Manglesh Dabral is a major voice in contemporary Hindi poetry. His poetry has been translated into major Indian and foreign languages. He has recited his poetry in major capitals of the world, and also got Writers Programme Fellowship from Iowa University, US. He has also received the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award.


Accompanying the main singer’s monolith-weighed voice
His own is beautiful delicate and quavering
He is the singer’s younger brother
Or his apprentice
Or a distant relative who travels on foot to learn
Under the main singer’s baritone
He matches his own echo since old times
Singing the second verse through tone’s intricate jungle
Lost in
The scale’s unstruck note
Straying into the scale’s further reaches
It is the accompanist who keeps the theme steady
Like gathering up the main singer’s left-behind objects
Like reminding him of his childhood
When he was just a novice
In the higher registers when the singer’s voice gives way
Inspiration leaving him fervour fading
His voice shedding ash-like
It is then that blending with the main singer
Appears from somewhere the accompanist’s tone
Sometimes he simply sings to join in
To remind the singer that he is not alone
And that once again the song can be sung
The same raga that has already been sung
And in his voice the faltering that is audible
Or his voice’s attempt at not raising the high notes
This shouldn’t be taken as his incompetence
But his own humanity.

For Children, a Letter

Dear children, we were of no use to you. You wanted us to spend our precious
time in your play. You wanted us, in our play,
to include you. You wanted us to become innocent like you.

Dear children, we only told you that life is a battleground where
we fight endlessly. It was we who sharpened our