Scribbling, scribbling, anywhere, everywhere,

From Moscow to Delhi, Cairo to Samarkand.

Or sitting at dawn on the No 27 bus

Going down the Marylebone Road before rush hour.

Never have my notebook to hand when I need it!

Scraps of paper suffice, or backs of old envelopes.

Even long supermarket receipts are repositories,

Of  ecstatic inspirations or jumbling ideas.

Reminders of characters huddled on pavements,

Remarks overheard with a frown or a glance!

That little dropped stone in the pond of my consciousness

Rippling out as a novel or play.

But my favourite place to write?

Why my study of course, with its Big Bang of chaos;

My computer, my books and my dictionaries all.

My view from the window; my garden-half-wilderness

And the green leafy calm of my five watchful sycamores.


  1. Sue Bolton says:

    I’ m a teaching assistant in a school in Ashford, Kent. Our topic this term is India, and we have chosen your book ‘Out of India’ to study – in guided reading and literacy lessons.
    This website is great and love the above poem – which I will share with the class tomorrow.
    Many thanks for writing, and inspiring children.

    • jamilagavin says:

      Dear Sue,
      I’m so glad you like my website – though it is grossly in need of updating and revamping! It’s opne of my New Year resolutions.
      I do hope you enjoy, “Out of India.” Thank you so much for letting me know.

      All the best,

  2. Sue Bolton says:

    Hi Jamila
    I wrote to you this time last year because we were reading your book Out if India in our guided reading sessions at school. The children thoroughly enjoyed it and so we have decided to read another of your books this year – Grandpa Chatterji. The only problem is we have access to only 1 copy, and can’t find any more. Can you help please?
    Many thanks for your time

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