Sharmila Mitra, a former high school teacher in English, resides at her ancestral home in Kolkata, India, with her mother who is now over eighty, and her remaining non-human family (that keeps getting smaller or larger, according to circumstances...this she has tried to stop, but when she decides to give a destitute creature a home, she cannot predict).

She always created excitement for her students in her classrooms by inventing something new almost every day, so that she gave them the feeling that they were learning because they wanted to! The same thinking began to expand until a few years before she gave up her beloved teaching career, she finally started writing as a form of therapy. The journey continues.   



They pushed me in and left, taking the doors with them.

Love is an anxious corridor.
While I am trapped inside,
Without the door marked
ENTRANCE—o show how
I had entered here—or EXIT—
Anxiety runs through the network
Of my veins over my bones,
Making them sag with heaviness.
I stand under an old, naked bulb,
Which flickers on and off,
Making a crinkling sound, as if
A tin foil is being crushed in my hand: in the yellow light I sweat.

Words bleed into one another:
         “I met ___. We’re so...
          Enjoy each other...
          I’m no longer...
          A boomerang...
          Wrong direction...
          You’re not what...
          I had thought...”
(Five years...and now I am different, difficult, my wrinkles and sagging skin showing,,,)
          “I’m so sorry...
           I thought I would...
           Loads of them I have!
           Forgive me...”
The things were not forgotten.
                     I WAS.
Nothing to forgive. A ghost am I. Pale. Easy to forget. No one’s fault. 
    But this an anxious corridor.

The words lean into me. 
Then they go out of focus.
It’s an odd sensation.
As if I am rocking on my feet.
As if I have smoked weed.
No ENTRANCE. No EXIT. No one here besides I. No bathroom door either. Nothing.

This is an anxious corridor.
The walls close in, dance away, close in, move away...the naked old yellow bulb flickers.
Was I supposed to be here? No one hears my screams imploding. NorescueNohopeNoLoveNothing. Screaming on. Soundless.
It is an anxious corridor. Like a grave. Buried. Buried. Alive.


The dark shadow fell on the floor.
The man of the house came to look.
“Who’s there? Why at our door?”
There was no one there, and his voice shook.
The bright light coming through was unruffled.
The long, dark shadow lengthened some more.
The man’s hesitating feet shuffled.
“My dark shadow will not again darken your door.”
The voice came from very far a land.
The man had mixed feelings of being bitterly grand.
His face broke into a radiant smile.
“I need no shadow, indeed, to my bright life beguile!”
The man went to shut the door.
The shadow vanished from the floor.
The man’s pet raven raucously cared, “Never more! Ha, never more!”


You are full of light.
You say I am a spirit DARK.
Your land has no night.
My land is bleak and stark.

My thoughts are...you say...bad.
All of yours are charming, good.
I feel tired, perpetually sad.
You live fuller, as you should.

I am Wounded Creature...dark...
In the land of light I cannot hide.
You are so Good you bear a Mark!
I am venom seeping into my side.

I clash with my sadness, like two boulders.
My burned rose lies between my shoulders.
Since you padded away I have wept.
The rose that you by my pillow left...
Your life of chosen love is light.
Believe me, I need the cover of night...