Click to view Profile
Bibhu Padhi

Bibhu Padhi

Sunset in the Wood. Image credit: Saavem at


Somewhere this feeling grows—
this feeling of losing things,
this feeling that fear alone knows
and blames the body
for having known what it is
through the brain’s dark cells,
the mind’s free, secular spaces.

The gentle pressure of the soul
that separates the mind from the body
is forgotten and replaced by
the cruel anxiety of the future.
Even then, someone tells me
about immortality, narrates
story after story wherein
an angelic defiance quietly defends
its own shining fort against
the stillnesses of tomorrow.

Who speaks so adventurously
about the absence of bodies,
their ultimate uselessness,
about the self’s self-complete,
self-defining existence within
a world of luminosities?


I have taken every mode of
getting my sleep at ten. Tegretol.
Lonazep. Thioril. Inderal.
A wishful dose of Nitrosun.

In the afternoon, the dreams
quietly passed one after the other
when I kept the perfectly round tablets
far from me, forgot their usefulness.

How nice it felt to be
a part of a fluid spontaneity
that was only too good
to be believed, remembered!

Now sleep is awaiting my time,
disappearing into its own kingdom
of waiting in the adjacent room—
its dark palace of the night.

The dream-full modes sleep
defying their own prescriptions
of rest, their inherent behaviour
of putting one into time-tested sleep.

What does one do except
keep awake, chew tobacco to kill
a sufficiently darkened time, listen
to others sleeping so miraculously?

The only other thing is to recall
every little pill, repeat each
to kill more night, more time—
a quietly night-resolving time.


The evening lights vanish without notice;
now darkness is all one can talk about.

The evening gossip veers towards
a place where nothing ever happens.

Someone comes in to tell me how
my confessions have been ignored.

From somewhere the enemies have procured
mouth and tongue to use them against me.

I think, there are two ways to deal
with the dark mouthing words:

to shout louder than ever so that
even the night trembles and goes still,

or to dissuade oneself from
further speech, further words.

Since it is dark and every whisper
is heard through the night air,

I decide to be a part of the night,
teach myself not to be heard,

but only to lie on the reed-bed and listen
to those reassuring, clear heartbeats.


You are the word
that eludes you;

you are the silence that
comes after every word.

You are the fluent speech
that issues from you;

you are the words that wouldn’t
come despite your best effort.

You are the fire that
opens up from nowhere;

you are the water that
encloses the simmering fire.

You are the wish that
longs to be fulfilled in you;

you are the fulfillment
of every wish within you.

You are the man
who longs to be owned

by the woman who needs you;
you are the woman who needs you.

You are the words, the lines
that get translated by you;

you are the writings that are
scattered all about on slips of paper,

the wall, the wind, on all those things
you hold on to dearly as true.

You are the prayer that wouldn’t come
anywhere near you;

you are the answer to every prayer,
every other prayer around you.

You are the lone speaker
who wants to listen to you;

you are the listener to every
unheard sound beside you.

You are the feeble breath that
comes in and moves out of you.




Adil Jussawala: In Discussion with Nabina Das
Easterine Kire: In Conversation with Babli Mallick

Kiran Kalra: Amish Tripathi’s The Immortals of Meluha
Manjinder Kaur Wratch: The ‘Draupadian’ Agony
Raj Gaurav Verma: Children’s Fiction in India
Sachin Ketkar: Between ‘Swakiya’ and ‘Parkiya’
SK Sagir Ali: Select Stories of Saleem
Sukla Singha: Kokborok Poetry

Book Reviews
Chepuru Subbarao: ‘Turquoise Tulips
Debasish Lahiri: ‘Tagore, Gora: A Critical Companion
GSP Rao: ‘Being Hindu
Mirosh Thomas & Pramod K Das: ‘Sensitivity and Cultural Multiplexity
Purabi Bhattacharya: ‘Come Sit with Me by the River
Revathi Raj Iyer: ‘New Songs of the Survivors
Sagarika Dash: ‘Runaway Writers
Subashish Bhattacharjee: ‘East of Suez: Stories of Love… from the Raj’
Sunaina Jain: ‘What will You Give for this Beauty?

Arunima Paul
Bibhu Padhi
Darius Cooper
Md. Ziaul Haque
Prakash Ram Bhat
Samreen Sajeda
Sutapa Chaudhuri
Syamantakshobhan Basu

U Atreya Srama: Editorial Musings
Chandrashekhar Sastry: Auto-da-fe
Jim Wungramyao Kasom: The Search
Lahari Mahalanabish: The Museum
Smita Sahay: The Promise
Sridhar Venkatasubramanian: Déjà Vu
Tulsi Charan Bisht: Flowers
V P Gangadharan: Horrid-scope
Vrinda Baliga: Siege

Copyright ©2017 Muse India