The Path To You and Other Poems (Prof.Veeran Kutty, Translation from Malayalam)

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1. The Path To You

I was searching for your footsteps

By the sea shore.

Footsteps over footsteps-

A veritable ocean of footsteps!

Yet I discerned the way

To you-

By trailing the lotus buds

Blooming unseen therein.

**

2. Death

No words exist

In the universe

Except that one.

The rest  of the words

Are elaborations

Or opposites

Or synonyms.

Some astounded at it,

Some rueing.

Dictionaries grow thicker

Trying to describe it.

Poems fail at the task.

One day,

The word meaning

Resounding

From it

Shall have to be answered

By each of us.

Who can speak it out?

So we demonstrate it.

One day,

I too shall try it out-

Wonder if it will work!

**

3. Wings

Have you ever watched

Girls clapping their hands

Delightedly?

Using their hands to fan themselves?

Wringing their hands?

You can see those hands recollect

Having been Wings

Once upon a time!

When did those feathers

Start withering away?

The wing letting go, and

Cut off from flight,

Dropping on earth –

As a mere crawler?

I wish to see her

Making the festival flag

Fly high with the resounding

Applause

Emerging from her hands

Akin to bursting of crackers!

I want to see her

Turn into that ancient, magnificent

Flying creature,

Which converts every  stumble and fall

Into speed and movement.

**

4. A Plea

Did you know

When you were

Uprooting it

That  the Touch-me-not plant

Was pleading silently

With folded hands

‘ Please desist,’ and that

It was speaking

For the Earth herself?

**

5. Dance

As you thread the needle,

As you tie the laces,

When you plait your hair…

The way your fingers dance!

I swear

I have never seen anything

So beautiful till now.

**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Without Genre: Poems (By Prof Veeran Kutty, Translated From Malayalam)

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1. Easy Cooking

One can observe

From your eyes:

Passionate love

Burning;

Intense yet controlled.

Yes, that is evident

Even in your wary smile.

Consequently one can conclude

That your life

Would be getting perfectly

Cooked.

Agree?

**

2.  Hope

The earth, which

We have damaged,

Is being steadily repaired:

The flowers  by their fragrance

The tender leaves by their colours,

The fruits by their sweetness.

The rain washes and

The wind wipes clean.

Have you ever seen the sunshine

Rest awhile?

Always in a hurry to

Dry and store

For the morrow.

**

3. Exchange

You extended your hand

Towards me,

While

Standing deep in the night.

I was entrenched in the day

Then.

It was reminiscent of the episode-

When you offered your kiss

Standing on a mountain top,

And I received it

By a sea- shore.

**

4. You and Me

I bloomed forth

Ecstatically,

On hearing your words

Which was spoken in my dream.

What of it, anyway?

I shrivelled up

With

One word

Which you left unpsoken

When we met.

Didn’t I ?

**

5. The Search

‘Where are you?’

Even as I asked,

The Tree

Pointed to all four directions

And cast me into utter puzzlement.

Perhaps

On knowing that

I was searching for you,

The guiding stars ahead,

Resignedly let go of

Their responsibility

And trailed behind me.

The wind twirled me into bewilderment.

And finally,

When I reached the edge

Of the ocean

With a rising scream on my lips,

It snarled back:

The thousand tongues,

Asking me all at once,

Where you had gone?

**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Rumi and other poems: Prof.VeeranKutty( Translation from Malayalam)

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1. Less and Less

Before we saw each other,

How big we thought of

Each other!

After meeting, we became a tad

Smaller

In each other’s eyes.

Now, when we start walking together,

Will we become less and less

That we render each other

Totally insignificant?

Isn’t it such a relief

That God keeps Himself

Beyond our sight?!

**

2. Opinion

My words were firm like rock,

In those times.

How many could refrain from stumbling

Over its sturdiness?

How many escaped bleeding a bit?

Later,

Like flexible, obedient

Clay,

Certain water- tricks happened;

It thinned out.

Afterwards,

Like water

Which adapts to the vessel,

It shed its original form.

Today,

It is like vapour,

Wind,

Floats around: beyond my own

Control.

Like an aging body,

Yearning to merge with the earth,

Why is it systematically

Acquiring the habit of lightness?

**

3. For A While

How very stupid

Of me,

That I presumed

That the light you carried,

Traveller,

Would forever render

Bright,

My small house by the way side!

Although the truth remains

That for a while,

It sparkled too,

In your light.

**

4.  Every Leaf

We sit and count

The  total number of leaves

In all the trees

Of this earth.

The leaves do not cooperate

One bit.

They do not care the least.

Every leaf,

Ultimately

Is a single entity.

Although the realisation

Strikes,

Only when it is shed.

