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கிராமத்தெரு அதுத்தெரு மட்டுமா?

கிராமத்தெரு அதுத்தெரு மட்டுமா?
காளைகல் எழுந்திருக்கவேண்டும்
என் காரை முன்னாடி
ஷென்ற விட குழந்தைகல்க
ன்னாடியை சுளுக்கி
தன் குறும்பெடுத்த முகங்களைப்
பார்துச் சிரிக்கிறார்கல்
பசுமாடுகல் நடந்து
கொண்டிருக்கின்றனர்
அவருடன் அவர் குளம்புகளில்ம
ண்கட்டிகல்ஒ ரே நிமிடத்தில்கா
ரின் டையரின் குறிகளை
மண்ணோட மண்ணாக்கின்றனர்
சீட்டாடிக்கொண்டு
இருக்கிற‌ பெரியவர்கள்
அவரின் ஒரு விசித்திரப்பா
ர்வை என் பக்கத்தில்
உட்கார்ந்த என் பொண்டாட்டிமேல்
ஒரு வயசானவர்ந
டுத்தெரில் படுத்துக்கொண்டு
ஆதவனுக்கு தன்
முதுகைக் காமிக்கிரார்
யாரு அவரைத் தூக்கி
வரண்டாவில் இருக்கும்
பென்ச்சில் விடுவார்? விடு.
 ஒரு அழகி ரோஜானிறம் ஆடையில்
ஒரு உடைந்துப்போன
குடிசையில் உள்ளச்சென்றாள்,
ஒரு வீர நாய் குர‌க்கிறது,
ஒவ்வொருக் குரையில்
பின்னாடி சென்றுகிறடு...
கிராமத்தெரு அதுத்தெரு மட்டுமா

(A translation of Ajaya Mahala's 'Village Street' below.)

[19:47, 11/16/2016] +91 93222 73136: village street
are they streets?
bullocks have to get up
to let my car go
children bend the mirror
to see their naughty faces
cows walk
with blobs of mud

Autumn chill

whispering through the autumn chill in the eddy of yellowing leaves, those old, old words haunt again -- I sigh at the unworn mangalsutra and slide the drawer back in place.

युद्ध आवश्यक है

हाँ युद्ध आवश्यक है। किन्तु न मेरी पत्नी विधवा हो, न मेरे सन्तान अनाथ।
मेरे माता पिता अपने जीवन का अन्तिम पड़ाव
मेर पासिंग आउट परेड के सॅल्यूट वाले फोटो को देख,
सिसक सिसक के न बिताएँ।
युद्ध तो आवश्यक हैं। पर मेरा कैरियर भी आवश्यक है।
वह यू एस का वीज़ा, वह वी पी का ओहदा
वह थाइलैंड का ... जो भी थाइलैंड में होता है।
और वह पाँच करोड का फ्लैट सागर किनारे।
आवश्यक है, आवश्यक है युद्ध। मेर जानता हूूँ कि सिपाही सियाचेन में
ठण्ड और तूफान से जूझते
या एल ओ सी पर अचानक गोलीबारी से
या आतंकियों से निर्भय भिडकर
राष्ट्र के रक्षा में अमर हो जाते हैं,
पर मेरा उत्तरदायित्व भी मैंने निभाया है
और फेसबुक एवं ट्विटर पर सदैव
कोटि कोटि श्रद्धाँजली अर्पित की है।
युद्ध तो आवश्यक हैं। परन्तु यह मेरे भाग्य में नहीं कि सीमा पर
सुबह के तीन बजे ठण्डा चाय का प्याला पकडे
नीन्द से जिहाद लडूूँ, न बाॅडीं आर्मर पहनकर
(अगर मिल जाए) रेग़िस्तान पर तपती धूप
से क्रूसेड करने निकल पडूँ। और किसी यू एन
शान्ति मिशन में रुवान्डा की सैर करना
तो भूल ही जाओ। हम गोवा से काम चला लेंगे। पर हाँ युद्ध आवश्यक है।
Published in Amaravati Poet…

Weeds

"Clear off” they said, "no space for beggars,
VIP movement is on, move on, move on”
So we moved on, and that wasn’t such a problem

for we’re the flotsam, the jetsam, the unwanted
c/o footpath; we’re the ones with the tangled
hair and the red-eyed looks outside Gucci stores

hoping for a tenner that’ll get us a tin of shoe-polish
that’ll keep the hunger away until you throw away
that stale wadapao. No problem, we’ll clear off.

This is one half of a tapestry poem with Shernaz Wadia, first published at RateMyLiterature.com.

View the full tapestry here.

What is tapestry poetry?

