I’ve often been invited to strange places
To keep in company with strange people.
Or, it may be truer to say I am the strange one in all that
I am the unknown usually among the known faces
As we all sit there talking poetry
First always is the introduction
And some, though already known,
For fear we may miss out on any detail
Start shooting off long lists of books and awards
And important journals-domestic and foreign
I always dreaded my turn
Though still poor for any list
There was when, all I had,
Was a small corner in a Mizo Student’s magazine
And Baruk, using a computer printer,
(This was really impressive then)
Had printed one and pasted it on his office wall
Or so I’m told. If it was not so,
Then my list was even poorer.
When my turn came, I paused
Waiting for the question to be asked
I will say “Can you repeat the question?”
Like Sushmita Sen, for even more.
“So where have your poems been published?”
Time ran out.
I am no Sushmita Sen.
“In a girl’s heart.”
I answered cheesily
Followed by my best efforts at a profound silence.
And in my strange head
I was pleased and imagined
They were all jealous of me.