One of a man  Nagappa Aiya
climbs the  steps
of the Motta Gopuram, turns east,
places a stone  on the Ishanya ( North East) 
a start  to complete the unfinished one.

Masons fear to ascend  
 as  earlier attempts ended 
in disaster. The bald vihar
transforms into a sculptural marvel  
Stands  at par to the  other three vihars
 on east, west and south,

 Nagappa Aiya  goes to the temple 
every night, witnesses  the puja
 walks home  with the prasad. 
it happens, he was away, could not make
 it to the evening puja,  rains force him 
 to break the journey, 

  On the couch ‘of his cart,
he falls asleep,  head knocking
on the wooden bolsters. He sits up
to a girl’s laughter accompanied 
 by  the anklets chime.

Nagappa. Nagappa  she 
calls thrice, Clad in pattu pavadai
the lovely lass gives  Chakra pongal
and  milk in golden vessels,
Aghast  at the sight – Meenakshi as a girl
 he remains speechless.

She runs a little distance, bids him 
to eat, the rain drenching her,
Aiya  partakes the prasad in a hurry,
 calls amma, amma, She is 
nowhere to be seen.  An apparition,
he believes.

Next morning he  rushes 
to the temple. It is in  chaos 
Shocked to see Nagappa aiya
‘with the golden vessels, the priests eye
 him with suspicion.  At the moment.

from the sanctum,  Meenaksi’s 
words reverberate through the corridors.
 It is I who brought the prasad 
to you in the night, Nagappa ,
knowing well that you will go
to sleep without dinner. 

 Nagappa Aiya   resolves 
 not to leave the town.
Stays stoic while
his wife is fighting 
for life  in the  native village,
 He remains even more stubborn.
when he learns of her death.


By meenas17

A lover of classical Carnatic music.
An avid reader, passionate writer, into stocks and investments for livelihood

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