Thottu-Thottu Nadakumbol ( When they walk, Brushing against each other) : Prof Veeran Kutty (Translation from Malayalam)



When two lovers walk

Brushing against each other,

God spreads all the paths

Before them-

Those that were rolled up

Till then.

They would hardly notice,

All that velvety-softness

Since they would be walking

Above the earth in those moments.


When two lovers walk

Brushing against each other,

God’s train that comes loaded

With words,

Misses its original track

Before them;

Though they would not be partaking

Any word from it at all.

They would have already mastered

The art of speaking

Without words by then.


When two lovers walk

Brushing against each other,

They would be gifted a time-book

Wherein the seasons vanish,

In the turn of a page.

They would hardly cast a glance at it,

Since their journey had started

Ages before.


Finally,  becoming frustrated,

God might reduce the space

On earth,

For making just one of them stand.

That day, for the first time

They would be satisfied with

God’s generosity.











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


1. The Heaviness of the Rain

If someone were to dislodge

A pot full of water over your


All at once,

Your scalp will sting

Your breath will struggle

The song in your throat-

Will break, slide

And slip inexorably down.

Someone is emptying

The pot of the sky.

Splayed into multiples

Trickling  into  cloth-wicks

It gently

Touches us.

The moist threads


All the heat

Burdening  us.


Picks up  our shocking failures,

Split them into  thin

Hair-like strands,

Places those


On our heads.


Who has rain

Within Him.


2.  The House of The Dead

No house in this world

Can equal the Taj Mahal.


There comes a time


When every house

Turns into a Taj.

When someone

Lost in an inexplicable


Or otherwise,

Mutters to himself

That his home

Is like a tomb.


3. House

I know now

That there is no room for me

In this house.

What is a room?

Just a  stifling thought,

Of those within.

Something which suffocates

As you contemplate.

It is a mere possibility-

Which occurs when there is a wall.

How can you conclude

That the walls belong to the


They belong to the great


If the walls are not of the house,

There is no room.

Hence, no house either.

Look at the outdoors-

That is my room, house.

I am going home,

Do not call me back.


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



When those in love


Nothing really happens

To them.


Two small deaths.


How vast the sky

Of the bird

Not bothered about

When it will die!


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


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?


Chuvadukal: Dance Steps /Poem by Shri.Veerankutty (Translation from Malayalam)


Chuvadukal (  The Dance Steps): Shri.Veerankutty

(Malayala Manorama Annual Issue, 2016)


One should ask the hurricane

About the patience needed to teach

Ancient trees,


The effort is lesser comparatively,

To teach singing to

The bamboo groves.


It is interesting to watch

How the tree solves the problem of

Inability to move its feet,

Through gestures.

The tree stares

With desire,

As the rain dances

A Tillana*

Its feet on the edges of

The fragile glass vessel

Of the Lake.

And daily,

The Karakattam*

Of the glass blades

Balancing the dew drops

On their heads.

The wind  that got trapped

Even as it started to dance,

Within a ball-

Is not letting  it touch

The ground anymore.

Having lost the ball,

The child stands crying-

Unable to follow

Its dance steps.



Tillana- In Kuchipidi form of  classical dance originating in Andhra Pradesh, the dancer places her feet on the edges of a brass plate.

Karakkattam- In this folk dance form of Tamil Nadu, pots are balanced on the heads of devotees who dance around in praise of the Goddess.


Translations : Veeran Kutty Poems


More translations from Malayali writer Veerankutty. From his book, Veerankuttiyude Kavithakal.


Note: As a translator, I was struck by the spirituality and simplicity of the poems.

Having recently translated spiritual poetry  from saints across east and west, including the Sufis, I recollected the moments of admiring similar threads of gold from God’s tapestry of Love Poems.


1. Until existence ceases  ( Illathakum Vare)



Look at me,

Amid the trees.

I  would be

Looking at you too,


It is just to see,

Who would be the first

Among us

To dry up;

When summer


2.  Request ( Apeksha)

Dear God,

In case you are planning

To  banish me



Do give a hint,

Early on.

