Results of the IITK Competition

Even though I have been quite tied up with the launch of Cult of Chaos, I was glad to have said yes to a chance of judging the Haiku Competition for IIT-Kanpur students. There was a first for me too. I’ve never judged before and wasn’t sure I could do a great job of it. So to figure out the winners, I decided to use reason rather than instinct. Finally, here are the results. Loved the three I chose! And being rather wordy, am amazed at how these haikus could express things. Both intellectually and emotionally. Enjoy the lovely poems!

THREE WINNERS (not in sequence)

Vaidehi Menon

Winter vibrations
Teeth chatter, bodies shiver
Hear the symphony
(This has been able to capture the music of winter very well. Though I wish the word ‘winter’ hadn’t been used. It kills subtlety.)

Harshit Bisht

201501121450Cups of steaming tea
Under the afternoon sun
And her memories
(This haiku makes me linger. Makes me ponder on my own memories and that hot cup of tea. Again, it has captured winter as I’ve experienced it.)

Nitica Sakharwade

Light sleeping angel
Deep under the snow she lies
In quiet misery
(I so wish the first line could’ve improved a bit. But I loved the surprise of misery that the haiku ended with. Again, a trueblue winter haiku)

ALMOST MADE IT (not in any sequence)


Swapnil Gupta Continue reading “Results of the IITK Competition”

Roped in to judge a haiku competition at IITK

Earlier this year, I spent three weeks at the lovely IIT-Kanpur campus all thanks to some work my husband had there. There were many new experiences involved in it for me, including living on a campus, cycling from home to work and interacting with faculty and students who talked more engineering and science that philosophy. (I will be writing a more detailed blog on these experiences soon)

After a couple of weeks, desperate for some shot of creativity in that island of facts, I sought the company of English Literary Society at campus on Saturday evening, run by enthusiastic bachelors’ students there. It was a marvellous hour spent with about twelve of them, in a round table discussion on what believing in science means to them, how they feel once they’ve entered this ‘heaven’ of Indian education and delving into philosophy of what truth means and if it’s but a perception. Informal, full of riveting discussion and super fun.


So I was quite surprised to see an email from them earlier this week, asking me to judge a Haiku competition which they are hosting at campus right now.  I wasn’t sure about it since I’ve not written Haiku since a long, long time and studied the short poetic form so very effectively used by the Japanese writers, very briefly in my masters of English. I am wordy and usually write long forms.

After a few email exchanges with them though, I had to say yes, since they seemed convinced about their choice. I have had a slight alien relationship with competitions in general, having written on how winning is important for little kids and also on how competition is perceived as healthy in our modern society. So it would be a test of myself, to see what the whole judging process will bring out not only in those who are entering this competition, but also in me, who is selecting the ‘better’ entries.

Let’s hope the ones that are ‘judged’ won’t come back on me, screaming vengeance. Always a risk in our rather competitive society, isn’t it? I will be posting all the entries I like on my blog later and the reasons that I chose them (if my instinct is kind enough to grant them). Till then, ciao!

(Image source, with thanks)


Haiku Experiments


The inviting
Minty haze
Of papery greens
And China dolls.


Ringing in
At every corner,
Converting vapid moments
To memories.

(c) Shweta Taneja, July 2009