Russian Dish

Shalini Nayar


It is a Russian dish, they say.

A plate of two diecious moons

Rising on different waters.

They reflected a common bond:

The mushroom sauce that

Goes with anything unmushroomy.


One side was a pile of rice,

Yellow fleshy seedlings, brown

Chunky gravy for headtops.

They mountained over like uneven Alps.

They kissed the air, like good army boys

And rose their spice to dance firely


Within me. They spoke a foreign tongue,

That deciphered itself in my mouth.

The credibility lies somewhere my love, but try

Finding a speck of truth in a death full of lies.

It was painful to hear its story,

The way it winces and rolls over to convince you.


Being genuine is something special, sacred.

It canít be too hard. Just when my fork

Scooped up a bite, the lambs started hooing.

They were in juicy threes, each with

A bone and a bit of marinated flesh.

They smelled like grazed greenlands.


It is something else with mint sauce

But I hate it. Truthness lies somewhere

In the nervous system of its body,

That is bloodless and tender. They too, attempted

To lull me with an anecdote, fallibly in its juices.

The grain and meat are proud godfood

      with histories tailing like dreams.


Whom should I consume and believe? They

Withered and tempted me like a candystore does

To bored children. It is too agonizing, Iíve become

The middle woman. Two moons, jaundiced and stony

Stared back boney, and sick. The overcrowded trash

Had acquainted two odd friends that night.


15 - 22 Sept 2002


My Dear Friends

Jordan Leon Kostka


Our friendship has taken on

a new meaning

Years have flown since we last

exchanged stories, cried together

and laughed


What matters most

is that we know

whatever happens,

we will always have each other


All of you

will always be my friends

NILA, 1 May 2003

A Reason

Shalini Nayar


Whatever may come

Iíll accept it.

Thereís no use fighting

Against anything pre-destined.


Every word now rings in my ear,

Rude and slurring.

They echo repeatedly

Like an important news.


Maybe there is a reason for this.

All this while, you were my rightness,

My flawless god-like statue.

But nobody is perfect and nothing is,


And Iíve come to accept that thoroughly

Because I simply have no other choice.

The phone rings and I answer it just to hear

Your heavily-panting lover hang up.


26 March 2003


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Kavya, June 2003

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