it is dusk, Kali 
piles the grains
covers them with a tarpaulin
 lest they become wet,
 scatters the empty  stalks 
 to dry, 

Kaliamma  packs up
 lifts her son from the thuli,
 both walk hand in hand
 rejoicing the day which 
 has brought them a fortune.
 Smiling they sing together,
thanga nel aruppu, eleleo , eleleo  

Kali  turns  passionate, pulls 
Kaliamma  to him, holds her tight 
closes her mouth with love, Taken aback 
by the sudden outburst, she 
reciprocates with hesitation, 
perhaps  mindful of me following.

I sweep back the tears 
that come down my cheeks 
unexpectedly,  Stay away allowing 
them to be alone,  They reach home,
and after a hot bath Kali partakes 
the porridge, feeds his wife.

They figure me standing at a distance
Kaliamma fills  the gruel in the palm leaf cup
My eyes glisten with tears, as I slowly 
pour down the hot rice down my throat,
As it goes down my food passage, I realize  a
tranquillity never before felt,  admire her simplicity 
Kissing Kaliamma’s  hands,  I experience an untold bliss.


Kali And Kaliamma

gather their kin
 walk to the paddy fields
 carrying a big pot of rice
 prepared the  night before 
along with raw onion, and green 
chillies  finely chopped,

Kaliamma  holds her baby 
close to the bosom, pulls 
the saree over the child’s head 
trots briskly with  a pot 
of water,   Kalimuthu  sucks 
with a K- Ah sound, suck, swallow,
breathe, resembling a grunt/gulp.

 Kali and his men invoke  the God Ayyanar
 for a bountiful harvest,  They
cut the stalks with  their sharp sizzles, 
dazzling bright in the morning sun light.
A swish  swish sound fills the air.

Kali sings the  harvest song 
while the other men follow 
“ello ello — ayelesha ‘ 
a song that lifts their spirit 
and  eases their pain,  Corona 
Dengue and other fevers do not deter. 

 Kaliamma  enters with her gang.
 collects the stalk, places them 
on the heads of the women who have 
 placed  rolled pieces of cloth on their heads,
 called as summadu  

The women  trot, balance the load, 
 run towards  athe place
marked for beating the stalks 
to remove the husk,   called 
as  Kalathumedu.

The man and wife slog 
while  their sonsleeps 
in the make shift  thuli
an old saree goes round  the sturdy  
branch of a neem tree,   by knotting 
the two ends  the cradle  is formed.

Sucking his thumb Kalimuthu 
sleeps content, The cradle 
oscillates  gently  in the breeze.


Carbon Footprint

Pandemic has made
home an office, 
turned to a school.

Confinement is the word
one hears these two years 
 restrictions as experienced,

There has been hardships,
heart breaks, deaths, fear
so be the negatives.

Air traffic has gone down almost 
 so do the vehicular  movements,
 minimizing carbon emission.

Could these have  impacted
 the carbon footprints?
releasing a  feel good  impression.

I see  good rains in my region
 seemingly similar to the monsoons 
during the sixties,

A far fetched theory, I do admit
 as I am no weather forecaster
nor an environmental  scientist.

 I am  an ordinary citizen who senses 
 a spectacular change for the better,
 in the form of rain, sun and trees.


Colours, Colours

black, white, blue and green
red, yellow, brown and orange,
the shades referred as pastel,
bright, soft, striking,  appealing 
 and appeasing  to the beholder

 Black is beautiful,
shining and sparkling
 held with contempt by those
 who consider white as superior,
 the racial discrimination
 runs deep, non destroyable,

The metal gold takes the cue
 of yellow, brilliant and bright
 loved by one and all, again 
 the colour of a race known 
as Mongolian who inhabit 
the Asian region.

The  Red Indians natives of the land 
discovered by Columbus 
pushed to the corner by the Whites, the 
red  hue  represents danger, one that 
cautions, stands for Stop In the signal
liked by most, catches the eyes either way
 graceful and gaudy.

Blue  qualifies Nature, sky, sea,
river, water in general, though 
water is termed as colourless liquid.
 Boys go with blue, the hamper 
for boy babies consists of bluish articles.
Blue blood commands royalty, while blue 
veins crack a deficiency, mainly of the heart.

Green denotes prosperity, Go green, the slogan
cares most for the environment, The lush 
green forests, foliage , the vast expanse of grass
propose a feast to the eyes, a source that bring 
rains and breeze, promoting the much talked  
about subject, ” Climate Change” The others 
follow the brigade  in rapt attention,

So passes the rays  of  the long story 
of colours, bright and dark, somber and sullen,
 reflecting feeling  and sentiments
each one for an occasion, a  galaxy
that none can spare nor shun.


Beige And Scarlet- Mix And Match

Paint the body beige
the border scarlet
I shout  from down below.

