The Sentence and Other Poems: Professor VeeranKutty (Translation from Malayalam)

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1. Memorial

Watch the flight of the milk weed fluff,

A very humble effort indeed.

Wingless,

It is disallowed the crossing of borders,

And denied the  ownership of the skies.

Yet it flies, carrying the seed

Cradled like an infant.

‘Under the shade of the tree

It imagines-

Some one will  rest tomorrow.’

The milk weed fluff is unaware of these lines.

In the weightlessness

Of its ignorance

It flies.

In the compassion that we show

By not calling it a bird,

It might float a bit more distance.

A humble but valiant effort!

Where it falls,

Unknown to anyone,

A plant might stand

In memorium

Tomorrow.

2.  Embrace

The trees that we planted

Far apart from each other,

Terrified that their leaves would touch-

Their roots are embracing ardently

Under the earth.

3.  A Dazed Mind

That day you waited

For the ants to leave,

Before you washed the tea cup.

You stepped softly on the ground

Not wanting to harm any living thing.

You did not pluck any flower,

Instead opened the bird cage wide.

Really,

Who can  ever hide

A mind dazed with love?

4. Silent Girl

Hey girl,

You, who do not speak much!

Your undisplayed love

Is like the  splendid flowering of a tree

Unseen by anyone,

Hidden far within a deep forest.

5. Yet

Yet God does not decide to end this world.

Why?

He must be waiting for those two

Deeply in love,

Sitting in some corner of this world,

To stop their conversation.

One can safely surmise that

The world will not be ending very soon.

6.  After You Left

Some colours disappeared,

Some fragrances vanished,

The sounds stopped in entirety.

This place  here-was constructed from

All those shortcomings,

After you left.

7. The sentence

As punishment for the crime,

The sentence was to circle the world.

The plea was to request

That both should endure it together;

And circle a million times,

Not just once.

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Poems of Insight: Shri. Veeran Kutty (Translation From Malayalam)

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1.

When those in love

Seperate,

Nothing really happens

To them.

Except

Two small deaths.

2.

How vast the sky

Of the bird

Not bothered about

When it will die!

3.

Lady who cannot see,

Who can call you blind?

Who has ever measured

The boundaries of your sight?

My colours-

Are seven in all.

How many for you?

My paths-

When hours four go past,

Hit a door.

You walk on still.

When it is named ‘bird’

When it is named ‘tree’

Whn you hear ‘depth’

When you hear ‘height’

You are seeing certain things

Unimaginable

To others.

You might be imagining

A dead man

As one walking by.

Lady who cannot see,

With your single glance

You have clothed

The nakedness of the whole world.

Those who meditate

Learn from those who cannot see:

This language

Of seeing God

With eyes shut.

Dear God!

I am the real blind one.

Why did you reveal my blindness

By giving me sight?

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Vatsala’s Brilliant Preface:Her Favourite Stories…continued

 

img_1830Preface…….continued

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‘The stitching machine’ is  a story about my own stitching machine. It is not just a source: the whole narrative is about the different experiences that it has gifted me. I still use one. The predecessor was taken away by a trader last year. He forced the new one onto me. No woman can let go easily of an appliance that she has been using for a while. The fate of both a spoon with its  edge broken off or a dilapidated stitching machine is the same. The grief of the woman is very genuine in both the cases. It can be seen as the holy remnant of an old culture. It is not applicable to today’s throw away culture- because, nothing is allowed to reach the satiation point at all. Hence there will not be a story related to a modern day consumer good- of having touched a human heart.

There is a special episode behind the writing of ‘ Vidyadharan.’ Once DC Kizhekkemury had told me that the dirtiest place in the world was Kashi. The stain stayed in my mind till I reached there. Once I saw Kashi, my whole life perspective changed. On one evening, having seen enough of other sights, we rented a boat and went along with MahaGanga’s flow. Gangaji was resplendent : a sea which removed all the dirt of the world.The flow swallowed all the agonies and kept the river eternally pure. A school of fish played alongside the boat merrily; like toddlers in a playpen. They raced back and forth touching our boat. Then, as if that was not enough, came the floating corpse. It would have terrified me had I seen it so in my home state.

Here, it was different. First I thought that a trunk of aloewood -chopped down by someone- with four branches on its sides, was floating on the waters. Soon it came near and travelled along the boat, occasionally caressing it. The fishes played hide and seek through the ruptures on the face. They emerged as a procession at times. ‘Who was this faceless one in his just concluded birth?’From this thought came the story,  Vidyadharan.’

From that day, I  have been able to look at death with equanimity. It is a miracle. My first encounter with death had been at twenty six, when my grand mother passed away. That was a serene experience: granny’s ending was like the  natural snuffing out of a lighted lamp. Probably this incident was a part of the treasury of experiences that I relied upon while writing this story.

What we see by the light of the sun need not be the real sight. The insight gleaned by the experience of the inner eye- that would be the truth. I recognised that. That is all. Here, I am stopping.

Vatsala, 2007

 

Two Autobiographies : Prof Veerankutty ( Poem Translation from Malayalam)

“Randu Atmakathakal” ; Original Poetry in Malayalam by VeraanKutty; published in Mathrubhumi Weekly, Onam Special edition, September 2014.

On reading it, I imagined the hundred rupee note mentioned  in it, as money in any denomination, in any currency, in any country in the world. The stories would remain the same- its own and ours.

A torn hundred rupee

Landed in my hand.

Stained

Faded

Weary and dirty.

I had purchased Gandhiji’s autobiography,

This was handed over as the leftover gain.

I tried to lodge it in between fresh rupees

And escape from it

Keep your trick  to yourself, they said.

When I left it at a busy cash counter

Someone caught my collar

And barked

I felt furious, ashamed.

Threw it inside my pocket

Wished to wash my hands

A hundred times.

It fluttered helplessly within my pocket

It leaned closer to my heart and whispered

In a voice which only I could hear:

“I have never hid inside a rich man’s pillow cover

Have been with the poor and the hard working

For a long time

With those you say, want to make you wash

A hundred times.

I had prayed that the dawn came much later

When I was inside the pocket

Of a thief who slept off.

The milk stain which spread over me

When a mother walked the street

To purchase medicines for her newborn

Is still not faded.

Within the pocket of the man who

Hanged himself

I was there, witnessing his death

Measuring it.

The fish scale from the fisher woman’s hands

The blood from the butcher’s hand

The crab meat curry stain from the toddy shop

Are tattooed over me

Like another skin.

In the gambler’s den and in the God’s coffers

I have lain equally calm.

Even though I disliked it

Was handed over as reward

After murders and pimping.

Through dark places

Hidden undergrounds

Touched by tears and sweat drops

Hit by spittle,  and human waste

Subtly and Openly

The path that I have traversed

Even your Mahatma

Might not have travelled.”

I sat down stunned

Unable to hear the story

Of a discarded rupee note.

I took it out from my pocket

And bowed before it

With absolute humility

Of someone who was deeply perplexed

By

The language-

Of the great book which was full of

Lives, I have never lived.

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