How does she say so much, by saying so little? This is one poet that I adore, admire deeply.
Vijaya Lakshmy’s poem, translated from Malayalam.
(If you are blessed to know Malayalam, try reading the rhyming, lilting, deep truths in the original.)
Vilpathram (The Will). This poem was published in Mathrubhumi magazine, 2005.
Who is it, calling me this afternoon?
The death like silence pervading this
Shelter is forced to listen too;
The telephone- ringing merrily, joyously.
As I pick up the phone, at the other end,
Still a boy, young, seeing the world
As one big celebration, though dreams
Are fewer these days.
” Mother! Can you hear the wind blowing
Between the trees through this phone?
How wonderful! I am surrounded by this wind
Now! Listen, ma, through the phone..”
At a distance, a murmur serene…
Shaking the thick green all aflutter, furious
Rising and falling, now kissing and hugging
Not restrained, it blows, fighting itself
As I stand stunned, at the sound of Life-Spirit
At the unseen distance,
My son speaks:
” How beautiful is the afternoon sunlight mother!”
Then, almost as if he is waking up,
” Will talk later. So much to study, write
Will call later..”
Silence remains, the other side
Falls silent, fades off, nothingness..
The frozen death like silence thaws
My old age burden, lightens..
In this sleepless afternoon, even as
The wind shakes the wild green
With immense grace,
If you understood that it was Life’s
True Breath, despite all your preoccupations,
If you thrilled at the thought that
This golden sunlight is our true inheritance,
Inspite of all work, if you still know to dream a bit-
Even if this old lamp dies off,
Remember, as you did today,
I bequeath to you these dreams
As my Will,
Which have the power to free you
Eternally from all life’s sadness.