☛ Submission for October, 2024 issue (Vol. 5, No. 2) is going on. The last date for submission is 30 September, 2024.





-         Anju Makhija (India)



A single string plucked,

the Surando’s melody

surrounds the white desert.


Sand grains rise

to the pitch of sanee.                                                                  

Footsteps, gentler than

camel strides, are heard.


Figures, seen in the dark,                                                           

place heads on the block,

waiting to be chopped off.


Flute music stirs hearts,

silhouettes bare chests,

the assassin shoots arrows.


The mokhi pours wine,

the desert becomes a tavern             

in the celestial sphere.


Travelers choose spirits:

love, compassion, delight,

anticipating the taste of



Surando: an ancient folk musical instrument of Kutch.

White Desert: a salt marsh in Thar Desert, Gujarat. Also, known as the Great Rann of Kutch.

Sanee: a high pitch sound.

Mokhi: a wine giver. In sufism, it refers to the divine.