Posted in Poetry

Flaming Darkness

-Infernal Knight

Smitten thus by the maiden, who ensnared
My syllables to her immortal name,
And wounded by Cupid’s own healing blade,
So tortured I wander; is love insane,
That compels the stars in Heavens to bear
Vestiges of impatience, that propels
The long lost vessel in the storm to steer
Destiny towards Light; If all great tales
In love, into a single thread were laced,
In her fair gloves would forever be placed.

Fragrant spring that furnishes trees in blooms
Hued in life, descends on two hearts in love,
Like from the shining skies a silver moon
Reflects deep my Love in her eyes; above
Fireflies tranced by her perfect smile, smiling
Through sentinels ‘gainst this desire, shimmer
To kisses that promises hold, flaming
To extinguish her tears; The lake water,
Rippled seldom by a lost, deviant bloom,
Stirs in its own skies a silver moon.

Over grassy lawns in Autumn, mellowed
In life’s haste when leaves fall, eternity
Blankets my sighs cuddling her; A long road
Absent for the world, her divinity
Close to me on the winding path, her head
On my shoulder leans, her hair cascading
Beyond her shoulders that I hold; Ahead
Of us a long, September road winding
Into a patient walk she walks with me,
To Sunsets we want, through Sunsets we see.

In verses I dedicate to the Lord,
I hear her pronounced, in eloquent dreams
Her lips brand my prayers; an unsaid word
That ignites my being, that ignites my being
Into embers unquenchable, ignites
My being into flares in thirst, ignites me
Into ardent worship, her name through nights
I whisper in anonymity; He
Who governs existence yields the verses,
Which in her name exists, in her name stays.

Like stinging roses lacerating palms,
In their moist pierces, her painful tears
On my missing finger tips, covering arms
Supposed to comfort, far away. Her fears
That keep me tossing on my vacant bed,
In sheets empty, far away, from her face
I would touch to absolve her pain, instead
Far away, impatient, caught in Time’s pace
That slowly creeps up my veins; in her laugh
The torment concludes, in her smiles I laugh.

On a cold winter dawn, sheltered by love,
Under blankets covering us, ensconced
In my embrace we stand, feelings of trust
Warming our view; experiences learnt,
All emotions we ever felt or spared,
Forgotten; all names and views, silver moons
Forgotten, leaves and hues, kisses we shared
Forgotten, rippling lakes and winding ruins,
Forgotten midst the race to Oblivion.
Just sheltered by love, one cold winter dawn.

Posted in Poetry


 -Nature’s Natural

When the sky was clouded
And birds awaited rain,
I stayed solitary,
All beauty seemed insane.

To find the blissful blue
With my long weary eye,
Was like meeting the lord
And tell before I die.

I stared at the heavens
And looked down far beneath.
The dark clouds swirled around
Hiding hell’s dreaded teeth.

From among the thick woods,
I heard a joyful song
Again did I see her,
O my beautiful fawn!

I bent in gratitude
And praised her revelry.
But with gray indifference
She pursued her merry.

I cried out to her
“Wait for me, little fawn.”
With utter ignorance
She just went on and on.

Even the gods cried now,
The droplets trickled down,
The petals and leaves swooned
And birds flew with a frown.

She was lost in the woods
And I stood there for long.
Worthless a try to tame,
I just cherished the song.

Posted in Coordinator's Desk, Creative Writing Competition, Poetry

Haikuing in Winters: Results

Finally, we have the results of our winter haiku competition! Shweta Taneja, the author of Cult of Chaos and our judge for this competition painstakingly marked each entry (and there were many) to arrive at a decision. We are very grateful to her for sparing time for us. She also informed us about the judging criteria for the contest which can be found here. You can find her remarks below each haiku.

THREE WINNERS (not in sequence)

Vaidehi Menon

Winter vibrations
Teeth chatter, bodies shiver
Hear the symphony
(This has been able to capture the music of winter very well. Though I wish the word ‘winter’ hadn’t been used. It kills subtlety.)

Harshit Bisht

Cups of steaming tea
Under the afternoon sun
And her memories
(This haiku makes me linger. Makes me ponder on my own memories and that hot cup of tea. Again, it has captured winter as I’ve experienced it.)

Nitica Sakharwade

Light sleeping angel
Deep under the snow she lies
In quiet misery
(I so wish the first line could’ve improved a bit. But I loved the surprise of misery that the haiku ended with. Again, a trueblue winter haiku)

ALMOST MADE IT (not in any sequence)

Swapnil Gupta

Water turns to ice.
Breath to a soft misty haze.
Tears aloof, untouched.
(It explores a sadness which I loved. Except the last line could’ve been give more clarity, more pain maybe?)

Ayush Mukherjee

Leaves drop in the snow
What perishes here today
Revives tomorrow.
(I wish this was more visual. The concept is quite nice.)

Yash Singh

Elements conflict,
Facetious words spoken, by
Sullen crackling fire.
(Concept is nice, but the words didn’t bring it alive)

Shehzad Hathi

ice or inferno
death is wintery always
which steel would you like
(Again, almost there. Needed a clearer set of words perhaps)

Pallav Goyal

Hidden is the truth
of a hug or a murder;
in the foggy airs
(This was a lovely concept, could’ve gone to a greater height.)

Nikhil Kumar

Sunshine scarce, days blue
Nights cold with mist overdue
How I miss warmth, you.
(The rhyme wasn’t required and took away from the story of the haiku)

Rishav Agarwal

She loved another
a snowflake, lost in the fog
Winter her lover
(Last line could’ve been structured better. Love the first two!)

