Alakku (The Washing) : Vijaya Lakshmy (Translation from Malayalam)

Thus I speak to the clothes-

That the sun has reached its peak

That there is very little time left to dry up;

That the tender finger tip of the breeze

Is getting ready to leave,

That the shadows have started showing

On the earth…

Some clothes inside the basket, dirty

Some half soaked, having turned noisily

Inside the machine,

Half in the drier,

Few milk coloured ones,

Within my arms,

Those folded, to be kept inside

The box.

Far off in the valley of the sky,

I see the thousands

Of white lambs, resting.

The aged sun, trying to cover its

Bristling inner heat , purely.

The shapeless radiance

Present, disappearing, shining.

In the earth, through my finger tips

Vanish these:

The turmeric stain, mud stain,

The deep stain of love that resists,

Some memory stain of a dinner

A stain showcasing the distances

Travelled in a train journey;

An ink stain holding on

Rebelliously, from an ink pot

Tilted over;

The play stain that stuck along with

My son, as he left the play ground.

The face paint stain of the father

Who enacts different roles in the

Drama of life..

Disappearing stains, even as the sun shine

Slants low,

Quick!  There is so much beauty

To regain!

My beloved clothes-

Drinking in the sunlight, the wind

Water, my  own truth,

Rhythmically, to the tunes

Of my fingers,

During the endless chores,


With love, tireless, towards

The life source, as soon

As possible.


Published in KalaKaumudi, 2009.

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