Tag Archives: #RohiniSundarem

…an excellent purveyor of the written word in poetry and in prose… Rohini Sunderam…


…I wanna introduce yeez to a dear friend, Rohini Sunderam, one of the mainsprings of the Bahrain Writers Circle… diminutive in physical presence, p’raps, but a titan-ess in every other respect… her poetry, her prose, and her indefatigable ‘can do’ spirit in all things pertaining to this island’s scribblers’ group… m’Lady Rohini administrates not only the prose group, but also the Poetry Circle, and is a keystone in its annual Colours of Life Poetry Festival… her pawky, tongue-in-cheek anthology, CORPOETRY is a clever collection of gentle jibes at office life, politics, humour, conspiracies… go treat yerselves and grab a copy:


…not content with tripping out rhyming gems, the lure of prose is not far behind… Rohini offered me a piece of her writing, with the throwaway line, ‘p’raps yer Blog followers might like a wee shuftie at that’… or a more Anglicised version of that sentence… here it is… enjoy…



Rohini Sunderam

An excerpt

Ameeta awakes. It’s not the call to Morning Prayer that has woken her, nor her alarm. It is the shifting of the light, a change in the temperature that tells her it’s time to head out to her first job of the day as a housemaid in Hoora, Bahrain. She stretches. There is a reluctance in her muscles that refuses to wake up and then there is the nagging need to use the toilet and have a shower before her roommates Shanta and Anita wake up to start their usual squabble over the bathroom.

She rolls over once more, luxuriating in the warmth of her blanket, then with a forceful movement she is up. She hurries on tiptoe, her thin towel in her hand, to the bathroom that she shares in this one-room place with her two young friends. They’re all from Sri Lanka and they’re all freelance housemaids; Ameeta is the eldest. She’s been in Bahrain for twenty-two years; and every year for the last five years she’s wondered whether she should make this her last year and finally go home to the rest she so richly deserves. But there’s always that one more request from her family – her children: a computer please, Ma; some more stock, her husband demanded – the drunken sot who’s done nothing more than lurch his way to the so-called shop he had set up the year Ameeta first came to Bahrain, all those years ago in 1985. Today, in 2007 that day seemed like a lifetime away for her. It was a lifetime away.

How young she had been, how pretty and yet how desperate and afraid. Her second child, a son, was barely six months old when her husband, Ramu, lost his job at the factory near the outskirts of Colombo. Five days he’d gone to the day-labour pick up stop and five days he’d come back, his silent, saddened, dark face mute as he shook his head indicating that once again he had in his hands a pittance, the money was barely enough to buy milk and rice for the family.

Suneeta, her daughter, had just turned two years old and her hair had begun to look matted like a beggar’s child. That’s when Ameeta had known that she’d have to go out to work and do whatever she could to earn a few rupees to supplement the family income or else her children would, sure as the dust on her husband’s face, end up as beggars. Her heart broke at the thought. A sharp vision of them as they rushed from car to car, or clambered aboard buses headed for the capital trying to coax a few cents out of people already so careworn that even if they did throw a couple of cents at the children it would be with such pity and disgust that they would never be able to climb out of that degradation of spirit. The thought that her children might face that just for their very existence burst the dams behind her eyes. She let herself go, threw her hands up to her cheeks with a lost desperation that sprang from being utterly at the end of her hope, and wept.

The next morning, she blinked back her tears and silently cursed the fact that she hadn’t completed more than class nine at the government school. She wrapped her son in her cotton sari and with him still silent and clinging to her breast, she took a few cents that she’d saved from Ramu’s housekeeping money and hidden from his prying eyes under her mattress. She fortified herself with a strong cup of coffee and a good spoon of sugar before she headed out to the nearby bus stop to go to Colombo to get a job as a housemaid in the city.

“My sister will help me,” she said to herself, “she will, she’s been telling me this for the last three years, ever since I married Ramu and moved close to Colombo. The money for a housemaid is good maybe Rs.200, even.” And with this mantra reverberating in her head and heart she sat, wordless and grim, throughout the one-hour bus ride to Colombo. She looked out of the window and watched as the lush green trees and paddy fields disappeared the closer they got to the city.