Tattoos

All they need is a young mind, raw from within and
hurt by the deep scars of history. Some come as
india ink on paper - called Koran, or Bible or Geeta—

indoctrinated into the brain by incessant repetition.
Some as the chants of priests and monks, in strange
intonations often accompanied by incense. Or blasted

from loudspeakers, a call to arms against imagined foes.
They all leave scars, fresh for a new generation to be
inked. Not everything requires a sterilised steel needle.

This is one half of a tapestry poem with Shernaz Wadia, first published at RateMyLiterature.com.

View the full tapestry here.

What is tapestry poetry?

Summer

This summer I made a bonfire of my loves.
Beneath the pregnant clouds and still air
Of the sweltering nights, as the breeze died,
My remembrances of us together - yellow
Like the oleander, thespesia and laburnum -
I let them burn, and lend themselves to the ash.
They scatter as the rising wind whistles, playing
Chinese whispers with the fresh-leaved trees;
The dust has a new smell: rain at last, rain at last!

This is one half of a tapestry poem with Shernaz Wadia, first published at RateMyLiterature.com and republished at tapestrypoetry.webs.com.

View the full tapestry here.

What is tapestry poetry?

Opening into the darkness

Rays erupt on a winter morning. As buds erupt on shankhapushpam Flowers, the clouds thunder among Silent birds. As lightning in search of earthing, His feet praying for nirvana, the wanderer thirsts. Much of what he’s Learned, must now be unlearnt anew, Alone in a noisy train with lonely men He rumbles wordless into the night mist.

(Published in Whispers as part of the "Captivating Titles" activity, July 2016)

Forgetting

Memories are often miasmal, putrescent;
a squad-drill of old complaints marching by
that you soon wish were etherised, euthanised

lest, despondently, you are forced to grapple
with those; the nocturnal sounds of a forest
you wished you didn’t set foot in; a gambit indeed

that you played thinking it fashionable at the instant
and now regretted... indeed with appetites for regret;
meditating on them there is no shunya, nor do they

let you be forgetful of them, vicious in the pursuit,
and no, they don’t digress either to dwell on joy,
no sir, they're silhouettes that follow, to the grave mud.

*

This poem was part of a special exercise in Whispers, April 2016. It is written around 12 words chosen from 12 poems of T.S. Eliot, 1 each, in order:

“The Hippopotamus”
“Hysteria”
“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
“Morning at the Window”
“Rhapsody on a Windy Night”
“Sweeney Among the Nightingales”
“Aunt Helen”
“The Boston Evening Transcript”
“Burbank With a Baedeker: Bleistein With a Cigar”
“The Buri…

The Solitary Reaper

I recited a poem by Wordsworth once.
The one about the solitary reaper
Singing all by herself
of "battles long ago", perhaps
"some natural sorrow, loss, or pain."
or even "familiar matters of to-day".

I will say the audience were moved.
They asked for his Orkut profile,
And what his latest status message,
is on Gtalk or Facebook,
surely something deep.
Do I have his email address?
And hey, is he on Twitter?

Published in Whispers, December 2015

River

foggy morning
the river flows from nothing
to nothing

first sun
the ashen-faced river
suddenly gleams

Rorschach blots
what the ripples reveal
and conceal

fighting the currents
to stay in the same place
river fish

silver half-circles
the sea on the night
of the full moon

Published in Whispers, September 2015

hair-combing outsourcing industry

Other day I am hearing
that one neighbour-lady
is going to beauty parlour
to get hair oiled and combed.
No, no, no facial or manicure,
just hair-combing.
She paid hundred rupees for it.
I am thinking to myself only,
new new things are getting outsourced.

I am imagining how much big
hair-combing outsourcing industry
will ever become?
I am calculating based on
numbers from Wikipedia only.
30% people are poor,
I think they are going to
comb their own hair.

300 million are middle class
and upper class. Some 50%
of those must be kanjoos and not
going to go for outsourcing
but be cruel to their wives
and make them comb their own hair.

That is leaving 150 million people
who maybe outsourcing hair-combing.
More than population of
Russia or Japan.
Everyday they are spending
hundred rupees only for
oiling and combing.
Two days it is staying.

So every month thousand
five hundred per person
for oiling and combing
hair. Into 150 million.
Must be lots of money.

Arre, thank you, madamji.
You are mak…

there is no partition when impressing young girls

I am hearing, ji, that one person
is get dismiss from party
for praising of Jinnah.
Arre, why you are fight
over the past history?
Jo ho gaya, so ho gaya, no?
Many other good reason for
dismissing no -
he not praising my new sherwani,
he not coming to my daughter wedding,
he talking to enemy party madam.

