Kanji Patel was born in 1952. He teaches English at Arts and Science College, Lunawada, Gujarat. He writes poetry and fiction in Gujarati. Three novels, two collections of his poetry and one collection of his short stories have been published in Gujarati. He is recipient of Katha award for fiction. Kanji Patel has been Editor of VAHI, a Journal of Poetry, Rituals and Society and GADYAPARVA, a Journal of Prose and Fiction in Gujarati. He is associated with organizations working for culture, languages and literatures of Adivasis, Denotified and Nomadic tribes.


An ascetic arrived
(Did he arrive on his own or was he brought in?) U
what an ascetic
A voice, his every hairpore!
Like a string of tamboor

In all the four Vedas, eighteen Puranas
the Aarnavana and the Maha Bharat
he milched them all into just two words and a half and said :

Your Jupiter is too powerful,
You are destined to succeed in the world of learning
Your wellbeing lies in the shastras
Cone along, son :
‘Iwo and a half words woke up in both The bewitched son
renouncing the demesne of toil, and sleep
became resigned to the ascetic’s life.

He set out to gulp down knowledge and power
lie that earlier prided himself on his muscle power
Axing down those black words
He travelled to lands, far and near, where
understanding the past creating the present
And enjoying the future
the connoiseurs, treating the word and letter as equal,
flung treasures of knowledge over each other’s head each
had his separate bowl

knowledge and power to them meant
putting the self first
Self self only self
darkness, all else

How have you arrived here?

Over there were earth crops ploughs bullocks Sun moon stars and sky
and everpresent wind-god