Do Kadam दो कदम






Do Kadam (Two Steps)

Two steps I desired to walk in companionship

Someone to be with, on the sweet road of love


I searched for a youthful beauty like you everyday

I believed I was on way to become a statue of stone


Some conversations, some meetings is the desire now

I have found the reason of my incomparable existence


Let the word be spread, let there be celebration

I am alive, let this be known to all with respect


Half of my life I have lost in the years of darkness

Let me dedicate the rest to your name, my precious


Happy is ‘deep’ that you have come of your own

I don’t know, I feel, but my companion has come


Do Kadam by Sandeep Silas ‘deep’ in Ranai-e-Khayal 2012

BEAUTIFUL THOUGHTS by [Silas, Sandeep]

Translated Book in English available on Amazon Kindle:







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Wandering in wonderland, published in The Hindu

At Vallorbe, Sandeep Silas digs deep into his imagination to make sense of the city of caves


NATURE’S ART WORK The limestone caves constitute a grotto complex where stones take amazing shapes. Here are two examples: The left one looks like the mount of wisdom and the right one comes close to a symbol of pilgrimage.Photos: Sandeep Silas

Sometimes, Nature leaves you in complete wonderment. We as humans have been blessed by creative intelligence, and we like giving shape and form to thoughts and ideas. Face to face with the creations of Nature, we find only one answer to the questions that arise in the mind about the identity of their creator. It is the Creator, Himself, whose identity is known from His awesome works seen all over.


Such was the feeling that gripped my mind at Vallorbe, a city of caves with unusual rock formations, columns and edges. Call them simply – they are stalactites and stalagmites, but look closely, they are humans in stone.

Vallorbe has existed for thousands of years. It nestles along the banks of the Rive Orbe. The region is called the Lake Geneva Region. In the heart of the Swiss Jura near the cliffs of Mont d’Or and Dent de Vaulion mountains, exists this wonderful world of waterfalls, valleys, coloured stones and an underground river. The Limestone Caves constitute a grotto complex that is fascinating and has created a colourful exhibition of 250 minerals, popularly called “The Fairie’s Treasure Trove”. It is said that ten million years ago Switzerland was an ocean. Lime got deposited at Vallorbe. The River Orbe found for itself a subterranean bed in these limestone deposits.


A mixture of intrigue and Nature’s heritage was discovered in 1961 and opened to the public in 1974. Vallorbe is located on the Swiss French border and just one hour’s drive from Geneva. Vallorbe is not a destination like we are used to – with roads, markets, museums, forts and places and confectionary marts. It is a museum of Nature instead.

Rest in peace

Hidden inside a deep forest, a stream misleads you to believe that there can be nothing more to life than the peace of a jungle. A huge mountain with a tunnel opening also doesn’t let you expect much. Till you reach inside and run like ‘Alice in Wonderland’. It is cold inside and a jacket seemed comfortable. On entrance is a pool of water, far down amidst the rocks, which appeared like a pan of shining mercury. A long tunnel leads to a room from where begins this journey into mystic imagination. The best part about this visit is to see and find shapes in stones and give them an identity from your own cultural bank in the mind. Every person looks at them differently and understands uniquely. For the Christian, some formations may appear like a Cross or the Disciples at Supper; for the Hindu, the Pandavas at one place and hundreds of Shivlingams all over.

The Kailash Mansarovar here and Vishnu Kund over there. For the poet, it is the ‘Wasteland’ here and ‘the chimes’ yonder. For the painter, it is a battle formation here, the placid lakeside beyond the rock, and the ‘Triad’ in the distance. Everyone is at ease. Each one is at peace at Les Grottes de Vallorbe.


I climbed up to find and discover interesting cold shapes exuding warmth from the character they had assumed. I was conscious that what I saw was here only this moment, not the next. Some snow would melt altering the shape, some vapour would condense giving birth to another form and so this natural cycle goes on and on. Timelessness, I thought.