I have to make

Certain arrangements

Before death.

3. Precision ( Sookshmata)

Our love

Might escape


For quite a while-

Since you are


Laminating it

With your tears.

4. In the same rain ( Ore Mazhayil)

Two separate births,


In two different places.


We can get drenched

In the same rain.

We can touch each other

With the same breeze.

Did we not become blind

In the same lightning?

Even so,

How can a small death


Obliterate us?

5. In Love( Pranayathal)

How long did this house,

Made of




They arrived-

Blinded with love.


It has become

A house of light.

Little suns

Are at play,

In the front yard.

6. This lightning( Minnale)


Will make us sit on

Rods without insulation.

The vibrations,

Shall make our beaks

Touch each other.


Something like lightning

Shall pass through us both.

How can electricity elaborate

On what it feels like

When travelling through lovers?

Say, will it cease violence then?

Shall it cause the lighthouse- trees

On the sea shores,

To bloom out with flowers?


Obscene Words( Poem)/ Teri Vakkukal( Translation)

It is very intriguing to see subversive writing: as in iconoclastic thoughts, sometimes, brilliant writers take an ignored concept and turn it on its head, revealing the world within.

Dr.Clarissa Estes had, in her iconic book, Women Who Run With The Wolves, analysed the etymology of the so called obscene words.

Obscene- from old Hebrew,Ob, meaning a wizard, sorceress.

Dirt: Middle English, drit, probably from Icelandic- excrement. Now extended to obscenity.

To quote Dr.Estes, “…the obscene is not vulgar at all, but rather seems more like some fantastic nature creature that you dearly wish would visit you and be one of your best friends.”

Ahhhhh, serendipity, I murmured when I encountered this poem. Some thoughts, resonate across countries, across genders, across languages and cultures…

The contribution of  ‘Obscene Words’ in a human life, as examined by the Malayali poet Veeran Kutty.



I was trying

to make a


of beautiful words,

Melting them in the heat


Unexpectedly, from somewhere

A word came in:

Copper hair all unruly

Nose dripping

The shirt wrongly buttoned

Seeming  a traveller of many lands, trembling…

Told me, it was an abusive word, driven away by someone

Never invited to a home,

Never allowed entry into writing

I felt like showing it affection,unseen by others.

Abusive word, dear one,

In how many fights, did you make

your presence felt-

Boiling within us?

When you danced on the tongue

The murderous knife,

Turned into one used for filing the nails;

The hand that was about to strike,

Embraced the other instead!

For secrets, which other mother tongue than you?

You unstripped the soul, and laying it down

Lit the fire of lust.

Though I berate you with a thousand tongues

Have prayed often that you will grace me from within.

‘ Enough,..enough…’ it said, as it struggled to get away

‘ You merely praise me thus,

Even you have never given me a space

In your poetry, till now.

The monuments that you build with

Beautiful similes, multi storeyed ones

Will get swallowed by the seas one day

But in hidden places of refuge, my huts shall remain, even then…’

Shouting thus,

With the steps of an ancient creature

It went down into the Forest of Language,

As I stood, watching.




Return Gift



I was gifted a poetry collection of Veeran Kutty on my birthday. Some gifts have to be returned; albeit in another form. So I thought, I will translate a few lines that lighted up my way, and say thank you, to the loving hands that offered the lamp to me.

Expectation( Prateeksha)

I am grateful

For the expectations you had for me,

Till now.


Only God knows

The difficulty, I have had

In keeping them shiny

Till now.

Now those expectations have

Become a mountain

Leaving no space within;

If you could come and take back each

It would  be rather nice.


I have to start


Expecting ,

A few things

Of my  very own.


Friend ( Changathy)


don’t come as rain

to make me sprout life

If tomorrow

you intend to dry me up

turning  into sunshine


Without any reason ( Veruthe)

Do not think

the game of

the shadow

is silly-






it is trying to get over

the suffering


always being

under the same



About You ( Ninne Patti)



a  worm,





woke up







with so much






( All mistakes of translation are mine…😊)