Why you talk of Jinnah and
partition?
That is partition jo ho gaya.
There is many more -
in people's head.
Brahmin vs dalit vs thakur,
sikh vs jain vs christian,
ameer vs gareeb vs middle class:
everyone wanting separate
country, maybe not
saying loudly.
Who writing books on that?

But there is no partition
when impressing young girls.
That day I am seeing -
one girl too lazy,
too impatient
to buy ticket
is give money to passenger
to pass to conductor
who is at other end.
Whole bus is helping, ji -
all mens are rising to occasion:
young, old, hindu, muslim,
fit, fat, rich, poor,
hero, zero - all type mens
wanting to help young lady.
Maybe I write book on that.

What do you say, ji?

my beloved's eyes

Many poets are writing about
their beloved's eyes.
So I am also writing
because beloved is asking -
what to do?
So I am writing poem
on my beloved's eyes.

My beloved could have had eyes
like deer - Mriganayanee -
soft, expressive,
radiating innocence.
Everytime she look at me
there is a ghazal.
But she not having eyes like that.

My beloved could have had eyes
like fish-shape - Meenakshi -
long eyes, with bewitching
eyelashes full of
temptation, seduction.
Everytime she look at me
there is a sin.
But she not having eyes like that.

My beloved could have had eyes
that create love - Kamakshi -
half-closed, with a light
that leads to celestial union.
Everytime she look at me
I fall at her feet.
But she not having eyes like that.

My beloved could have had eyes
that show the universe - Vishalakshi -
within them, vast ocean
of timeless eternity.
Everytime she look at me
I achieve moksha.
But she not having eyes like that.

My beloved is having the eyes
that are like toad - Mandukakshi …

ego-friendly poem

This is an ego-friendly poem.

It is not trying to make a point
because it admits that you,
dear reader, have a point
and it will not contest that.

This poem is not trying to
say anything new because
it concedes to you that
talent, that right.

It will criticise nobody
for who better than you,
dear reader, to make
a judgment?

Neither does this poem
praise anyone, not even
you, dear reader, because
that again is a form of
judgment
and that is best left
to you.

It is not even trying
to do something smart
because, again,
who is smarter than you,
dear reader?

This poem will not even
claim that it is an ego-friendly
poem.
That too is judgmental,
is it not,
and that function,
is yours alone,
dear reader.

So this tries to be an ego-friendly poem.

*

Aug 22, 2009

***

Re-edited Apr 26, 2016:

This is an ego-friendly poem. It is trying very hard to be.
This poem is not trying to say anything new dear reader, be- cause it concedes to you that power.
It is not trying to make a po- int because it admi…

I am thinking to write the bad poetries

I am thinking to write the bad poetries
But I am not knowing because
I am thinking all of my poetries
Are good poetries only.
I am good in English, no
With 85% marks in Board examinations
And getting full marks in oral spelling.
And I am having the good imagination also
As many good friends are saying.
So why I to be writing the bad poetries?
Whatever I am writing is so good, no?
Or atleast that is what good friends
Are all very sincerely saying.
But am I to be trusting my good friends
Who did not getted 85% in English
In Board examinations like I getted?
Not that I am doubting the sincerity
Of my good friends - that is surely sin -
But they are not of same calibre
as I am being, no?
So I think I am not writing the bad poetries
But writing the good poetries only.

*

Aug 19, 2009

I cry save me, save me!

Whenever I think of your name, I say save me, save me! Whenever I look at your face, I cry save me, save me!
Sweetest words in your mouth become bitter, what do you eat? Whenever you open your mouth, I cry save me, save me!
When you whisper the neighbours complain of noise pollution. Whenever you begin to speak, I cry save me, save me!
Wherever you walk lush forests become barren deserts. Whenever I see you arrive, I cry save me, save me!
The water you give me with your hands is deadly venom. When you touch Ozymandias, I cry save me, save me!
*
Originally written Aug 26, 2009