The caves and walls are lit by sensor operated lights, so that it is not dark all the time. You stand before a cave and the lights are turned on, enough for an image to get imprinted upon the minds’ eye. One sharp edged ice shape looked like the Sword of Damocles to me. Another, a wave of the wind, yet another the swift glide of a serpent. Then one was definitely a beehive. It had hundreds of perfect bee dwellings at the bottom surface and then it rose up like a temple bell, securely fastened to the roof.


The walls were moist and drips of water had left small pools on the ground. It was 10 degree Celsius inside the cave world. This was a perfect peaceful miniature world of mountains, valleys, lakes and peopled by snowmen and snowwomen. No blood can be spilt in this world as all movement has been frozen by time – the snow people those live here, grow and fade away by temperature variations, with much life gone by at the same fixed location.

I climb down a few steps into another area. There the cave is like a bedroom cave, a cosy and safe sleeping room. Some stalagmites are curiously shaped like the male organ and are a boast of life. Now, another looks like the ‘bell of heaven’ with thousands of thread like strings. Moving out of this maze of shapes and forms was not a pleasant thought, but all life drama has to come to an end on a note of climax. This was reserved for the end. I hear the gushing sound of water. Deep down from an opening, a stream emerges at great speed, creating foam balls in its movement. The elongated pear shaped pool it merges with, never ceases to amaze. This is actually the underground River Orbe.


The exit opening pushed me back into the world of definite shapes. Back inside Vallorbe it was imagination at its best. Here it is imagination coloured by learning, a definite perspective, more ruled by what is commonly understood.

Curiosity, once quenched, gives over to memory, to let the seen and felt, be retained in vaults and summoned to image at the drop of a thought! Vallorbe is a wonderland and you will find it more amusing when you visit as by then some more vapour would have taken a form!

Vallorbe is located on the Swiss-French border and just one hour’s drive from Geneva

(Published on December 26, 2011)


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In the heart of the mountains by Sandeep Silas, published in The Hindu

In the heart of the mountains by Sandeep Silas



Man has been building in statuesque, grandiose and ornate architectural styles since the time stone was quarried and bricks fired. Imagination, force of will, ornamentation and sheer celebration is visible in what he has built the world over! And, that is what I saw in the Blue Mountains, 110 km. from Sydney.

As I sped towards the Blue Mountains, the whole atmosphere changed and Nature started speaking in hushed tones. The road wound its way up through dreamy villages wrapped in slumber. At Glenbrook came the gateway, and Wentworth Falls was pretty. Charles Darwin, who laboured to unravel the mystery of the origin of species, once stayed here, and a walk commemorates this association.

The village of Leura romanticises candles and clothing. In October, Cherry blossoms line the streets of Leura, and gardens are filled with butterflies sipping nectar. We halted at bohemian Katoomba, and I particularly remember the sloping drive through the village. Homes are old fashioned and the boutiques bright. The post office, the bank and the church remind you of temporal and spiritual connections.


Gavin, my chauffeur, mentioned the Three Sisters. I presumed he was recounting a fable, bringing back to life the days of the Aborigines. Till, I I realised the Three Sisters is a prominent feature of the Blue Mountains World Heritage area, which celebrates Nature.

There is an Aborginal legend associated with the three sisters The beautiful sisters, Meenhi, Weemala and Gunnedoo, daughters of the Katoomba tribe’s witch doctor, fell madly in love with three brothers of the Nepean tribe. Ancestral law forbade marriage outside the tribe. The brave warrior-brothers engaged in battle for the maidens. The witch doctor turned his daughters to stone using his magic stick, intending to restore them to life after the fight. But, he was killed in battle and his magic stick could not be found. They say the Lyrebird instinctively scratches the earth even today, searching for the magic stick.

The Blue Mountains, belonging to the Narrabeen Group of layers, have evolved over hundreds of millions of years. The Three Sisters were once seven sisters. Four have been lost to the Valley, the weather and Time!

