Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kalachuvadu Articles

sharing links to my articles in Tamil that have appeared in Kalachuvadu magazine

(1) வேட்டைக்களமல்ல விளையாட்டுப் பொருளல்ல - an anti-homophobic review of the film "Vettaiyadu Vilayadu," Kalachuvadu, Issue 82, October 2006

(2) தமிழ் வாழ்வில் காதல் - an autobiographical piece, Kalachuvadu, Issue 83, November 2006.

(3) தோட்டத்தில் இரகசியமாக - On a short story by Jean Arasanayagam, Kalachuvadu, Issue 85, December 2006

(4) காத்திருத்தலின் கலை அனுபவம் - a review of Sandra Chatterjee's "Waiting for Rasika," Kalachuvadu, Issue 90, May 2007

(5) பாலியல் உரிமை - transcript of a speech delivered at a seminar கருத்துரிமையும் வாழ்வுரிமையும் in June 2008 - Kalachuvadu, Issue 104, August 2008.

(7) காதலும் காமமும் - உடைபடும் கற்பிதங்கள் - Kalachuvadu, Issue 115, (though I write this, it is better to mention it as Kalachuvadu editorial, I think)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Dance of Death

One of my poems has appeared in the September issue of the online journal Danse Macabre. Titled "Dance of Death," the poem keeps to the overall theme of the issue - Totentanze

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Wislawa Szymborksa - Translations

Do check out my Tamil translation of Wislawa Szymborka's Nobel Prize acceptance speech (1996) from English (original Polish) - published in Kalachuvadu
and also
my translations of some of her poems, again from their English translations by Stanislaw Baranczak and Claire Cavanagh

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Death left for good by the last train

Death left for good by the last train,
and my grandmother stood waving to it.
Not in farewell, but frantically,
to stop it and get aboard. She would have run,
if she could. But now she will only get better
and better in not being able to run,
she will build it up like a storied cake
that endlessly climbs the skies of her
storied past. But no death will be the cherry
on top. For death left for good
by the last train.

I was just beginning to get used to death,
when it chose to leave for good
by the last train. Its scent,
that once spread as strong
as the slapping grin of a jasmined head
in a sweaty bus, ceased to be. Forgive me,
but it had nothing to do with the fragrance
of hospital corridors; the scent of fear.
Death smelled of a million things.
Of coffee from a half-drunk cup, the soap
that smoothed out the fall in the bathroom,
the old starch of the saree that strangled,
the car perfume fighting the blood stench
on the steering wheel, etc.

But mostly death was sound for me. It took
voices away.Many dear ones I mourn,
I have forgotten how they sounded.
I hear them in my own voice now,
as if reading them from a book;
they have been muted out.
But now voices will stay and sing
and speak and curse forever,
at once, or taking turns, or muffling each other,
but forever.
They will also mourn the only thing
to be mourned: that death left for good
by the last train.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I recently learned to tell between two[*] insomnias -

the one brought in by our being together, bodies entwined

in wanton discomfort, and the other

where they lie awake, trying to remember

the entwinement.

Of course, I choose, without equanimity and shame,

the former.

Leave those marks of insomnia on my neck,

and I shall gladly offer you

what these bags under my eyes hold.

[*] The reference is to the following one from Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks:

When I am with you, we stay up all night,
When you’re not here, I can’t get to sleep.
Praise God for these two insomnias!

And the difference between them.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Body Music

I watched out for my mind
to begin to sing
the song of separation.
On a night's vigil I heard
the refrain starting.
It was my body.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Glorious Day

I have my days of glory.
Eyes tinted with last night's desires -
variously met and unmet -
men walk past me
to their days of toil.
I become taut at the attention
from the morning eyes
all weak with a conviction
to keep desire in check -
toes may tingle, but inside the shoes;
the fount may tease to spring forth, but
not beyond the belt;
the heart might well up, but
can choke at the tie knot.
Desire still rushes to the pupil
and peeps out.
Even ones like me are seen
and wanted
in the rush hour flurry of bodies
by eyes craving the night.