That was the last time Ameeta remembered being hopeful. Her sister in the city wasn’t able to help her, instead she’d put her on to an agent to get a job in the Middle East. “You will make more money there,” the agent told her, “so much that in no time you will build your own house.”

What he hadn’t mentioned was that by the time she’d paid off the loan for the agent’s fees in Colombo, and paid the Bahrain-based agent – another three hundred dinars, and the airline ticket, the passport, it would be many years before she started to actually make any money. Today, almost twenty-two years to the day, she was almost there. The money for the land had been collecting slowly and surely in her bank in Colombo. Her children, now twenty and twenty two, had found a piece of land a little further out from Colombo than where she’d started this journey. A few months more and she’d be able to get her hands on that paper. The land had mango, coconut and papaya trees. The sea wasn’t far from it. There was even a small hut on the land. Two, at the most three more years of working and she’d be able to build a house there. At last that dream was coming true.

With this thought and a new sensation of the hope that had come to Ameeta twenty-two years later, she rushed to the bathroom and smiled quietly to herself. For the first time in all these years this was the closest she’d come to being happy.


…thanks for this, m’Lady, Rohini… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!




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Vengeance Wears Black…

..what a tremendously generous review for VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK from Bahrain Writers Circle’s wonderful chairperson, Rohini Sunderam… m’Lady, Rohini, thank you 🙂




41ztQAFKyyL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_…And poor time management goes around in rags, tattered in the attention that a book as action-packed as this one rightfully deserves.

In spite of all the swirling minutiae of daily commitments – from an event in the offing, to freelance work, household chores, to inane queries with regard to said event – I couldn’t pull myself away from Seumas Gallacher’s Vengeance Wears Black and yet I constantly had to; dangling participles notwithstanding.

The book haunts one through its deft handling of the personal interplay and commitment of the main characters to each other – all partners in ISP International Security Partners. These include our hero Jack Calder and May Ling his wife – and the team Mr. Brains Jules Townsend and Malky McGuire: friend and colleague.

The bloody explosive action kicks off and kicks one in the stomach right from the get-go. I wonder if this is a typical…

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…a very special Lady graces my blog today… Authoress and Poetess Supreme… Rohini Sunderam…

…at the risk of repeating previous blog openings, I’m the most fortunate of bloggers inasmuch as my terrific Guests come from all corners, and in all guises… since this ol’ Jurassic arrived in Bahrain, I was invited to join the excellent Bahrain Writers Circle

bahrain wrters circle

…started a few years ago by Robin Barratt, who still offers great support from his home base these days back in the UK, the group has gone from strength to strength on the broad and willing administrative shoulders of David Hollywood and Rohini Sunderam… David is an accomplished Poet in his own right, and may appear at some time on this ‘ere blog…. meantime, the effervescent Rohini offers splendid illumination to my page… let me stand aside and allow her to speak for herself and her unique CORPOETRY collection…


From Corporate Laughter to Corpoetry

Rohini Sunderam

This collection of poems came into being by a chance remark made by a colleague when I was working as a copywriter in the advertising department of the regional newspaper The Chronicle-Herald in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The chairman of our company happened to visit our department – which was located in the industrial park in the neighbouring twin-town of Dartmouth – and he was being given a tour by our department head.

We all knew that the ‘Big Chief’ was calling on the Advertising Director but he rarely walked around the floor. So we were all quite relaxed. I happened to be standing and chatting with one of the senior designers – was it work related, I can’t recall. It probably was, initially, but we’d wandered off into other more interesting subjects than work when clear across the floor we heard our boss’ forced laughter. The kind of ‘ha ha hah’ that you know means he’s laughing at said big boss’ rather tame joke. That prompted my colleague to comment, “Ah! Corporate laughter.”