**

5. For Rumi

The flute sings:

What if I got hurt?

I could stay awhile

With your lips.

**

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

****

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ChumaduTangi: Burden Bearer ( Poem Translation from Malayalam)

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Chumadutangi by Lakshmi Devi

( Translation from Malayalam)

The Burden Bearer:

Here, in front of the inn

Meant for wayfarers-

On this  Burden Bearer Stone,

Let me heave the bundle carried

By my weakening body till

Now.

The shoulder bone has

The greatest capacity to bear

Burden, it seems;

And Destiny again shoves

Unbearable weight onto

That today.

For a moment, I ponder

What it is that I carry, stumbling

Struggling onward,

Wrapped within the bundle.

Old sins, virtues

Or both equally divided?

Unknown it remains,

The Fate has filled up my bundle

For me to bear unquestiongly.

There is a bright lamp within,

The fragrance of camphor

As my dreams get enflamed,

The pains unabated, stirred deep

Leaving an oily drop beneath

The forbidden is inside, and the

Whiplashes for those mistakes

Committed unwittingly

The drops of tears which flowed

The red of a fresh wound

A Sun of a baby smile

The chirp of a bird, the breeze

In a shade so green…

I can no longer keep

My load on the stone

It is getting late.

Closing the inn’s door

The watchman too has

Hastened away.

The lonely road that stretches

Long, calls me quietly-

Walk on, until

You fall, losing

Your footing.

Darkness all around me-

Yet  I can listen  to those

Who are ahead of me:

‘ Move without fear!

Beyond the sooty darkness

Of this tunnel,

There might yet be light.’

***

In the olden days, Kings used to construct inns for wayfarers and also stones for bearing burdens. Without anyone’s help, the  heavy load on the villager’s shoulder could be heaved onto the heft of these stones.

Today, I watched again a classic  Malayalam movie called, Amritangamaya.

It is a line from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad…From death to eternal life ( Mrityoma Amritamgamaya).

In the movie,  one character was reiterating that the human shoulder bone is the strongest- designed to carry the Holy Cross of one’s life burden.

Flipping casually through an old vernacular magazine, I ended up opening the poem page where the sentence was repeated for me.

And then, I picked up a crayon, and a pen. These help in shouldering responsibilities with grace. Truly Burden bearers.

***

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glass Bangle ( Kuppi Vala by Sugata Kumary) Poem Translation From Malayalam

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Kuppi Vala( 1974, Sugata Kumary)

Glass Bangle

***

Listen, I have stood yearning

My eyes athirst

For red glass bangles.

Once, in my poverty stricken

Childhood

In an eventide, near a small shop,

Not daring to ask,

Holding my mother’s finger tip

I had stood-

Kissing the red glass bangle

With my eyes,

As my little heart wept within.

 

Years passed, I walked

Long distances,

Through many paths.

In my youth, in that passionate

Ecstatic time,  in front of you

My Love,

I stretched my slim, glistening

Fair Hands

And said,’Those shining red bangles-

Will you buy them for me?’

With a smile laced with contempt

As you hurried, you mocked:

‘Glass bangles! No shame?

Are you a kid? Tch!’

My heart and my face

Both  got scorched,

Withered fast.

I became yet again,

That small child

Holding her mother’s finger tip.

 

How many years have

Passed since then?

White stars have come and gone!

At the end of my long journey

In the darkness of my autumn

I sit remembering

Those  red bangles.

 

My shrivelled hands,

Exhausted with endless

Toil,

Never have they known

The redness of a glass bangle!

Never have they heard the sparkling

Laughter of one!

 

Still I find myself smiling.

Because, in my heart,

Few smashed glass bangles

Are scattered around;

And from the prick of a sliver

Four or five red drops

Are gathering within…

****

Note:

Perhaps one of the most perceptive poems  about loss that I have ever read , this  one touched me  rather deeply. How often our small yearnings are ruthlessly crushed by  the stark insensitivity of those who claim to love us.

How ironic that a woman  actually needs so little to feel truly loved. But that very innocence is derided often.  The  mockery of the ‘quixotic female mind…’ still continues…

Fenugreek Woman

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Fenugreek is tough

Like a woman.

But soak it overnight with

Water

As a woman in love

It softens beyond imagination.

Then all you need is to mash it-

It becomes a hapless white pulp

That, when used on your scalp

With a sting of lemon juice,

Can ease the most chronic dandruff,

For a while.

Woman too, mushy in love

With that sting of passion,

Serves to soothe the malicious obsession

Of certain men,

For a while.

But the day

You try to smash a dry fenugreek

Hoping for a dandruff solution,

Is the day in which

She  turns around and snarls.

Very dangerous:

Both to hair and health.

*