Usha Chandrasekharan

Usha Chandrasekharan graduated with a degree in Economics, having also taken a short-term course in Journalism and another shorter one in concept selling. She worked with a Kolkata, India information marketing company and later joined Scholastic India as an educational coordinator. Her education for the greater part has been consolidated "on the street." Communicating at all levels is her forte. She has lived her fifty-five years mostly on her own terms with no regrets. Poetry and short stories are her pastime, although she says, "I am not prolific like most writers."

In Answer

When ambition lies under a shroud,
Afraid to rise and declare itself
Like the moon eclipsed by moving clouds,
Or demeaned in the sun’s glare,
Would my soul gain and grow,
Or rot in this mucky soil
Of life’s orderly primness and
Vainglorious unceasing toil
In a wasted pursuit of marital joy
Life’s jokea womana discarded toy.


Cobbled streets, slithering into the darkness
Of a manmade blackness.
Gleeful cries of children relieved suddenly from leashed homestudy
Pierce the smog of an addled brain
Searching the past for some meaning to its existence.

Somewhere the cooing of a pigeon in its cote
Transports me to another plane of thought.
Smells of the corner sweet shop mingle with
My memories of another similar day
When the pigeons cooed happily, in joyful play.

When youth held great promises, I foolishly trusted
That time's wrinkled hand could not touch me.
The sun shone brighter, the moon bewitched
In its daily changes. Stars twinkled more merrily then.
Heavy eyelids blind it all. I am dreaming again.

Carefree song on the evening breeze, no melody even,
But my feet are already tapping to a forgotten beat.
Chuckling quietly lest insanity show, recalling the favours
Maidenly blushes bestowed! Ah my Lancelot, where are you?
Just one old trusted walking stick now adorns my hands.

Now the spoons tumble unchecked to the ground,
Pity picks them up again. The TV's on to pass the time,
While all I need is to be free to think as I may.
To chuckle, or weep or snigger, to miss my pals, or
Just enjoy my life's story like a movie replay.

I've done my share of laughing, I've laughed at everything!
In joy or sorrow, in loss or gain, laughter drove me ahead
Like I know nothing else could have. Even when pain held me down.
And I despaired of a forgettable morrow. I am quiet now.
I would laugh at you too, advancing AGE, but they'll say it's Dementia!

I've lived as long as I've wanted and then some more,
Now all I want is to just lie down and go.
Age has crept upon me unawares, and caused the decay of all I know.
No familiar smiling faces from the past, no crying ones either.
My portrait is now ready for the wall. All I want is to lie down and go.

The Women at My Computer Class

Like a flock of hens, a cackle of geese,
Some thin as straws, some obese,
Grit writ large on their painted faces,
They plod along, learning computeric graces.

Half their mind on what the teacher says,
The other half homeward strays.
While toting up the bits and bytes
Can anyone envy them their straits?

Age has caught on, less time in store.
Does one cook, sew, babysit, or just bang the door?
The kids want her in, the boss wants her out,
Hubby dear's pining for the return of her gout.

For even though she cribbed and cried,
At least she was at home when he arrived!
Now look, all these career women
Have left the home, hearth and haven.

When disasters strike, the poor dears,
They work thrice as hard as their peers.
To see the return of smiles and baby hugs.
After all, their life's not much without these loving thugs.