On the pedestal
by Vijaya Gowrisankar

As I child who was curious and had questions galore
My favorite was to my grandma to seek her reactions
“Why the name ‘Vijaya’ and whom should I look up to?”
Her soft, gentle voice answered, “Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit”

She narrated stories of this famous achiever in small tales
A highly educated person, whom she admired with awe
A well-travelled lady who represented India globally
With firm beliefs, she held her ground for what was right

I stuck her photo on my cupboard inner wall for inspiration
It was no coincidence when I selected her for my research paper
I read her memoir that revealed her life and decisions she took
Unconsciously I emulated her as I followed my heart’s voice

From her books, I visualize her to be gentle yet strong
A go-getter, a visionary, she believed education was the key
She redefined the boundaries for women in Indian politics
Her influence in my life goes beyond the same first name…

PHOTO: Indian diplomat and politician Vijaya Laksmi Pandit (1900-1990).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My grandma was in awe of Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit. My name choice was influenced by this famous achiever. My grandma told me stories of what she knew, and I went on to read more about Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit as I grew up. This poem is an attempt to show the admiration and how this lady has influenced my life.


Vijaya Gowrisankar
released her second book of poems Reflect in December 2015. Her first book, Inspire, published in December 2014 reached the bestseller status. She was announced as one of the winners of Inspire by Gandhi competition, organized by Sampad, a UK organization. She has been announced as the Winner of AZsacra International Poetry Award (Dec. 2015). Her submissions have been published in Forwardian, Triadae Magazine, iWrite India, Taj Mahal Review, along with Silver Birch Press.