The Alipore Post has curated a postcard set with 10 poems and illustrations that evoke hope in these difficult times for the Rebuilding Post-Covid India fundraiser on Milaap in collaboration with Compassion Contagion, Pravah and Atypical Advantage for Rebuilding Post-Covid India. Join us in helping vulnerable communities in India with the devastating impact of Covid-19.
6 Changeloomers (All Dreams Foundation, I Am Wellbeing, GramUrja Foundation, , AnvaratFoundation, Samaveshak and Aatma Prakash) across more than 6 states are joining hands to rebuild the country. Free medical consultation, vaccination drives, mental health counseling, food and rations supplies and support to those who have lost livelihood in the past 17 months are some of things that the Changeloomers are working on. With every donation, you’ll help communities recover.
As a token of appreciation, we will be giving out beautifully curated art and poetry kits to all our donors. We have put together a Heal with Poems set of 10 postcards with art and poetry that evoke hope. Conceived by Compassion Contagion and lovingly curated by The Alipore Post, featuring some of the finest poets and artists from the country, we hope this postcard set will help people heal and bring some joy in these dark times.
Featured poets: Janice Pariat, Bhawna Jaimini, Sanghamitra, Vinitha R, Priyanka Basumatary, Ambreen Saniya, Rachana Shah, Ajay Jhawar, Sukrita Paul Kumar and Dhruvi Modi.
Featured artists: Ankita Manuja, Ananya Parekh, Snehal Pendurkar, Ishita Jain, Preethika Asokan, Richa Kashelkar, Shikha Nambiar, Sahana Subramanian and Udisha Madan.
Donate and get the postcard set at https://milaap.org/fundraisers/rebuilding-post-covid-india
Presenting the poems are artworks for the collaboration:
Art by Ishita Jain
Periwinkle by Dhruvi Modi
From a corner of my neighbour’s yard
a crowd of periwinkle flowers burst out.
The house has been empty for a decade,
save for a couple that rented it for a few
months before abruptly leaving one night
with their black, black cat. Grass has now
taken over and spread itself doggedly.
Should I understand, then, that it is
possible to bloom in arid hostility?
Art by Richa Kashelkar
Tenderness by Sanghamitra Tomar
The smoke mixes in the sky
Like a curtain of promises
Like the slivers of lies we placate ourselves with.
The trees stand in their glory and gloom
Looking at the sheet of tarmac
That shall swallow them too, one day.
A bat hangs on the tree
In thought, in desperation-
In its blindness it finds a
Song to sing.
As we all must.
Art by Preethika Asokan
29 by Bhawna Jaimini
Drink lots of coffee. It may give you
Acidity later but so will people doling
Out meaningful advices you will reject
Because you don’t like the shape of their
Nose. Allow only very few things
To destroy you. Let coffee be one of them.
Don’t fall in love with your cat. She will go
Missing leaving your heart in your month
Only to come back a few days later
Snuggling up to you on a cold rainy night.
Don’t give in. Resist the urge to love.
Did nobody tell you that it doesn’t work on
Cats? There she is and there you are, looking
Like an absolute fool in love with your cat.
She will understand. People won’t. The
Same people with good advices who give
You acidity. Ignore them for good.
Move to the other end of the world with
Your cats. Make a home by yourself.
Learn to put shelves on the wall. Don’t
Be afraid of the drilling machine. Just
Don’t drill into beams and columns.
Take your clothes off and jump into
Any clear lake you find. Check for
Crocodiles and sewage, of course.
Apply sunscreen diligently all over
Your body which will soon be more
Flesh than bones. Like your flesh.
Flesh is good. Water the plants daily
And remember some of them will still
Die and so will you. Water yourself too.
Water will help when you find that
People who wrote your favourite books
And made your favourite films are
Horrible sexual predators. Don’t
Separate the art from the artist.
Appreciate kindness more than talent.
Unlearn everything they taught you in
School or college or any goddamn institution
You went. Concoct your theories about
This world. Swear by them for a few years
And debunk them yourself later. You
Are not your opinions. You are a tiny tiny
Particle of the universe with no real
Consequences or meaning. Let this
Realisation liberate you. You still matter,
You are still valid. Self-care is a capitalistic
Sham. Don’t fall for it. Think of people
Who are dying at the hands of oppressive
Totalitarian regimes when you wake up.
Google ’10 best beach vacation ideas’
When you sleep. Life is a paradox.
