Shruti Sareen

Shruti Sareen studied in Rajghat Besant School KFI, Varanasi and went on to do English literature from Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi. With a keen interest in Indian Poetry in English, her MPhil looks at the depiction of urban spaces whereas she is currently pursuing a PhD on twenty first century feminist poetry from the University of Delhi. She also teaches whenever she manages to find a job. She has earlier had poetry accepted by The Literary Nest, The Seven Sisters Post,The Chay Magazine (gender and sexuality), Ultra Violet (gender and sexuality), Brown Critique, E‑Fiction India, Scripts (LGBT journal), Thumb Print Magazine, North East Review, Allegro, , Coldnoon Diaries, Kritya, and Vayavya. She has had short fiction accepted for Marked By Scorn, an international anthology on non‑normative love, and another for an anthology by Queer Ink publishers. She has had papers accepted for Fulcrum: an anthology of poetry and aesthetics, The Apollonian, journal of IIAS (Shimla) and Muse India. She was shortlisted for the Nasreen Anjum Bhatti poetry prize by the Pakistani Organisation, Umang Poetry. She is passionate about poetry, music, teaching, Assamese culture, queer love and sexuality, and super clichéd though it sounds, nature! She blogs here.


Francisco de Zurbarán
China(a ghazal)

Made in China, wrapped in China, an alien world lives in China
cellphones censorship coats and cruelty, always the lair is China
Rumours and secrets are whispered in hushed tones about China
From behind the curtains,, we curiously peep and stare at China
Slogging workers strive and slave and struggle in China
But I ask you, maker of souvenirs, is it fair in China?
Do not sit idle, do not look away. Raise your voice, Republic of China
But would you dare face the wrath and the glare of the government of China?
Exiled from their country, fled to India, where are the Tibetans in China?
‘No Country for Tibetan Men’, how do they fare, in China?
Feeding poultry till they swell to ten times their size in China
Cutting baby birds’ beaks and tails of the young mares in China
Burning them alive for their meat, skin and bone in China
The pots boiling hot with geese, ducks and hares, in China
The hunted bear in the ‘frosted’ woods ‘lovely dark and deep’ in China
Skinned alive first, butchered later, howling jumping, a flare in China
They do not deem animal sentient beings in China
But objects to be bought and sold, traded, not reared, in China
The most heavily populous country in the world is China
But the roads and the airports are empty and bare in China
The masses of people hidden in the hush of secrecy in China
Tell me why are living people to be seen so rare in China?
Aghast at the picture of violence and bloodshed in China
Shruti asks in anguish, do you care, in China?


You lie enclosed in your cocoon
And I sleep oblivious in mine.
We live as strangers.
Only the whispering wind brushes
Us together, and we touch, at times.
Stray insects that crawl over you
Crawl over me too.
When the cocoons burst, will we
Recognise, will we realise
That we are sisters born
Of the same butterfly?

Image: Francisco de Zurbarán

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