I saw a wooden signboard; ‘The Three Sisters’, and took the path. At a view point, I was amazed at the vastness of the range and the Leura Forest in the valley. The forest reverberated with birdcall. Inching further, I was face-to-face with a mountaintop, the edges of which were jagged — victims of wind erosion.

A bench in a cavity of the cliff invited me to solitude. Touching the cliff, I wondered where the ‘Three Sisters’ were located. All lookouts were blocked by the heavy mist. Disappointed, I rose and took to what they call ‘The Giant Staircase’, which takes you deep down to the forest.

I trudged back to the starting point, I followed some visitors to Echo Point to share a glimpse of what they saw — the three lovelorn sisters, captives of fate, stood a little to my left in storybook silence. For a brief moment, the majestic sun illuminated their dormant sensuousness.

And, to think that all this while, I had actually sat and brooded on the waist curve of one of the three!

(Published in The Hindu May 2, 2010)


Keywords: Blue MountainsThree Sisters

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Civil servant, travel writer and poet Sandeep Silas strings a garland of peace, write-up in THE HINDU Oct 21, 2009

Civil servant, travel writer and poet Sandeep Silas strings a garland of peace

The Hindu covered the Launch ceremony of “Garland Of Peace” idea and initiative on October 21, 200922dmc_sandeep02_jpg_j_8895g 22dmc_sandeep03_jpg_j_8896g


The recently concluded photo exhibition by Sandeep Silas at the India Habitat Centre propagates war ravaged sites of the world to be united in a “Garland of Peace.”

Each country of the world has hidden its war wounds for reasons of disgust, shame and hurt national pride.

He feels that so classified war ruins and sites can create a powerful movement for peace amongst all nations.

Images of Hiroshima and Pearl Harbor on the same platform along with sites like Lion Hill, Waterloo, Belgium; Menin Gate in the town of Ypres, Belgium; the Auschwitz concentration camps; Anzac Cove, Turkey; Fort Siloso in Singapore; Bridge on the River Kwai, Thailand; St. Paul’s Church, Ambala, India; the Berlin Wall, Germany, and the Bamiyan Buddhas, Afghanistan, were on display as reminders of past wars. Quotes and thoughts of Gandhi and Nehru on peace and war were thought provoking.

Let there be peace

Silas belongs to the rare group of crusaders whose formidable asset is the cerebral world of ideas. Such is his ability that the ideas grow faster than grass and thought in layers, as enumerated in the Yaksh Prashna put to Yudhishthir in the Mahabharat.

The idea is to declare war-ravaged world sites and buildings as peace heritage sites.

The concept “Garland of Peace” is to string these ruins and sites into a garland of peace building, peace education, peace tourism and peace activism having a lasting influence on present and future generations — the leaders of tomorrow.

To delve further, Silas suggests formation of a peace heritage committee by the United Nations with the objectives of identifying the ruins, preserving them, and putting into place a mechanism to develop these sites as the property of the world community, as the indifference and neglect of the nations gives rise to feelings of revenge and hate towards the aggressor.

The esoteric idea may emerge in a form that seems formidable, but already the impossible has been made possible. The Wailing Wall at Jerusalem is worshiped by the Jews and the Muslims. Similarly in India, Kurukshetra, the battleground of the epic Mahabharata, is a place of pilgrimage to understand the futility of war and learn the essence of the Gita.

Silas, while following the doctrine of the Gita, i.e., do your duty without expecting the reward, has tasted the fruits of his ideas.

As a civil servant, travel writer, poet, he has successfully implemented the concept of a mobile science exhibition on rails in 2003.

“Discover India by Rail” (Sterling publication), “Morrows Face” and “Borrows in the Mist” are significant contributions to the world of poetry. Recently the Sri Lankan government has accepted his suggestion of a Sita-Ram heritage tourism trail in Sri Lanka for the promotion of tourism.

