Neera Kashyap( India) has authored a book for young adults, ‘Daring to Dream’ and contributed to several prize-winning anthologies for children. As a writer of short fiction, poetry, book reviews and essays, her work has appeared in several international literary journals and poetry anthologies. The poetry journals include Verse Virtual, Life & Legends, Failed Haiku and Setu Magazine (USA); RIC Journal (Indo-French); Kitaab (Singapore); The Punch Magazine, Teesta Review and The Wise Owl (India). The publishers of the anthologies include Indie Blu, Transcendent Press, Setu Mag (USA) Clarendon Press (UK) and Hawakal, Write Order, Author's Press, Exceller & Brown Critique (India). She lives in Delhi.








I am in our hill home and taking my evening walk. I look up at a local woman's balcony whose

garden I have always admired for its colourful slopes of seasonal flowers. On seeing me, she

comes down the steep steps, limping. Unlike earlier occasions, her body stoops, her smile is wan. I have known

her to be among the hardest working women in our hill town - tending fields, cutting grass, feeding cattle,

watering plants. She flops down on a step before she can reach me. She tells me she had been badly injured by

monkeys - not local monkeys, but large ferocious creatures translocated from some urban centre,

left here to relieve urbanites of their menace. She had gone to gather the garlic pods and

peaches she had harvested. A big monkey had landed on a pile. She had thrown her stick at it,

injuring it. From nowhere, a whole tribe collected, tore at her foot, her scalp, ripped off her shirt

and the skin on her back. They may have killed her if nearby labourers hadn’t heard her screams.

She would need daily injections for three months.

I look up to see her grandson water the potted geraniums on her balcony. She looks up too,

only to hide her tears.



wild grass -

a scythe

rusts in a field










This year our summer break is a mango orchard resort. Cottages are partly hidden under

thick generous branches of trees laden with raw mangoes. Each tree stands in a pit flooded with

water. A gardener tells me that water helps the fruit ripen quicker. Water egrets walk elegantly

through these pits, their yellow beaks dipping into the water for food. The gardener adds these birds

are very sharp in picking out insects, even mosquitoes which could otherwise trouble tourists.


The day's quiet canopy of shady trees gives way to a night rife with the cacophony of frogs - a

discordant opera. I ask a service boy if this is a summer phenomenon. He says: 'The frogs are

migrants. They come for the water, sing to the mangoes to grow faster, sing to the tourists who

come to their verandahs to listen to their songs. The visitors even switch off their phones.'


nature retreat

an audible music -

chirps and croaks



HAIKU (untitled 1)


pink sea -

flocks of flamingos

reach their winter home