Monday, December 07, 2009

About Saga of a Crumpled Piece of Paper

'Scholars without borders' are a group of academics based in New Delhi, who aim to provide Indian books to global audiences. My first collection of poems, Saga of a Crumpled Piece of Paper (63 Poems, English, Writers Workshop, Calcutta) has finally found a distributor in them

The book is available for Rs 200 in India & $20 elsewhere (postage included). Shipping cost to US is quite high, and I have been frustrated in my efforts of getting these here  in US, for cheap (I will get some with my bags in Feb and my friend Abhinav carried a few, but books are heavy & airlines are stingy!)

Buying them is easier in India I guess, and the site where you can buy these is

Like all books published by Writers Workshop, the book is: Limited edition. Gold-embossed, hand-stitched, hand-pasted & hand-bound by Tulamiah Mohiuddin with handloom sari cloth; Printed by Abhijit Nath, in a Lake Garden Press.

ISBN Number : 9788181578518

There are four parts in the book, first one is about pursuit of beloved, second one about a lost beloved, third one has random thoughts and fourth one is about how an Indian poet in America keeps remembering his home country and his own people. The last poem, "Half-happy with India turning into a trillion dollar economy" was nominated for a Pushcart, and "Your face" was published with audio online at  Another poem published online is The Coke Story at   

Few other Poems that appear on this blog, that appear in the book in revised versions, are: Boston Bhaaratiya, Pearl Earrings, Mumbai Burns, The Story of Ramdas, and Faded Sarees. It seems most of the romantic poems included in the book were never posted online. (Your Face @ The Cortland Review is a representative example of my love poems).

The book includes a kind and gracious introduction by my mentor, my friend, my Gurudev, Thomas Lux, and I specially thank everyone at Poetry at Tech (Ginger, Travis, all the friends I made there, and the people who fund &support the program including Bourne family and Bruce McEver) for all their help and encouragement. More info about the book is included in a post at My Himachal by Avnishji.

Half-happy with India Turning into a Trillion Dollar Economy

When half of my nation sleeps
with half-filled bellies, under the half-roofs,
with half-hopes of a mouthful tomorrow,

when half of my nation grows up with half-rights
to education and employment,
with half-health produces babies, with a half-heart
chokes before the stoves that burn wood,
and cook half-water curries made with half-salt,

when half-length men walk the streets
half-naked, willing to work for half-wages,
half-grown women slip into beds at half-price,

when half-sane leaders pocket half-funds,
and divide the nation into halves that fight,
(haves and not-haves all half-fooled)
when half-castes organize into brigands,
and seek half-reservation for their half-intellect,

when half of the news is of rapes, riots, extortions,
half-nation worries about Naxalists, Maoists, terrorists,
half-resolved cases haunt the courts,
where victims of the crime wait half-lives
for half-compensations,

when half-history is distorted or concocted,
sacrifices of men like Gandhi half-known, half-respected,
when half-heritage is lying like wreckage, and half-religions
have pocketed half-faith and finished the better half,

when half-talented sportsmen cloud TV with ads,
half-naked woman talk of modernism with half-minds,
half-cultured men, hypocrites, type half-lies into their
tax returns, and half-acknowledge their sexual slights,

when half of my nation cannot even read or hear my voice,
and other half will ignore it by their own choice,
and half-close their eyes to see half-blessed dreams
of half-American lives.


abhaya said...

Hi Vivek,

Came to know about the book from the Scholars' website. Congratulations :)

I needed some information about the Writer's Workshop. Is there an e-mail id I can write to you on?


Vivek Sharma said...

Yes Abhaya,
on viveks AT

rahul said...

Thanks for nice info.

I found a totally free classified, have a look.

Jaspreet Kaur Kanwar said...

Hi Vivek,

I like your poems, it's the simplicity of language and the ease with which you have expressed yourself, that makes them unique. Well I had a similar story (since I am passionate about poetry and a chance 'rendevouz'led to Prof lal's doorstep eventually)and just thought of asking you what Prof Lal had to say about your poems, as you have left that bit unanswered in your blog, Iam truly intrigued. I am also in the process of getting my poems published by him and maybe some words of wisdom in this direction would help.
Jaspreet Kaur Kanwar

Brijesh Kumar said...

Hi Vivek,

We are based in Bangalore and supporting authors & publishers to produce, protect and sell eBooks through I picked-up your reference from Writers Workshop and wish that you get published in eBook formats and your works get distributed in India through

Thank you,