𑂦𑂍𑂹𑂞 𑂢𑂵 𑂮𑂧𑂕𑂰, 𑂦𑂍𑂹𑂞 𑂢𑂵 𑂧𑂰𑂢𑂰

𑂦𑂍𑂹𑂞 𑂉𑂍 𑂟𑂰 𑂢𑂰𑂩𑂰𑂨𑂝 𑂍𑂰, 𑂢𑂰𑂩𑂰𑂨𑂝 𑂍𑂰, 𑂢𑂰𑂩𑂰𑂨𑂝 𑂍𑂰, 𑂮𑂳𑂥𑂯 𑂬𑂰𑂧 𑂣𑂴𑂔𑂰 𑂍𑂩𑂞𑂰 𑂟𑂰, 𑂐𑂲 𑂌𑂩 𑂏𑂳𑂚 𑂍𑂵 𑂦𑂷𑂏 𑂒𑂜𑂰𑂞𑂰
𑂉𑂍 𑂠𑂱𑂢 𑂉𑂍 𑂒𑂴𑂯𑂰 𑂄𑂨𑂰, 𑂐𑂲 𑂒𑂗 𑂏𑂨𑂰, 𑂏𑂳𑂚 𑂒𑂗 𑂏𑂨𑂰, 𑂬𑂹𑂩𑂲 𑂢𑂰𑂩𑂰𑂨𑂝 𑂠𑂵𑂎𑂞𑂵 𑂩𑂯 𑂏𑂉, 𑂠𑂵𑂎𑂞𑂵 𑂩𑂯 𑂏𑂉, 𑂠𑂵𑂎𑂞𑂵 𑂩𑂯 𑂏𑂉, 𑂯𑂩𑂱 𑂮𑂵 𑂥𑂜𑂍𑂩 𑂒𑂴𑂯𑂰 𑂯𑂷𑂏𑂰, 𑂦𑂍𑂹𑂞 𑂢𑂵 𑂮𑂧𑂕𑂰, 𑂦𑂍𑂹𑂞 𑂢𑂵 𑂧𑂰𑂢𑂰, 𑂔𑂨 𑂒𑂴𑂯𑂵 𑂍𑂲, 𑂒𑂴𑂯𑂵 𑂍𑂲 𑂔𑂨, 𑂔𑂨 𑂒𑂴𑂯𑂵 𑂍𑂲, 𑂒𑂴𑂯𑂵 𑂍𑂲 𑂔𑂨
𑂃𑂥 𑂒𑂴𑂯𑂵 𑂍𑂷 𑂦𑂷𑂏 𑂒𑂜𑂰𑂞𑂰, 𑂐𑂲 𑂒𑂜𑂰𑂞𑂰, 𑂏𑂳𑂚 𑂒𑂜𑂰𑂞𑂰, 𑂉𑂍 𑂠𑂱𑂢 𑂔𑂥 𑂍𑂳𑂞𑂹𑂞𑂰 𑂦𑂸𑂁𑂍𑂰, 𑂙𑂩𑂍𑂩 𑂒𑂴𑂯𑂰 𑂥𑂱𑂪 𑂧𑂵𑂁 𑂦𑂰𑂏𑂰 𑂒𑂴𑂯𑂵 𑂮𑂵 𑂥𑂜𑂍𑂩 𑂍𑂳𑂞𑂹𑂞𑂰 𑂯𑂷𑂏𑂰, 𑂦𑂍𑂹𑂞 𑂢𑂵 𑂮𑂧𑂕𑂰, 𑂦𑂍𑂹𑂞 𑂢𑂵 𑂧𑂰𑂢𑂰, 𑂔𑂨 𑂍𑂳𑂞𑂹𑂞𑂵 𑂍𑂲, 𑂍𑂳𑂞𑂹𑂞𑂵 𑂍𑂲 𑂔𑂨, 𑂔𑂨 𑂍𑂳𑂞𑂹𑂞𑂵 𑂍𑂲, 𑂍𑂳𑂞𑂹𑂞𑂵 𑂍𑂲 𑂔𑂨
𑂃𑂥 𑂍𑂳𑂞𑂹𑂞𑂵 𑂍𑂷 𑂃𑂢𑂹𑂢 𑂒𑂜𑂰𑂞𑂰, 𑂇𑂮𑂍𑂲 𑂣𑂴𑂔𑂰 𑂫𑂢𑂹𑂠𑂢𑂰 𑂍𑂩𑂞𑂰, 𑂣𑂩 𑂣𑂞𑂹𑂢𑂲𑂔𑂲 𑂢𑂵 𑂙𑂢𑂹𑂙𑂰 𑂪𑂵𑂍𑂩, 𑂇𑂮 𑂍𑂳𑂞𑂹𑂞𑂵 𑂍𑂷 𑂧𑂰𑂩 𑂦𑂏𑂰𑂨?…

Sum nihil, sed ego

Petra ecclesiae
Non licet mihi peccare

Columna curiae
Non licet mihi lapsere
Princeps civitatis
Non licet mihi se petere
Petra ecclesiae
Frangere volo
Columna curiae
Fugere volo
Princeps civitatis
Ego sum solus ego
Petra ecclesiae
Erim non plus
Columna curiae
Erim causa lapsis
Princeps civitatis Sum nihil, sed ego
Published as Petra Ecclesiae in Amaravati Poetic Prism 2017
ed. Padmaja Iyengar,
Cultural Centre of Vijayawada & Amaravati