Monday, May 23, 2016
A. V. Koshy writes
An Epic Poem on Childhood - 3 - The Diary of Leaving
Leaving is not leavings.
The landscape of childhood with its plantain trees,
yams and creeping bitttergourd vines
is the richest source for one's future;
discovered much later.
The language unlearned is a loss.
Living in books, printed pages and far away realms of the imagination is not enough, dear Breath.
Looking at the 'kaduvas' from a distance,
not knowing what the others were up to
not being sunk in native soil
as if they were oddments;
all of it something that added up to and increased my loss.
Not that I don't hate the culture terrorists
or the moral police, the religious fanatics and the insane identity
but the broadening, widening canvas of colours
also loses much specificity.
Search for essence makes one lose all sense of belonging.
The child I was now floats forever in an empty sky like those
tiny parachutes in which unseen fairies still cuddle
my 'appooppan's thaadi' with its silvery gossamer filaments
so ethereally beautiful, searching desperately for crannies,
places to lodge, safe catchment areas, sheer and mere good ground
to call "my Home" and flourish;
but all that's left is the nature of the 'udumbu,' a frown emoticon
Won't you love me?
We are different and most of what you are or what I am
will never be known by each other,
separated by languages, customs, rituals and rites
and a million other things; of strangeness, differences,
Yet love me, please - sex is not a construct
and touch, taste and smell can create memories - a new his and
that can overlay, if assiduously pursued, an eternity of palimpsests
and give us for a while or ever, if so be it is destined, a feeling of
But even that is not real anymore in these new whorls
where the voice I hear is once removed from reality
as are the moving images I see,
The words are not material;
Your hands made no paper want to make you blush
and the writing is deflected by the lack of calligraphy
that might have charmingly hid more than it revealed.
So, as in under the water experiments for seismic disturbance,
from a great distance I hear the earthquake faults being plumbed
and if everything collapses like the new video games
that thirst more for destruction than alleviation or value,
brownling, my dearest Breath, let us close our eyes and return to our childhood gardens,
a little kanthari will spice up our poor man's meal of kanji vellam
some mango and/or lime pickle and a few button onions crushed to
balance it all off nicely,
while the swing awaits;
your ribboned pleats fly in the air already
in anticipation of my hands that will push you up
up, up, up, unreachable into the infinity of the blue sky
and the spinning green up there and the white clouds and the
dazzling in the summer with crow pheasant calls and kuyil songs
the leaves falling down occasionally under the mango tree, on your
hair and blouse and skirt.
The brook, miles away, unheard, keeps gushing like our veins.
Still the heart beats with restless questions.
Who am I? Why born? When to die? What is life?
Like the pulse and breath and heartbeat; like air, water and food
and the other unanswered because unasked questions:
Do you love me? Did you ever really love me? Will you, forever?
Village girl, can't you see
it was that rusticity in you that I loved and that imaginary, imagined
child that usurped my heart
leaving me and you helpless, bleeding silently?
Mutual, this our suffering but endless now my wandering leaving, leaving, leaving...
walking endless roads alone.
Are these leavings like leaving?
Then I refuse to acknowledge it.