Shweta Rao Garg – WE ICWP Prize ’20. WE Glowing Aesthete Prize ’20.


Limbs strewn around her neck
Intestines adorn her black hair
Skull sets, freshly polished, jangle at her hips
Kāli looks deadly in her new accessories
The original ethnic, perfect in her gore
Kali sways with psychedelic rock
Kicking, boxing, head slashing.
Kāli who lulls thousands to sleep
Kāli who germinates life from stones
Can’t bring herself to stop the dance of death
Insatiable is her appetite, her heart wants more
Like all the MNCs, Kāli is on a spree
Spurts bodies for sport, grows indiscriminate,
But Kāli could not stomach her husband at her feet
Shakes her head with regret
Kāli stops her act with immediate effect
Gathers her open hair into a hasty bun,
Drapes herself with a starched linen
Removes her makeup and blood stains,
From the hem of her garment
Lowers the gaze, domesticates her gait
Follows her man to his snowy residence.

Perfect Cake

How do you bake a perfect cake
To lessen the guilt of too shoddy a gift,
Of a party unplanned and wishes overlooked,
A cake gentle on the waist line,
Not the 'hey presto' ones from the instant mix packs,
But one which swells with the labour of love
From a pink slipped single mom.
How do you beat the dough with the whisk,
So that the eggs, flour, butter and sugar dissolves
In a sweet dream of once upon a hearth?

Shweta Rao Garg is an artist, writer and academic. Her graphical novel on sensitizing the youth, The Tales from Campus: A Misguide to College, will be published by Crossed Arrows in September 2021. Her artwork can be viewed at