Life is beautiful

Now busy with his novel concept, “Garland of Peace”, he feels that life is beautiful and unique, and let there be no “apocalyptic third war”. Torture, atrocities and humiliation are natural consequences of war, and by wearing the “Garland of Peace” he resolves to prevent war.

With his thought-provoking concept, he has already been well received by stalwarts such as Karan Singh, Kapila Vatsayan, Martand Singh (INTACH) and his alma-mater, the Maxwell School, New York.

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Jazba (Passion)

Like nectar rises my passion to the flower

Whosoever tasted said, ‘sweet like honey’


Like deep lines etched on snowy mountains

I lie silent on the rocky bed below the snow


Give me some sun, let me melt and reach you

My core is water, give me favour of your mercy


I halted thinking that the road was my destination

In a magic like grip I was, my life was in a bind


Touch me and wake me, let eyes not get dimmed

Hold me, pick me up, silent is all congregation


Give me some laughter, give me some smartness

Wish me a prayer to rise and blossom next season


Jazba by Sandeep Silas ‘deep’ in Saada Khayal (2009)


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Swaraj On A Third Class Ticket

My personal tribute to Mahatma Gandhi!

I always say that Gandhi travelled and the Mahatma was born on a third class compartment of an Indian train!

Indian Express Oct 8, 2000

Indian Express Oct 8, 2000 contd

(Indian Express October 8, 2000)

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From my Archives…St. John’s College, Agra- Festival of One-Act Plays 1978

Excellence in every sphere !

Festival of One Act Plays, Dec 1978, St. John's Agra

Festival Sheet 1, Dec 1978

Festival Sheet 2, Dec 1978

Festival Sheet 3, Dec 1978

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sandeep silas

The capital has become the scene of another gang-rape. This time it is a eight year old girl child. The girl was abducted while sleeping outside with her family. Why were they sleeping outside? Because there is no power in their colony!

Not one politician of any political party either visited the girl’s traumatized family or issued any statement. Such things have become kind of routine news and acceptable facts to Indian society. Unless a person from immediate family gets affected even public does not bother and consumes the news carried in newspapers or TV with tea.

The affected family is left to fend for themselves with an unfriendly police system and a very complicated judicial system, where justice is more denied by delay.

TOI Aug 24 pg 2

Who will give the healing touch?

Who will stop these gang-rapes which destroy childhood?

Who will stop the ever increasing gang-rapes on our highways, city roads, public transport and in residential colonies?

In our childhood we were taught the idiom “Who will bell the cat?”  It is so true today in this respect as the nation asks this question from the people who are responsible for governance in any form anywhere.

On the last day of July the nation was shocked when news came that a mother and daughter were dragged out of car in UP the previous night and gang-raped by some criminals of a Ghumantu gang for three hours in Bulandshahr District (65 km away from Delhi) on National Highway 91, and barely 100m away from a Police Post. Mother of 35 years and daughter of 14 years raped together!

The country is being scarred again and again, call it Nirbhaya or by any other name, gang-rapes continue with criminals at large. It is a systems failure: the maintenance of law & order, the long drawn trials, the lack of evidence, and little or no punishment, more alarmingly the will to stop these crimes against women.

Our country is a land where womanhood has been worshipped in the form of a Goddess. We believe in Devi Shakti. We do pilgrimages of all Shakti Sthals. We celebrate festivals with aplomb and our greetings are Jai Maa, Jai Bhagwati, Jai Mata Di, Radhey-Radhey and so on.

We worship our Goddesses every day. We name our daughters in the name of our Goddesses. We see their forms from Ma Durga to Ma Kali depicting victory over evil forces and demons. Our Goddesses ride lions and bless their followers. Our Mantras are chants in praise of our Goddesses, where we pray and bow in supplication and seek blessings from them.

Still no Political Party has made women safety as their national programme.

Who will lead the growing concern for crime against women?

