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Mona Dash
Mona Dash

Jog Falls, Karnataka.



Yet another hotel room
Impersonal, indistinct
The same layout
I check the soaps and the lotions
And add them to my growing collection
I fluff out the beds to make it more slept in
And try to make the night shorter by staying out late
Anything to make it quick
Anything to forget
The little crying face I left behind
The joy of achievement
The sadness of seeing your child cry
Where is the balance
As the stillness grows in the hotel room
I wish you a good night’s sleep miles away
And lie awake till dawn


When it comes, Tragedy
and kisses you on the mouth
It’s strange that the ones outside it are the ones most upset
For us facing what would surely be termed a tragedy,
there are the same chores
The same shops where we still think about discounts
on the larger packets of biscuits
The same times for dinner, lunch and the rest.
And while others stare at you with something close to disgust, almost
‘Look, your arms are hanging from their sockets, blood is dripping out,
And you are wiping it and carrying on as before,
How could you come to this?
For surely this would never happen to me.’
But even as they stare, you know what matters is the moment
The present which is what exists ... a tragedy past, or a living tragedy
You know you will go through it as you do a normal day,
For you are used to the living, beating heart of the monster
Which lives with you intimately
You learn to adjust with it
And even as they tell you the perfunctory, ‘you are brave, you are doing well’
You are askance as to what they are possibly saying- surely this existence
Of intensity, of a raw pain is Life,
Institutionalized, you live within those realms


Leaning over to me
He said
I know you, I know your smell
From a long time back.
Of autumn leaves, of woods
Of greenery, fireplaces
Perhaps he was right
I asked
Is knowing loving?

Sitting next to me,
He said
I have seen that smile
Remember that voice
From my dreams of long ago
From childhood, from fantasy
Perhaps he did
I asked
Is remembrance worth it?

Holding on to me
He said
I wouldn’t change this,
Wouldn’t change anything
Just Life, just this Love
I asked
But can Love really be all?

I still ask the questions now
Long after he has gone
Not knowing if the answer
Has come and gone
Or will come back to me once again


My beautiful baby boy asleep
With his dreams, his smiles
His little sighs and sometimes a small whimper
As if he’s run into a doorway and seen something he doesn’t like
My little baby boy so fast asleep
And looking at him I wonder
Did I do anything good to deserve him?
Do I do anything good to deserve him?

My wonderful baby boy
Running, chasing his ball
Orange and blue
Adeptly kicking it straight and getting a
Surprised look from passers by
Looking at him run I hope
Let me have done something good to deserve him
Let me be doing something good to deserve him.

My heroic baby boy
Miraculously born, Rushing out two months early
Yet perfect and whole
Bravely living his time in the hospital and
Raising smiles from all his doctors
Seeing his smile wondrous and happy I pray
Let me deserve him
Let me always deserve him.


Issue 44 (Jul-Aug 2012)

  • Ambika Ananth : Editorial Comment
  • Your Space Winning Poems
  • Hemang Desai
  • Jyothi Kanetkar
  • Mandira Ghosh
  • Mona Dash
  • Nileen Putatunda
  • Srijana
  • Sunil Sharma