Don’t be ashamed. Don’t be afraid.
Just be kind, okay? Just be kind.
Art by Sahana Subramanian
Another Day, Another Sky by Vinitha R
Today I paused to drink in the sky
My hand, so quick to capture frames
that touch my heart
knew to not to bother.
The clouds were lavender
and bright peach
And the sky, streaked with
vindicated the sun.
The sea, a ruffled purple gold
Stirred and glittered, like shifting sand.
Clouds, like continents
linked together in a swirl of
moved slowly, quenching me,
slow dripping hope. Another day,
Art by Reya Ahmed
Resilience by Priyanka Basumatary
Resilience is found in a heart which isn't ashamed of its stark nakedness. It isn't afraid of the push and pull of the unknown. It's a heart which remembers the face of love when tested by unseen forces, with the sole objective of turning the raw sweetness of its warmth into a shade of cold, oblivious to its own beauty, possessing a power that can alter reality. So it waits for the tears of heaven to stop pouring its softness on parched earth. And seizes every opportunity to grow flowers of hope like a cactus in the middle of an abandoned desert.
Art by Snehal Pendurkar
It’s Okay by Ambreen Saniya
when the tides rise,
and you feel you are drowning
in the blues of the sea,
and you can't seem to stop yourself.
it's okay to drown.
it's okay to drench in the sorrow.
but after that,
when the anchor of hope stops by,
you will also hold on to it
and sail across the bliss.
when you anxiously tap your foot,
waiting for your date at the café,
trying your best not to mess it up.
it's okay if you mess up.
it's okay if it turns out to be a bad one,
even when you didn't.
for when the right one comes your way,
you will have learnt how to love.
when you decide to walk the path of your dreams,
let me tell you, it will never be an easy one.
you will be mocked, doubted and sabotaged.
A little hesitant now?
It's okay to be laughed upon, once in a while.
it's okay to not have an easier route to everything.
for what is life,
without an adventurous rollercoaster, right?
when nothing is in control,
your life is going haywire,
you are baffled,
trying to fix everything up.
it's okay to let things fall apart.
it's okay to let things be.
embrace the imperfect and find gentle in the chaos.
Art by Ananya Parekh
Hope by Rachana Shah
rush the process of life -
we’re meant to read a book
over and over
until we’re ‘ready’
to receive a perspective
that will tug at that string,
make that shift,
light that path,
Blind spots, red flags,
come to awareness
For they were meant
to be understood
when we’re ready to
accept, allow, let go
So, even if you’re not
where you think
you should have been
by now -
for the present
For it is this very place
that will lead you to
where the road bends
to reveal another view
In one unassuming moment,
you will find
the missing courage,
or whatever it is
that you need
something brand new
when you see it
Art by Ankita Manuja
Resurrection by Sukrita Paul Kumar
Come breathe life
Words are stones
When in exile
Those not owned by poets
Remain lifeless and limp
Not able to change sides
They are fossilized
Not so, the dogs …
Uprooted from the street
With their instinct to survive
They teeter and totter
And yet again, acquire
They grow roots and
Reconnect with hearts of gold
Harnessed and steered
by the throb of memory
of their past, they ride
vibrant waves of the present
Come, get on the saddle
Reach out to those
Still words, rocks of silence
That lie in wait
Into dreams of a universe
Of one creation, one life,
Of poems with
Humans, animals and plants
None in exile.
Art by Shikha Nambiar
The Saint of Lost Things by Janice Pariat
We sat, the old women and I,
in the church of San Antonio—
balanced on our pews as birds
on wire slung across the sky.
They flicked rosaries between
tree-twig fingers, I knotted air
into a long scarf of silence.
What brought us here this afternoon?
(when the Lisbon sun harkened
everyone outside) – apart worlds and ages,
wide echoing valley, such distances
are covered here as a flight of seagulls.
Them and me.
We come, our ancient hearts grasping
at hope. We stare at liveried altar,
heavy with the distinctions of saint and toddler –
bringing to them our losses, empty and limitless
as the sea somewhere heaving behind us.
Over sacred stone our grief we scatter—
I imagine them lilies each night he gathers in his arms.
It draws us here, stark space below us.
We sway slowly in the breeze,
while fresco walls of redemption dampen,
peel—green, guilty seaweed.
We ignore it, the sound of water lapping,
praying we don't lose, as in time all else,
the small, distant ground beneath.
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