its toll.

 Hatred dripping,  

 Surreptitiously walking the back alleys. 

Venom pouring through eyes

 Hate trying to insinuate itself 

through cracks in ravaging rhetoric. 

Sarin – coated hatred reigning in triumph. 

Hospitals Bombed out, schools crushed.  

  Black, thick pungent hate, bubbling up unexpectedly,   

 snorting out malicious guffaws, unexhausted.  

Rests on a sofa- swing, sharpening its nails.

 Ears plugged against humanity’s wails 

 It mulls over the next attack

 Yearning to be back.

Somewhere a mocking bird 

searches for its lost notes in the raging threnody. 

__Dr. Santos Bakaya

The desire for universal peace is so much a part of her, has written countless poems on peace. Her first book of poetry, ‘Where are the lilacs?’  She had 101 peace poems triggered by the unfairness of an unjust world.

UNDER THE APPLE BOUGHS [2017]. 

Poetic biography of Mahatma Gandhi, BALLAD OF BAPU [2014] is all about the significance of love, forgiveness and peace, the relevance of Gandhiism.

Biography of Martin Luther King Jr. Only in Darkness can you see the Stars, has just been published [2019]   

A column, MORNING MEANDERINGS, in Learning and creativity, a very popular E-zine, wherein she raises the issues of poverty and societal disparities. 

No matter what my delusions were,  my muse has always been my dad; he hurled away my essay on Charles Dickens in the tenth standard, remarking that I lacked style, so that time when he gave me the thumbs up, i started to be an exciting consuming cloud. When I feel strongly about something: turbulences in my homeland Kashmir; a sunbeam tickles me on an intensely cold morn; first moonbeam of the night silently in shaft into my room; birds serenade me at the crack of dawn; a toddler chortles happily; an elderly couple holding hands, trudging towards destinations unknown __i either vent on my anguish  or spin excitedly into verses.

NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH? 

Where is the truth?

 The Truth and nothing but the truth 

Lost and gasping in the riotous wilderness? 

 Where is it?

Why this ferocity; this dread persistent? 

Why does our laughter have undertones 

of a termite-ridden pine?  

 Truth lies battered, shattered

 Scattered in bloodied shards. 

 

Now, truth matters not!

 Who will stem this rot?

Back then, it mattered a lot.

Now it is torn and tattered, 

 hounded, trapped and hated. 

A vicious blot berated.

A bizarre mixture of shimmering terror 

 and a shape –shifting ferocity.

A veracious vitality- gone – outdated. 

 It is just hidden behind a majestic façade

 reeling under delusions of grandeur, 

 and dizzy heights of exaltation.   

Perched on high horses of arrogance 

spewing words of brazen belligerence. 

It lurches forward, a coward. 

An imposter boasting, 

a braggadocio, a blabbermouth bloated 

 with pride and vanity. 

 Ah, there it is! 

 The truth and nothing but the truth 

peeping from   behind the chuckle of the feisty infant, 

riding side- saddle on his sick mother’s 

skeletal body as she picks bricks 

at the construction site.    

 There it is, again, shining from the brow 

of the diligent farmer [And how!]. 

Yes, I just saw truth 

in the frenzied flight of a frightened bird, 

flapping its wings maniacally, 

leaving a trail of droppings 

in the rampant gloom,

 in a windowless 

room; 

Shackled,

 tethered 

Unfree. 

Truth prevails. 

__Dr.Santosh Bakaya

asked about the feeling of self-detachment:

Self- attachment to the point of narcissism is no… be bothered by the wrong perpetrated around us. Keeping up with the Joneses is a Never… keep feet firmly planted on the ground. Atrocities, wars, poverty, hatred, injustice, intolerance, bigotry, are heaviness that consume her heart, and not self-involvement. She raises her voice through her writings… Dr. Santos Bakaya, a story writer, a poet, an author, a teacher… consumere; like the clouds break-open the freshness of sunrise and the beautiful dawn. _ade caparas manilah 2019 sydney australia

asked to philosophise her Life:

WITHIN ME 

I am the obsolete and shabby, 

spring less chaise of Chekhov’s The steppes, 

rumbling noisily through the maze of life 

clattering, rattling, shattering peace. 

Battling odds; creaking in every sinew, 

unable to begin anew, under a petrified sky.

Short, crashing sounds, howling of hounds.

 Alas, the flowers and the leaves in the bowers,  

all withered from the heat. 

 Half –dead and brown, a symphony arid.

How does one deal with the turbulence within?

Bear and grin, this sound and fury and din?

Ah, soft, what do I see?

Hush, it is so surreal, the air so still.   

 A symphony silent.

Is that an azure stream, tranquil? 

A hibiscus swaying in the breeze? 

Luxuriance hanging from the trees?

Ah, soft, do I   hear the notes of an invisible lyre?

Joints creaking, back aching, but with a spirit unfailing

 I walk on towards the azure stream, 

 no longer creaking in every sinew. 

The new dawn breaks; the sun rays pummel and poke me

 into a pulsing energy. 

 See, the spring in my walk? 

Dr. Santosh Bakaya

(end) 

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