It has to be backed by the Government’s legal and administrative action to show the Government’s resolve to hold back such horrific crimes against women. The very fact that again such a crime took place again in the capital of the country, only reveals that the courage of criminals is at a questionable large.

The last five years data of rape cases and the rate of conviction is a cause for immediate concern!

TOI Aug 24

Countrywide protests could begin when women realize they are not safe while sleeping, travelling, or working. Women do feel unsafe and my conversations with the ones I know have revealed deep set anger, frustration and disenchantment with the present scenario of safety of women in the cities and villages. The incidents continue to shock the conscience of the people to the core.



  • Bill to be brought in Parliament for Capital Punishment / Chemical Castration of convicted rapists
  • Emergency Decree like Italy announced in February 2009 for mandatory Life Sentence to be given to rapists
  • Fast Track Rape Trial Courts
  • Recruitment of Delhi Police Constabulary to be broad based from all States of India, and not have predominance from neighbouring State of Haryana as this move shall instill confidence and break the criminal-police nexus (majority of constabulary in Delhi Police and sexual crime offenders have roots in Haryana)
  • Video recording to be a must in all Police Stations
  • All cabs to be installed with Cab Cameras and GPS indicators
  • Delhi Police to be brought under the control of Delhi Government and not be under the Home Ministry through Lieutenant Governor, Delhi
  • Licensing of all Cab/Public Road Transport Drivers in the capital and the other cities to include Psychiatric Tests and be not as easy as it is today
  • Creation of a Department of Crime Against Women under the Ministry of Women & Child Welfare

Now, is the time we have to be seen to be taking tough and long lasting measures to protect our daughters, sisters, wives, and mothers. It is the cry of the ‘Daughters of India’. In this Year 2016, let it be noticed and talked about in the homes of India that the Government means business and such type of violence is to take place no more.


Punishment for Rape in Different Countries

I am placing before the people a comparative appreciation of the punishment awarded for rape in some countries:

USA: Under federal law the punishment for rape can range from a fine to Life imprisonment. The severity of the punishment is based on the use of violence, the age of the victim and whether drugs or intoxicants were used to override consent. If the perpetrator is a repeat offender the law prescribes automatically doubling the maximum sentence.

English Law: The offence is created by section 1 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003:

1-(1) A person (A) commits an offence—

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life.

China: China retained the death penalty in the 1980s for certain serious crimes. The 1980 law required that death sentences be approved by the Supreme People’s Court. This requirement was temporarily modified in 1981 to allow the higher people’s courts of provinces, autonomous regions, and special municipalities to approve death sentences for murder, robbery, rape, bomb-throwing, arson, and sabotage. In 1983 this modification was made permanent. In 2006, the Chinese government reversed the previous modified death penalty requirement that was made permanent in 1983. The law was enacted on January 1, 2007, and required all death sentences be approved by the Supreme People’s Court (SPC), effectively depriving the provincial people’s courts of exercising the final say on the death sentence, allowing death penalties handed out by provincial courts to be reviewed and ratified by the SPC.

Italy: In February 2009 Italy passed an Emergency Decree-Mandatory life sentencesThe Italian decree, which goes into effect immediately but still has to be approved by both houses of parliament within 60 days, introduces mandatory life sentences for people convicted of gang-rape, sexual assault resulting in murder and violent sexual abuse of children.


India: Section 376 in The Indian Penal Code, 1860

  1. Punishment for rape.–

(1) Whoever, except in the cases provided for by sub- section (2), commits rape shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may be for life or for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine unless the woman raped is his own wife and is not under twelve years of age, in which case, he shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.


The women of India need a healing touch. An administrative-legal direction to the whole issue is warranted. How soon we act is what shall matter and assuage the hurt conscience of the nation. Perhaps, something like the Italian response is the need of the hour!


“SAVE INNOCENCE” CAMPAIGN could be started in the country by those who are sensitive enough to realize the immensity of the problem and want to protect and respect womanhood!

© Sandeep Silas, Delhi, India



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