by Dilip Mohapatra (August 2016)

The serpentine candle march

slithers along the streets

near Jantar Mantar

with pent up emotions

flowing in silent tears

even after two years

tears which have not yet dried up

reminding us of the black day

of sixteenth December

when Jyoti was rechristened

Damini or Nirbhaya

and a victim with a new name

the survivor.


And eons ago

not very far away

in the courts of Hastinapura

amidst the lustful eyes

of the lecherous men

while her legitimate protectors

bow their heads in shame

attempt is made to

disrobe Draupadi

but in vain

and the victim becomes


another survivor.


The ink has dried on

the pages of Mahabharata

and the candles have died

but the sparks within

live on and smolder

that may leap into flame

and become an inferno

and the Shakti within

each feminine heart

will resonate with one another

with an indomitable spirit




and undeterred

when the presumed survivor

becomes the conqueror

when the so called vanquished

becomes the victor.


Dilip Mohapatra (b.1950), a decorated Navy Veteran started writing poems since the seventies . His poems have appeared in many literary journals of repute worldwide. Some of his poems are included in the World Poetry Yearbook, 2013 and 2014 Editions. He has four poetry collections to his credit published by Authorspress India, and one non-fiction, a book of wisdom titled Points to Ponder. He holds two masters degrees, in Physics and in Management Studies. He lives with his wife in Pune. His website may be accessed at


To comment on this poem or to share on social media, please click here.

To help New English Review continue to publish original and thought provoking poetry such as this, please click here.

If you have enjoyed this poem and want to read more by Dilip Mohapatra, please click here.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New English Review Press is a priceless cultural institution.
                              — Bruce Bawer

Order here or wherever books are sold.

The perfect gift for the history lover in your life. Order on Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon, Amazon UK, or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon or Amazon UK or wherever books are sold

Order at Amazon, Amazon UK, or wherever books are sold. 

Order at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Available at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Send this to a friend