R. is a poet, freelance writer and teacher based in
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Her poems have been published in
magazines including 'The Little Magazine'. She also won the 2nd
prize at the Unisun-British Council Poetry Competition in 2006
for her poem, 'Sounds of Past'. Drawing from the intensely
personal to the mundane details that dot her world, she writes
poetry simply for pleasure.
Sounds of past
Eyes close and open
to a history I never knew.
Amidst the shops where
once stood my ancestral home,
The sounds of my past wake me.
I float, as voices welcome me
Into a ghost that was once a house.
Teak doors screech open
Into corridors where
my grandmother once played.
Following the whispering memories
up the weighty wooden staircase,
I reach the cot where my mother was born.
Stunned by the sting of a glory I never saw,
I stand small in the shadow of the great Ambady tharawad.
Now, the giant of a house is
dwarfed by ruinous fortunes,
and withers into a distant memory
still alive in proud old minds… and in me.
Lazy afternoons doze in familiar memories,
as parabolic eyebrows long for that creation,
in which I lose my inhibition
in which I let my senses dance
to the beat of a clicking tongue.
The red smells of the loving, spicy fingers
And the yellow, of the bright laughter.
All colours of a passion I'd die for,
Of a fragrance I'd live for.
Mummy, I really miss your Fish curry.
Day dawns into promise
That soon dries in the heat of rebellion
Adolescent hands pelt stones
Hard-hitting like their slogans
Anti-government, anti-authority, anti-everything
Oh by the way, 'anti' is a violent word, don't u think?
Burning up dream, ambition, tear gas explodes.
And so do khaki tempers.
are not trained to love
But like instinctive mothers,
Punish erring children
as they rise and fall
amid blood, chappals and cries
bangles, books and dreams all traded
in the loss of innocence.
The day ends without promise.
The Hartal was successful, said the papers.
No 1, Bombay Flats
Lazy old doors wake up to a rusty doorbell
ringing, roaring, raving as I enter
a world lit by a sleepy bulb and a yellow wall.
Smell of fried fish, coconut oil, old books
sleeps in the apartment, lulled by humming cobwebs.
Dust and dirt live in happy harmony
All twirling in circles of a dead silence
till a precious voice called out from a rocking chair,
where sat Appoopan, shining in his white mundu
soaring, sparkling, spilling into my eyes
Till I could no longer see him.
What remains is the last drop of his dead smile.
Old legs stood sturdy in a corner
wrinkled by dust and old paper.
They stared in brown indifference,
at those who walked past, unmindful
of the unselfish hands that received,
that relieved several pains and aches.
Patriarchal limbs reached out
from delicate patterns held together by skill,
to remind forgetful minds of
years of sincerity, years of faithful service.
Stretching their tired muscles, the cane chairs lay down
and finally breathed their last.