Simultaneously I noticed quite clearly that everyone on the floor started to look busier than usual. People slouching in front of their computers straightened their backs. Casual conversations were cut off with an official sounding, “So when do you need it?” The other colleague understood and gave some equally officious response. Folk ambling along to the water cooler or kitchen walked right by and headed back to their cubicles or desks.

In the meantime that phrase ‘Corporate Laughter’ started bouncing around in my head like a squash ball that’s been whacked hard against the wall and missed by the opponent. I couldn’t concentrate on the headline and copy until I’d written ‘Corporate Laughter’ out of my system with a short poem that repeats what I’ve just said with the added suspicion that the Chairman was quite astute and saw through our ‘acting busy’ charade. In fact it ends with:

While the chairman of the company

Stifles signs of sharp intuition

And lets those other little signs pass by

At least, just for today.

That should have been that. Most times for me, when the subject of a poem has been exorcised with a poem, it’s gone and doesn’t bother me again and I can get on with more meaningful real work. This one didn’t.

I began to see and hear things and become aware of situations that prompted another and yet another poem. Before I knew it I had twenty-five poems dealing with life in a corporate situation. Simultaneously I began to doodle using the built-in clip art that came with Windows back in the early 1990s.

I didn’t do anything with the poems or the illustration but I’d look at them once in a while, (they’d gone from being saved on a floppy disc to my hard drive to a flash drive) and have a chuckle. Then I came back to Bahrain and shared the poems with Linda, my friend and erstwhile colleague at the advertising agency where I worked.

She thought they were “awesome”. And she offered to illustrate them for me, while urging me to find a publisher. Initially I approached a Canadian publisher, because some of the poems were very Canadian. They were very encouraging and asked to see a manuscript. They liked what they saw but said I needed to bump up the number of poems to fifty at least.

In Bahrain I saw even more opportunities to write more poems on the subject.

I re-did the very Canadian poems and made them more universally relatable. Unfortunately the Canadian publisher decided to pass – they were small and traditional and published only limited titles. Fortunately in my search I came across Ex-L-Ence Publishing in the UK and they decided to go for it.

Corpoetry is available here:


Reviews may be read here:


And here:


Rohini has been typically modest in her piece above, but let me share with yeez, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land, a little more about this enchanting Lady…

Rohini has been an advertising copywriter for more than 30 years. She has written ad copy – for films, radio, and print- in India, Bahrain and Canada. Two books were commissioned assignments as part of her professional work. Her articles and stories have been published in The Statesman, Calcutta, India; The Globe and Mail, Canada and The Halifax Chronicle Herald, Nova Scotia, Canada.

She also edits and manages a blog ‘Home The Clock Struck One’ (http://dlip.wordpress.com) for her brother who had a stroke a few years ago and a blog of personal writing and interests: http://www.fictionpals.wordpress.com. And she is an active member of the Bahrain Writers’ Circle. (SG editing here : for ‘active member of,’ read, ‘she is one of the people who constitute the personal glue that keeps the Bahrain Writers Circle as enjoyable and friendly a writers’ gathering as it is… )

Rohini’s writing credits include the following:

  • Corpoetry, a collection of light hearted poems about corporate life published December 2014 by Ex-L-Ence Publishing, UK.
  • A contributor to the anthologies:
    • My Beautiful Bahrain (Published in 2012 by Miracle Publishing, Bahrain)
    • More of My Beautiful Bahrain (2014 Robin Barratt Publishing).
    • Poetic Bahrain (Published 2015 by Robin Barratt Publishing)
  • A poem was selected for publication in the international competition Poetry Rivals (Published by Remus House, UK) 2012.
  • Her short story Your rebirth, My death was short listed in The Atlantis Short Story Contest 2013.
  • Her 50-word short story was the winner in a competition held by Oapschat, UK
  • She has participated in The Colours of Life an annual poetry festival held in 2012, 2013 and 2015

Connect with the Lady on

twitter       : @Corpoetry

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/RohiniSunderamAuthor?ref=profile

…thanks for sharing, m’Lady, Rohini… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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