Two Poems by Ashwini Gangal

Vegetarian Breakfast

When the four-legged beauty lactates,
does the man who touches her teats have her consent?
When the feathered lady ovulates,
does she know she does it for the factory?
Easy there, ninja. We are superior
to our pig slaying neighbours, aren’t we?



Come winter and they travel to our lands to see our lovely locales, learn about our monuments, bargain in our bazaars, soak our warm climes, taste our spiced food, speak to strangers in our exotic languages…

Come summer and we go to theirs, to live the very lives they escaped for a few days.


Ashwini Gangal is a psychologist by training, journalist by profession, fiction writer at heart, and has the soul of a poet. Ashwini worked at a business daily in Mumbai, India, as managing editor for over a decade. Now, with her stint as journalist behind her, she is chasing greener pastures in the world of words, rhymes, stories, poetry and make believe.

She recently moved to Sunnyvale, California, so she’s currently an early-stage migrant and a high functioning neurotic.

The 2020 pandemic turned Ashwini into a passionate reader of medical anthropology and plague-themed literature. Her deep interest in the way microbes, pathogens, bacteria and germs shape human lives and history has bled into her fiction and poetry.

An insatiable reader, Ashwini is passionate about mental health and all animals except humans.