Poems of Sagacity : Prof Veerankutty,(Translation from Malayalam)

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1. For You

**

It is good,

That God  has kept

My mind

In an unseen place.

Even you  won’t be able to discern,

The love I have,

( For you, dearest)

Which is hidden inside it.

**

2. On Aging

**

On aging,

My words shall not

Regret painfully-

That they have to

Recline forever

Inside

A dictionary.

After all,

The memory of having spent

Their youth

Indulging in poems

( About you, dearest)

Is constantly with them.

**

3. Till The World Ends

**

Language was drawing

Its very last life- breath.

Then

Someone whispered,

‘ I love you.’

And  the heart beat

Started again.

The heels pulsed with

Energy,

To leap

Till the world’s end.

**

4. Dying

**

Dying

Is like the parting of ways

After a  lover’s tiff:

Shall never disclose

Where it is headed for.

**

5.  The Secret

**

What the Rain was shy to reveal,

Was written  down by the Lightning.

But Thunder turned out

To be a tactless confidante!

Blurted it all,

Noisily

To everyone.

**

6.  With God

No lightning flash,

Or any lit lamp,

Hereabouts.

Then from where

Has this light arisen?

Look-

When no one is around,

An infant in the cradle

Is gleefully playing

With God!

**

7. The Fence

**

Behold!

The thorny fence

Has sprouted flowers:

Much loftier

Than all the  hate-filled sounds

We made

Over that border!

**

8.  Love-Grape

How bitterly

You rued

The day when you

Got a pimple

On your face!

I longingly looked on,

As sweetness welled within,

At that

Love- grape

Ripened by God.

**

9. Visit

**

Like sunshine  falling on water

You entered my life.

Like the dew drop on a leaf

You left me behind too.

Yet I am grateful to you-

For those few moments of togetherness:

When you made our embrace,

Look like pure crystal.

**

10. Corrigendum

**

What I had perceived

While staring at the darkness

Turned to be all lies.

The light

Revealed the truth.

**

 

 

 

Poems of Passion: Prof Veerankutty (Translation from Malayalam)

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1. Who said so?

Who said that

Humans cannot fly ?

Let them produce

The evidence then,

Of your feet having touched

The ground,

Ever since you fell in love.

**

2. As if unseen

Whatever you are doing-

As if unseen by anyone,

I am cognisant of it all.

My only regret:

I cannot convey it

In a language

Unheard by anyone else.

**

3. Willingness

Anyone could have come,

Instead

You chose to come yourself.

You could have come any day,

But you came today itself.

You need not have come,

Yet you came;

I got to know of it.

The seat before you

By the side of the sea shore,

Shall be bereft of my presence.

Tonight

All alone,

In that silence

Where even a foot step’s echo

Cannot intrude,

I want to reminisce

About

Your willingness

To meet me.

**

4. Unable to hide

How lovely to see your

Land!

I caught sight of a tree

In full bloom

Amidst all that green!

It was unable to hide

The spreading blush-

Like you caught unaware,

In an unexpected kiss.

**

5. Lightning

Your smile struck

Me down,

Just once!

I have died many times

Thence.

**

6.  Futile

Alone,

I climbed a hill

And stared down at the valley.

A  wandering breeze

Sent

By God,

Came by,

And tried to

Skirt around me-

In a futile effort

To compensate

Your absence.

I could not help

Laughing.

**

7. Sticker

Two life- spirits

Unexpectedly

Unite

In any love affair.

They endure

The agonised helplessness

Of being wrenched apart

When they separate.

8. Unique

I am the Fire

You

The  fragrant oil.

In the light cast about

As we

Burn together

God

Completes

A love poem.

**

8. Promise

I shall come seeking you

Forever.

Irrespective

Of the number of times

I am turned back.

I read my own promise-

In the language of the waves.

**

9. Mine

There a few things

Totally belonging to me.

God

Mind

Life

Then you.

(Ah, you mock:

‘Where are these anyway?’)

I have not seen any of those!

We are always busy,

Aren’t we-

Involved deeply

With all that  which remain

Unseen?

10. Who are you?

Who are you?

The one who is willing

To run towards

Someone like me

Who is lazy

To  put a step

Forward?

**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

**

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wonder and other short Poems : Prof Veeran Kutty (Translation from Malayalam)

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1. Wonder

With the same mouth and lips

That you used for a

Careless yawn

Which devastated me

A moment ago,

You now create a smile

Which fills me with wonder!

**

2. Nourishment

God knows

How to nurture friendship.

What starts as a piece of coal

Turns sparkling, and golden

When we  give and receive between us.

Why regret  bitterly,

If it is lost somewhere in the midst?

It would have turned into a

Diamond

By the time of its retrieval.

God knows

How to turn love into something hard.

**

3.  Beauty

God created

Only your body.

When He wiped the paint off,

The rest

Of the world

Came into being.

**

4. Between Us

When it reaches

Between us,

The breeze becomes

A watchful feline.

Perhaps

The perspiration of lovers

Is redolent of milk.

**

5. Intermingled

To separate the lamps

That we had once exchanged

Distinguishing them as Yours and Mine

Is difficult, but not impossible

As we part  our ways.

But

How can we segregate

Their intermingled light?

**

6. In Your Silence

There is a warning in your silence-

As if there is a hidden tempest

In the air whirring around me.

In your smile that kills,

Hides a tantalising promise:

Like a death by drowning

Waiting in the clear deep waters.

**

7. Request

I am a lamp

Lighted up by your smile.

It  is prone  to flicker

With every sigh of yours,

And likely to die out

With your tears.

******+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

****

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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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.

TWO

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.

THREE

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.

FOUR

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)

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1. The Heaviness of the Rain

If someone were to dislodge

A pot full of water over your

Head

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

Absorb

All the heat

Burdening  us.

Someone

Picks up  our shocking failures,

Split them into  thin

Hair-like strands,

Places those

Feather-like

On our heads.

Someone

Who has rain

Within Him.

**

2.  The House of The Dead

No house in this world

Can equal the Taj Mahal.

Yet

There comes a time

Glorious:

When every house

Turns into a Taj.

When someone

Lost in an inexplicable

Helplessness,

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

House?

They belong to the great

Outdoors.

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)

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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?

**

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

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Chuvadukal (  The Dance Steps): Shri.Veerankutty

(Malayala Manorama Annual Issue, 2016)

^^^

One should ask the hurricane

About the patience needed to teach

Ancient trees,

Dance.

The effort is lesser comparatively,

To teach singing to

The bamboo groves.

Still,

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

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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)

You

Should

Look at me,

Amid the trees.

I  would be

Looking at you too,

Likewise.

It is just to see,

Who would be the first

Among us

To dry up;

When summer

Arrives.

2.  Request ( Apeksha)

Dear God,

In case you are planning

To  banish me

From

Love-

Do give a hint,

Early on.

I have to make

Certain arrangements

Before death.

3. Precision ( Sookshmata)

Our love

Might escape

Deterioration

For quite a while-

Since you are

Already

Laminating it

With your tears.

4. In the same rain ( Ore Mazhayil)

Two separate births,

Ours-

In two different places.

Yet,

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

Ever

Obliterate us?

5. In Love( Pranayathal)

How long did this house,

Made of

Darkness

Survive?

Until

They arrived-

Blinded with love.

Now,

It has become

A house of light.

Little suns

Are at play,

In the front yard.

6. This lightning( Minnale)

Love,

Will make us sit on

Rods without insulation.

The vibrations,

Shall make our beaks

Touch each other.

Then,

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?