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 Copyright©Yogesh Patel & all respective copyright holders of the material published

Publishers for the Diaspora writers and poets Skylark Publications UK A Non-Profit Foundation

 Recipients of our Poet-of-the-Month Honour  

Kavita A. Jindal

Act of Faith


An Extraordinary Achievement of Excellence as a Poet

KAVITA A. JINDAL is a prize-winning fiction writer, as well as poet, essayist and reviewer.

She is the author of ‘Raincheck Renewed’, published to critical acclaim by Chameleon Press.

Her story ‘A Flash of Pepper’ won the Vintage Books/Foyles ‘Haruki Murakami competition’ in 2012.  

Her work has appeared in literary journals, anthologies and newspapers around the world and has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and European cultural radio stations.

Her poems have been translated into Arabic, German, Punjabi, Spanish and Romanian.

Kavita was born and raised in India and has lived in both Hong Kong and England for many years.

She is a Senior Editor at the journal Asia Literary Review.

Links to her short fiction, essays and other work can be accessed on her website

Twitter: @writerkavita


Kavita A. Jindal

Patrons: Lord Parekh & Lord Dholakia

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Editor’s Comment

Word Masala Award



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From Reviews:


“Kavita manages to be a detached analytical observer and, simultaneously, an active participant — and it is this quality that gives her work the very desirable element of surprise. By rights, Kavita Jindal ought to be wearing a mask! She sweet-talks the reader with whimsical or pleasant introductory lines and stanzas and then ambushes them with a cynical twist.”

“She has a restrained yet entrancing voice… with a subtle strangeness”

My influences are eclectic and I draw on three cultures: Indian, Chinese and British.

I remain a free-form writer; free from the constraints of any of these literary traditions, while aiming to create an orderly arrangement to suit each individual poem. I relish my place as an obscure little dot on the literature continuum.

-Kavita A. Jindal

Poet’s Statement

Don’t pry don’t ask to whom I pray; if it changes from day to day,

                                             if the entity is male or female

if I fast and for whom

don’t ask, don’t ask.


I know there are forms to fill; spaces where I must write, neatly and in caps,

                                             the beliefs I’ve claimed

dog tags strung tight

around my neck


agnostic, atheist, multi-faith, irreligious, liberal, gregarious, star-gazer


and to top it all



yet searching for a word to describe my true religion, which began one solemn day

                                            when I thought

impermanence could be

invited at will


I wished to be a ribbon of mist trailing in the cold blast of the stratosphere but found

                                            I’d stayed within

reach of earth; why, I was

still grounded


Drawing breath is an act of faith, one I’ve embraced; running, jumping,

                                            keeping time, sucking in air, choosing to

each new day

is religion


Monday to Sunday, just living is an act of faith.



 First published in the inaugural issue of ‘Cha: An Asian Literary Journal’ in November 2007.

Poem published with poet's permission ©Kavita A Jindal

In our troubled times, with gods trotting around with guns or offensive idioms, the meanings of religion and faith are in imbroglio. Religions require surrender, and at the extreme end, guns try to make them conclusive. On the other hand, faith requires imparting oneself with an acceptance that it is not about the absolutes of gods. One emancipates oneself from rituals to meaningful practices. It requires a leap of faith from a poet to be able to speak amidst the drowning noise of nasty religious madness. Kavita A. Jindal is a poet of distinction and offers a distillation that filters out the noise and unnecessary clutter in her poetry. Consequently, the tincture we get is a state of yoga, everything held in balance, even a tumult! We observe and we absorb. The epiphany is where Kavita takes us. So, after reading her many poems, I settled on the chosen poem because it addresses the issue of faith, which very few poets are tackling with objectivity, in spite of the fact that there is so much assault on humanity surrounding us.

    dog tags strung tight

    around my neck  


Such lines, the images of form-filling, and debates about gender through male or female deities - they conjure up a dismissal of the lot:


    agnostic, atheist, multi-faith, irreligious, liberal, gregarious, star-gazer


    and to top it all  



The poet neatly liberates us into the best and mundane leap of faith:


    Monday to Sunday, just living is an act of faith.


The simplicity reminds me of W. H. Auden’s take in his poem, 'Culture':


    Happy the hare at morning, for she cannot read


Kavita’s poem also resonates with Auden’s lines further on in the same poem:


    But what shall man do, who can whistle tunes by heart

This poet whistles while poem’s music and atmosphere engage me for lack of rant. It presents the rationale that the life in its raw form unleashed to the open savannah is the real return to the faith, and it also asserts itself in a denial of a massacre of the humanity for the words humans write in the name of religion.

But then again, Kavita, as an observer, is not making any political or religious stand. She takes us on a canvas for a fresh context of meanings. Perhaps, your amplification is different.


- YP

 A Poetry Film

Parakeet by Kavita A. Jindal