Anushka Jha

erica shivers
frigid night, her only foe
only companion
(Again, nice concept, but a little change of words would’ve brought clarity. I love the first line though.)

Yash Singh

The cold winter bit,
Dozing into wakening;
A face forgotten.
(The subject hasn’t been brought out. Better choice of words perhaps?)

Shehzad Hathi

Trojan horse is cold
its coal won’t burn – Troy won’t fall
will Apollo shine
(This was a lovely concept, could’ve gone to a greater height.)

Shashank Singh

Snow falling softly
Cold music from a harsh land
Haunting the still air
(Falls a little short of emotion, though the structure is quite nice.)

Ayush Mukherjee

Bludgeoning blizzards
Blow a blue bird far away.
How will it return?
(The alliteration was forced, though I loved the second and third line)

Shashank Singh

Death staring at me
Wondering who is colder
Fish frozen in bowl
(Nice concept, fell in the choice of words. Especially the last line.)

Rishav Agarwal

Fahrenheit 451
cold Winter morning
“it was a pleasure to burn”
inky paper Lives

Ignite each chapter
Beautiful Black Butterflies
Fluttering to ash
(I simply loved the idea of writing Haiku on a classic book. It was quite innovative. Except both these peices fell short as a haiku, because of structure. Maybe a single to combine both would’ve made it powerful.)

Ayush Mukherjee

Weather of nightmares
That sends chills down every spine
Till the blankets slide.
(Nice concept, hurried in execution)

Posted in Creative Writing Competition, Guest Column

Haikuing in Winters: Adjudicator’s Voice

As I decide the best in this contest (a mammoth task as there are so many that are so good), I wanted to tell you what I am going to do with all those entries you’ve sent to me. There were a few that I personally loved, which I had to let go, because as a judge one tries to be as impersonal/impartial as possible. So instead of looking at the entries as a creative person, I’ve tried to look at these pieces of art as an editor, with a critic’s eye. I thought it only fair to share what elements I’ve looked at with all of you, we belonging to a democratic country and all that.

– Local sensual/visual quality: Give me a few simple words that build up a world or a technicolour dream. After all, a winter haiku should give you the smell of fog, the taste of snow, the way cold needles pierce deep into your bones. That’s what I am looking for.

– Tight structure: You might have started with a brilliant concept/idea/emotion, but if you’ve structured it loosely, I’ve marked the art piece down. Structure is very important in a poetic form as short as a haiku. So I am looking for a tight stitch, a well edited, well thought through venture. There shouldn’t be a single word loose, unneeded or unheeded.

– Beyond tradition: I remain a rebel of sorts. All of you would’ve read what technically constitutes a haiku. So I’ve let go of the strict structure, in terms of syllables. Instead, I’ve marked something that surprises me, which is on the border of a haiku, about to become something else, where I get a ‘aha’ moment. But not so far that it becomes a short poem and doesn’t remain a haiku!

– Harmony: Haikus are brief, so it’s the rhythm of the language (English in this case, though they originated in the Japanese language) which I want to see. How well have you heard the words? The harmony of letters, how they flow into one another. Any forced literary styles, alliterations and the like are struck down with vengeance. I am looking for the way one word flows into the other, one word stiches with another to create a feeling or a visual.

– Simplicity: The Japanese are form is brief, simple, using a basic vocabulary to portray something fetching. As a writer who has written books for kids, I appreciate a dose of simplicity in your word usage.

– Emotional chord: Here I’ve let the creative person in me take control. The right elements, structure and words are all good, but if the haiku doesn’t touch me, doesn’t make me linger at the poem, or dream, or think of an evening I spent with someone I love, or shiver in cold or fright, I have marked it low in priority. After all, a good poetess is not only someone who can write well, but who can jump deep into the abyss that’s our subconscious. So here I’ve let my instinct decide.

A final note: As a creative writer who has just had a novel out, I know how hard it is to allow another pair of eyes, a casual criticism or judging glare into something that is built with broken parts of your own heart. So thank you for being so brave and participating in this contest. Don’t let yourself feel inadequate/insecure about anything creative you do in life. The critic or the judge is just one person. There will be some who connect with your work, some who won’t. It doesn’t make you better or worse. Thank you for sharing these little pieces of your heart with me and your batchmates.

Keep writing, fellas!

Posted in Coordinator's Desk

Meander: A literary publication by ELS

The first volume of Meander is now available on ISSUU, a free digital publishing platform for magazines and newsletters. Meander is a student run literary publication that is distributed in the form of a printed newsletter in IIT Kanpur.

If you want to give any kind of feedback about the publication, feel free to write to us at

Posted in Creative Writing Competition, Poetry

An Assortment of Winter Haikus #2

We have compiled some more good entries from our competition Haikuing in Winters. The contest which started over three fortnights ago finally came to an end yesterday and witnessed enthusiastic participation from several denizens of the campus. Without further ado, here are some of the excellent entries:

A haiku by Shehzad Hathi

feed lovely peafowls
save them, winter food is scarce
sweep away dead crows

Persephone, a haiku by Yash Singh

By Ceres she weeps,
Dandelions smothered, “Come”
cried Hades’ winter.

A haiku by Vaidehi Menon

Winter vibrations
Teeth chatter, bodies shiver
Hear the symphony

A haiku by Swapnil Gupta

Water turns to ice.
Breath to a soft misty haze.
Tears aloof, untouched.

Fuyu no sakura, a haiku by Shashank Singh

He sits in the park
Waiting for cherry blossoms
Shivering in rags

A haiku by Nitica Sakharwade

A carpet of white
awaiting to be written
shadows of footprints