When the cruel cut of fate a yawning chasm created,

Yet could not equal the loudness of the scream

The pain in my heart rent,

His own sorrow he cast aside

So he could soothe my burning tears to calm,

His peace, so therapeutic in my healing,

That reassuring embrace, tight in its affection,

Is that what love is?

Society’s distorted gender bias notwithstanding,

When he fed my hungry soul, comforted me to sleep,

Pampered me spoil, 

‘twas my mother long deceased

And like her, also had 

A strict word for my incorrigibility,

That tender kiss on my forehead,

Is that what love is?

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Amidst the flurry of faults flung 

And the rising of red rage, 

An amused smile is all he gives in his ever-unflustered style 

And brushes aside, 

As he has done a million times before

The tearful apology i whimper 

That understanding imbued in his eyes,

Is that what love is?

Unfriended and unloved,

Because there was nothing lovable about me,

A dark shadow of myself,

As i struggled to stand 

In a world i had thought was mine,

But there he was beside me with pride

That firm arm around my shoulder, his wife,

Is that what love is? 

Yes, yes, yes, and yes! 

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Vidya Shankar
Vidya Shankar, a widely published Indian poet, writer, editor, English teacher, and a “book” in the Human Library, says poetry is not different from her. A recipient of literary awards and recognition, she uses the power of her words to sensitize her readers about environmental issues, mental health, and the need to break the shackles of an outdated society. Vidya is the author of two poetry books, The Flautist of Brindaranyam (in collaboration with her photographer husband, Shankar Ramakrishnan), and The Rise of Yogamaya (an effort to create awareness about mental health.) She finds meaning in her life through yoga and mandalas.