Random Young Writers: Kavya Chandra

The following poetry was written by 17-year-old Kavya Chandra. Kavya is from Rajasthan, India and is currently in the 12th grade. On writing, she says:

My interest in it as a whole grew suddenly and rapidly; I started to define myself as a poet/ writer when I was 15. It was quite surprising to discover my interest as arbitrarily as I did, since before I talked about how ironic my name was (it literally translates into ‘a collection of poems’), given I had no interest in reading or writing.

The truth is, once I started expressing myself through paper it was a fire that could not be contained; I took to writing everyday and about everything, and I discovered that writing made me think. And that freedom of not having an opinion, turned into the freedom of expressing it. 

What I like most about poems is how each word has been exploited by the poet to try to make the reader understand what (s)he (the reader) holds undiscoverable inside himself/ herself. I love contemplating each line, each rhyme, each syllable because even one alteration can make too much of a difference. I absolutely adore how reading between the lines can have such a variety of explanations; but more importantly, I love how words can be kept close and embark sentimental value at the oddest of times and places: while drinking coffee, looking at the sunset, tracing along your past- anytime and anywhere.

With the piece “Stained”, I tried to indulge the reader into the imagery of not having a say in what happens around you and not having enough strength to speak against it. 

With “Unuttered,” I explored the concept of the origin of the voice of a person and how it is most important to express it, not how the person expresses it.

Kavya has previously been published in TextPloit, ArtRefurbish and is forthcoming in Parallel Ink. She is also the editor of her school’s magazine.


The upholstery of the divan
from my grandmother’s home sits waiting,
as if to be sown a different pattern
from what it has been, seen, worn,
as if the sewers will come back to life
and brim back the breaths
they no longer find worthy of their lungs,
as if the bloodshed on the carpet
which holds its ends will be rugged
clean of thought, of occurrence, of
seeing, hearing, keeping the screams
a secret from itself; the upholstery
of the divan from my grandmother’s
home, sits searching in another
home, as it tears up in places, dis-
regarded by its makers who never
came back to it, silently shivering
in the corner, as it awaits a body to be
shoved in its corners, as it gulps
and eats the screams of a daughter, of
a mother, of a body never known,
never told of, when the sunlight seeps
in, shining off the red which sits all
over the dishevelled lines of its flowers;
there is no carpet to hide
blotches of blood, here, there is
no soaking thought to be kept a secret–
just disgust and silence and blood,
freezing the limp, chained body,
all mashed with hands and burns
and molestation, and early morning
stink of the occasional rum, tripped
on the quiet upholstery-
present and continuous- presently
and continuously patching itself
up with stained traces of what must
never be told of outside the four walls
which have become the stigma, the reason,
of its world, of itself.


The dialect of my lips multiplies
into the bed of roses I have grown ever since I could,
stringing out pieces and pieces and chunks
from the skin of my body, and from the looks
I have pertained in my eyes, in my gestures,
and though my lips tremble like a dilapidated
drum bearing thumps over and over and over,
they form cohesive, certain, careful words
which transform into roses quite different
from the ones I find growing in my garden,
and they screech an indistinguishable noise
every time I’m told that the dialect, that my dialect
is that of a fox in another land,
scurrying silently behind the lion,
the roar of the king of the jungle,
and I’m told my roar, however distinct, is not my own,
and I avert my eyes to the back of my hands,
leaning in, at times, to trace my nerves
just by looking at them, and wondering
how many of them have found the skin
they belong to, how many call it their own,
how many have found a medium to express in words,
in silence, in zipped up, choking throats,
in locked bathrooms of locked bedrooms,
in the chaotic noise of the metro,
in the breathing sea–how many have found a sound
to the lips, to the words they speak?
How many would exchange me of my dialect
to grow flowers, of any kind, just their own?

(Never known, never known, only felt in the
rushing of your nervous nerves, too afraid
to speak the truth.)

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