Heal with poems: Rebuilding Post-Covid India Fundraiser

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

burnished copper

vindicated the sun.

The sea, a ruffled purple gold

Stirred and glittered, like shifting sand.

Clouds, like continents

linked together in a swirl of

changing colours

moved slowly, quenching me,

slow dripping hope. Another day,

another sky.


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.

pause.

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.

pause.

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?

pause.

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.

pause.

it's okay to let things fall apart.

it's okay to let things be.

For once,

embrace the imperfect and find gentle in the chaos.

Art by Ananya Parekh


Hope by Rachana Shah


One cannot

rush the process of life -

For sometimes,

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,

or fill that empty space.


Blind spots, red flags,

sometimes

come to awareness

in hindsight

For they were meant

to be understood

in time,

when we’re ready to

accept, allow, let go

or change.


So, even if you’re not

where you think

you should have been

by now -

Be thankful

for the present

For it is this very place

that will lead you to

where the road bends

to reveal another view

in time.


In one unassuming moment,

you will find

the missing courage,

flexibility,

openness,

forgiveness

or whatever it is

that you need

To embrace

something brand new

when you see it

in time.

Art by Ankita Manuja


Resurrection by Sukrita Paul Kumar


Come breathe life

Into words


Words are stones

When in exile


Those not owned by poets

Remain lifeless and limp

in isolation,

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

territorial rights

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


Like them

Come, get on the saddle

Reach out to those

Still words, rocks of silence

That lie in wait


Awaken them

Into dreams of a universe


Of one creation, one life,

Of poems with


Humans, animals and plants

All connected

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

nervously

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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