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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