 Painters are up, balancing 
 on the scaffolding with 
 paint and brush,

 I stand  in the sun
 holding an umbrella 
 sporting sunglasses,

those above turn 
towards me , braving 
the heat,

Clad in shorts  and a T. Shirt
they are there from 8 am 
in the morning.

Unmindful of their discomforts
 I keep on screaming
 add a little more of stain

make the red a wee lighter
 at the corners. The window sills 
need to be darker  red 

the walls  should render warmth. 
 a little lighter one of beige.
 Condescending they  pay

attention to my demands.
It is lunch time they descend 
walk  hurriedly towards me,

I take a step backward, a bit 
uneasy, They come closer,
I go back a little .

Nearing me, they say in a chorus,
Amma, You taught us how to mix 
and match. Appa!    I cry, relieved,

Expecting an accusation.
 as an heartless woman
 I accost an appreciation.
 Stand  elated!


Blood In My Veins

The portrait  of a child
pretty but it is her 
simple  smiling’
innocence wins the heart,

I watch the display 
 for full 30 minutes
“she must be”,  I  tell myself
“from my country”.

I meet the artist , who is 
from my part of the world,
coming closer  exactly from
my home town,

A pleasant conversation reveals 
the  little girl  is from a  family, 
who  have quietly done 
a lot for the community. 

She is none other than my aunt
who died young,   Her affability, I
recollect, had  made her an icon
 I am stoned, Don’t  we say,
blood is Thicker than water.


Five In The Brood

it is about the siblings,
five of them  born with me,
one has departed recently,
 have been so unkind, very
 indifferent to me whatsoever 
reasons it could be, I am 
 unable to explore,

Being the fourth child 
 with two elder brothers
 and two younger ones
 and an older sister, the eldest
 I am a kind of sandwich 
 pressed on all directions.
 a silent but a sensitive one.

They quarrel, keep away 
from each other  for years,
 only  to conjoin more firmly 
soon after, forgetting 
the insinuations and insults 
as if nothing has taken place
sharing the bounties among them.

I am the one who stays away
 participate to the least
 being tied up with personal 
involvements, There arose a time 
when they and my parents 
not to leave them started to think
there being only five not six in the brood

Living very close in  body
distanced away in soul and spirit
I am perhaps considered dead and gone
years ago, decades back while I live 
in flesh and blood till date observing 
the partiality extended to me, a kind 
of accepting  deceit with disregard. 



It is dusk
a slight drizzle 
 and light breeze 
 mark the day.

Brass  shining diyas ,
take the lead.
Ilupai  oil is poured  
over the thread wick
find their place 

in the most coveted spaces 
of the entrance, window sills,
steps, patio,, Lighting them’
at the stroke of six,

 they flicker for a second,  pick up
 braving the wind and rain,
Collecting the  earthen ones 
in a basket, I walk towards the 
boundary walls,

placing three tens of mud ones
on the parapet walls,  pairs
 of them on the gate pillars,
 a big  lamp in the Tulasi Madam,

My house  looks divine  
Exciting, to watch the  twilight, 
the lamps emitting  steady flow 
alongside  the cool breeze  
which penetrates through the skin

I stand in the rain. It is 
pure ecstasy, blissful
 moving me to tears.
 no  electric illumination
could surpass.


The Old Man Out Ther

 majestic and huge,
 breathes life all through
 looks a little pale 

when I see him 
in the morning.

Why does he look forlorn?
 casting his eyes downward
 remaining still and sullen
some what a grief,  
or a disappointment 
 runs undercurrent.

Ay! oldie, what is the matter?
 I go near him touch his broad 
shoulders, hold his hands
 with compassion, he shows 
no move, Seeing into his eyes.
 I decipher a sadness.

The old man who stands
is none other than my 
 big Neem Tree,  my friend
 with whom I exchange 
ideas, interact, share 
both joy and sorrow.

Exhausted and feeling 
not alright, withstanding 
the continuous downpour
the gigantic tree appears dull
perhaps afflicted by a viral 
unknown to his fraternity.


Salam Alaikum

 I cannot believe. think of 
what has happened 
 quite unexpected,’ 
as I check and recheck 
the email  l which has landed 
a few minutes back,

it is in Malay, I know
very little of Bahasa Malay. 
Translate using Google, Once , it 
looks as though  I have been 
granted a full waiver in terms  
of payment. Incredible!
 I mutter.

Repeating the exercise, I am the one

who  suspects the most genuine, believes 
the fakest  easily. find that I have to 
pay in full on the stipulated date, 
 Aiyo! how am I going to do?

I cry, Check the bank accounts.
which reveals   minimum balance.
 Aiyo, I  wail.   Pacing up and down,
squeezing  the pallu of my saree.
sit and stand like a child, pour 
a glass of water down my throat.

 Click, click, tweets my mobile,
 I hasten to read the new message, 
fearing what adversities  are going 
to confront me further,
It reads, ” Cukai Dilepaskan
meaning full waiver. Thanking ,
Heavens,  I bow, greeting
 ” Salam Alaikum”   Salam Alaikum”