Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sreelatha Chakravarthy writes


Anaesthesia, you call me,
Anaesthesia who helps you sleep…
You have war memories—bullet on chest, blood vomit,
 Severed head, sockets of eyes in mud of your buddy;
You have losses in love life—unrequited once,
Long-distance one that petered out,
and the wife who slept with another and left;
You have two kids who refuse to call you dad,
A Sunday is what you get to play their guest;
You have a job that suits your handicap, pays you pittance,
You spend the two pence on malt whiskey and vodka;

Anaesthesia, you call me,
Anaesthesia who helps you sleep...
Why have you given me this name I wondered --
Is it because I am vaporous in your life, just ether?
Is it because I am so dumb that I bore you to sleep?
You said, nah, nah, nah, Anaesthesia,
You are neither ether, vapour nor a dream;
You are the drug that helps me sleep
And you would never know...
How it feels to go without sleep for seven days in a row,
Only to finally fall asleep without a limb;
Anaesthesia, I call you,
Anaesthesia who helps me sleep...
They amputated my leg but left phantom memories,
 Shell fragments of life lodged in me hurt still;
Anaesthesia, you hypnotize me and amputate those memories
You help me sleep, you help me sleep....

I may not tell you how pretty you look
With a red dress on you as I stray into a vision;
I may not be able to feel that you are so tired
And have a shabby night gown on with hair in disarray,
For me, you are beautiful in every which way;
And every night, I come to your dwelling and ping,
You are always waiting on the corner of my FB screen,
Anaesthesia, never de-activate your account please....
Anaesthesia...Anaesthesia...Please, help me sleep....

(From the anthology ' A Strange Place Other than Earlobes' by five Indian poets. )


  1. A riddle, a conundrum. What wears a red dress and waits on the corner of the FB screen?

  2. Thanks for posting this poem of mine from the anthology--a strange place other than earlobes. Not answering your query though. Red dress, shabby reality--let imagination turn any colour at all.


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