Sunil Bhandari’s Two Poems

Sunil Bhandari is an ace poet who writes on myriad themes. He versifies the state of man in the world he inhabits and his inability to take active participation in protests to bring change in a society that is ruled by the powerful. Political innuendoes are unmissable in his poems. On a more subtle vein he beautifully draws the idea of home in a person in whom the poet finds peace, the sense of belonging and love! His poems make the reader feel at home!

  1. Claiming Me As Home


I wrote to her –

why do I weep every time I hear this tune?

She said – I hope

there is somebody to hold you when you cry.


I could have replied with the truth or without.

But my question was itself an answer,

and her concern was for the drift of the fact / of me.


So much of what we are predicates on feeling –

not solutions, not prescriptions,

just recognition.


Acknowledge me, our very being pleads.

See me as breathing importance.

See me as the child no longer acting tough.


For love is so much more than wisdom,

a religion

wrapped in knowing care.


My love, my wise young love,

I was a stranger before you,

can you make me home?


Why I Won’t Protest


(So, my daughter asked me if I would be joining the protests. And if I didn’t, did it mean I didn’t care for the nation? So, I mulled over that, and this is what I told her.)


I’m too old to protest, I said,

my voice is too weak to carry far,

my love, there is water in my spleen,

and I confess, there’s jelly in my spine.


But in my sixty years of anger,

I’ve seen unforgettable sights –

I’ve seen Marx hide under the table,

I’ve seen treaties signed by Joan of Arc.


I have seen rebels quote Che Guevera

as they downed expensive wine,

I have seen Doon School besties

sell their country as they dined.


I’ve seen old men change borders

for the land was merely trees & snow,

I’ve seen tea sellers find power, only

to forget every man carries his blood.


My flesh is made of this soil,

my tears are the storms in the streets,

my heart lies buried under Jama Masjid,

as my soul scours the new cemeteries.


This country has carved wounds

which doggedly refuse to heal,

I hide my love, for they say –

“love this country – but the way I insist.”


You ask why I won’t protest,

why these placards are a burden I can’t fake?

I have bequeathed a nation of wounds,

how can I protest against what I’ve given to you?



Sunil Bhandari

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