The following poem has been taken from the short story, “THE CURSE OF A NIGHTINGALE,” one of eleven stories comprising PAVITRA IN PARIS.

 The Curse of a Nightingale

Am I dreaming or awake?

I see Afghan women rising to take —

Charge of re-writing their fate;

To make our nation proud and great.


I’m still a blooming daffodil,

Abbu’s not persecuted against his will;

Laila’s busy making sand castles,

Ammi has conquered poverty and its battles.


Girls go to school at dawn,

Without fear of acid, gun or stone . . .

Corroding their beauty, stealing their life;

They are human again: a daughter, sister and wife.


Allah and Buddha embrace in Bamiyan,

There’s no place for fear of Taliban;

Sunnis and Shias, Pashtuns and Hazaras,

Pray in the same mosques and offer Namaaz.


When the wind blows from craggy brown mountains,

It smells of pure desert sand, not missiles or machine guns;

When it wafts through the crowded bazaars,

It tickles the taste buds with the scent of kebabs.


No rockets, no car bombs rob life or limbs,

No widows, no orphans beg for alms;

No, I’m not dreaming — I have both sapphire eyes and not a scar,

For Afghanistan is peaceful and not at war.



Who am I?

Who am I?

They call me an author,

But I’m a humble farmer;

The seeds of my thoughts have germinated into delicate saplings,

Look! they are now blossoming into handsome young trees—

Laden with fresh, juicy fruits for you all to relish!


Who am I?

They call me an author,

But I’m a small bee, who wanders from flower to flower—

To make the sweetest honey, for all you to savour!


Who am I?

They call me an author,

But I’m a quiet weaver, who spins a yarn of stories wise and clever;

My fabric is precious, its every pattern unique—

For you to be entertained with its genius intrigue.


Who am I?

They call me an author,

But I’m a migratory bird;

Who gained wisdom by travelling the world.

I now sit in my nest,

To tell stories of my quest—

For you to reflect, my honoured guest!


Who am I?

They call me an author,

But I’m a joueur of words;

Blank paper is my playground,

Grammar rules my referee,

Within which my ideas swim free—

For you all to score and cheer!


Who am I?

They call me an author,

But I’m a gentle mother;

Who gives birth to stories after hard labour,

And nurtures every word with such loving care—

For you all to enjoy and share!



Magic Wand


Snow or cotton, cotton or snow . . .

Waiting for sun’s golden glow.

Trees are naked, all is barren . . .

Rabbits hide deep in their warren.

Where’s the colour, all is white . . .

Spring seems far out of sight.

In the winter you are snow . . .

In the summer away you go—

To hide in the clouds beyond,

And watch the sun swing its magic wand.

Nature lays calm, waters stand still . . .

Waiting for spring to trickle.



National security, at what cost?


In 1998 was carried out the nuclear test,

With contemptible merry and despicable zest;

What, afterall, is humanity celebrating?

The consequences of which are so devastating.


The cerebration of scientists was widely appreciated,

Little did mankind pause to think what these acclaimed brains had created . . .

That which they call the gem of their throne — the atom bomb,

Would take each one mercilessly to his tomb.


Can there be no solution?

Can we not make a dying resolution—

Not to resort to means of mass destruction?

Can we not revert to the gospel of the Mahatma—

To arm ourselves with “Ahimsa,” and listen to the voice of our “Antaratma”?


Why, O why do we permit our brain to rule over our soul?

Was widespread misery and global agony our coveted goal?

It’s never too late to adopt the path of righteousness,

From which automatically would vanish all selfishness.


Can a nation’s boundaries be insecure—

If its countrymen uphold feelings immensely pure?

But one thing is sure . . .

Before the dawn of this peaceful day in human history—

There is a lot to endure.


Copyright © 2013 Vinita Kinra


Vinita Kinra
Vinita Kinra