I walk through the forest line
Into the darkness, leaving back the sunshine
Breaking a stick or two, under the feet of mine
I gingerly walk through the forest line.

I see a bush here, a bush there
Then cautiously walk, never to step into a snare
Shivering from head to toe
I fear the attack of an animal or a foe.

I turn back to see the daylight
But oh no! It’s out of sight
Left are only the colossal, thick, dense trees
Hiding even the sky and obstructing the cool breeze.

I head towards the forest’s end
Knowing not, how much time I’ve to spend
Regretting my foolish thought of adventure
And meanwhile fearing a dreadful future.

I hear a squeak, a screech, a croak and a howl
And say,” Oh! Now not even a growl.”
Then I run as fast as I can
Jumping over huddles, whether a bush or bran.

Then the golden rays of the sun was in sight
“Hurrah, I have found the light.”
Running, jumping, as if in a race
Finally I got out of The Forest of Darkness.

To my great surprise, I saw
Many orchard trees arranged in a row;
Roses, tulips, daffodils, all in a flowerbed
Also green grass covered with leaves that the tree has shed.

Wild bees hum around the bee hive
One leaves when the other, with honey does arrive
Indeed very busy are they
Who collect so much honey each day.

I see a cuckoo, a thrush, and a robin
All sing pleasant songs; seem happy & fine
A monarch butterfly then does pass my eyes
I follow it, ignoring the birds’ cries.
But I hear a loud sound”Tring Tring”
It’s my alarm clock that does ring
I switch it off after a while
“just a dream,” I then say with a smile.

By Pratikshya Mishra


Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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