Antara Mukherjee

“Shush, shush,” said a man in the crowd. The poet’s eyebrows twitched in a peculiar manner. “This is how poems come to him,” the man whispered to those around him. Favored by fate to witness the creative process right before them, the crowd’s exhilaration erupted. Praise flowed as if from hot geysers when the poet did indeed scrabble for the pen that had rolled beneath his folded legs.

“Behold!” The audience exchanged knowing looks. This was the moment, something divine was taking shape from thin air. They observed with their keen, wide eyes as he lifted his pen, their awe spread into joy. His pen moved up, up and up and his head tilted to a side. All eyes were synchronized to his movements as they watched his poetic tool descend onto his bare back for a rigorous scratch.

A chorus of disappointment pulsated around the room, and he murmured, blissfully unaware, “These prickly heat rashes. Aren’t they a pure pleasure to scratch?”   

‘Metaphor! That’s a metaphor!’ screamed a literature student from the crowd, getting very emotional and having to be led out. 

The Dancing Lark

When social media becomes a point of contention for a young journalist, her overbearing mother, and a nonagenarian poet, the result is nothing short of a disaster. The Dancing Lark explores the life of a small-town girl whose vain ambition leads her to exploit an old poet for her own glory. 

Antara is a writer from India whose work has appeared in Kitaab, Sahitya Akademi, The Chakkar, Usawa Literary Review, The Alipore Post, Madras Courier, Borderless Journal, Hakara, and the Yearbook of Indian Poetry 2021 among others.

In 2020, her short story was the winner of the All India Literature Competition, hosted by Anthelion School of Arts. She has co-written a play that premiered at the Bangalore International Centre in 2022.