I Turn A Planter.


An experience of a kind,
from the comforts of the living room
to the hot oil palm estates,
a startling one!
I flew to Malaysia
a decade back
to participate in a festival
God willed it otherwise
I am deep into business
full time as much.

Teluk Intan.the town, where I am,
is commended as the best zone
for oil palm cultivation
having fertile black alluvial soil
most suitable for palms.

I, in my new role, as a planter,
wear big estate boots
don a straw hat and grab
a walking stick to support me
in case, I slip on the marshy tract
with packed lunch, all arrangements pacca.

I start my first day’s work
I find
the trees, tall almost 40 feet
fruits, big weighing 50 kilos
a massiveness in all
surroundings inordinately hot
possessed by a silence,
deadly silence, fearful.

Awesome and amazing on one side
uncomfortable and stuffy on the other
Gosh! I sweat in and out.
the palms release excess humidity
adding to the global warming

My journey has begun
before I could come to terms
a visit to the estates turns compulsory
every fifteenth day, I mark my attendance,
not for the sake but in earnest.

I supervise the harvest
learn to speak a few words in Malay
boleh, pegi, mana, makan
(can, go, where, food)
address the workers as cawan
meaning my good friend.

Harvesting is done with long rods
could be lengthened and shortened
according to the tree’s height.
A sickle is attached to the rod
a sharp cut on the exact spot
and a heavy pull brings the fruit down
it falls with a huge noise.- thud
the heart jumps out.

A novice I am, as seen in an incident
being engrossed in foreseeing the harvest
failed to notice the fall of a fruit
I was fortunately pushed aside by one of the harvesters
but for that, my head would have been
and my brains would have jutted out.

The pickers,
with a wheelbarrow
pick the fruits with ease
pile them in heaps
at a vantage point in each row.
I go behind each harvester
talk in bahasa Melayu
ini, ini, buah, buah I shout
pointing to the fruits they have missed
he nods and says boleh .

I order the pickers to collect
the loose berries lying around
call out to them sini mari la[/i
funny to see me turn into
a hard task master.

It is the way I learnt
it is how I live today.
behind the harvesters
between the rows of [i]kelapa sawit
beneath the trees
with the orangutans and snakes
playing around.

I walk past the rows briskly
a leech (attai) clings to my sari
crawls stealthily in
clings to my calf muscles
I shout with pain,
try to seize it
it stuck even more steadfast
sucked the blood through
fell down dead soon after.

I cried ayyaaoo ayaaooo in pain
excruciating it was, my eyes well
the harvester smiled all knowingly
said to me gently, with a concern
puan, tidak much untuk menjadi seorang penanam kelapa sawit
“it is not easy to be a planter.”



The Pournami deity came on the chariot illuminated
the moon was in its full strength(pournami)
the chant rocked the sky in length
the feverish fervour rose to heights

The beautiful silver chariot
with wonderful workmanship all around
and floral garlands strewn over
was a delight to the eyes.

The morning saw a fanatic devotion
people walked to the portals
with scepters dodging out
of the tongue and the back

The devotees pulled the decked kavadis
massive and weighing tons
others carried them on the shoulders
as they ran to the sanctum sanctorium.

It was a amazement to see the sight
lovely and frightening at the same time
colourful and gaudy at the moment
real and incredible at times

The evening saw a distinction superior
mean not the morning was inferior
the feel was an assuage and relish
with the crowd diffused in piety.

The deity with a smile sweet
had a fastidious charm
when the chariot moved slowly forward
pulled by the stout bulls firmly.

The cheer gradually enhanced
as the deity came closer
the exhilaration reached its peak
the ecstasy was bewildering .

The prayers were in soft melody
coconuts were broken in thousands
with faith and belief staunch
as it brought enormous fortune.

The festival in the alien land
thousand of miles across the native soil
celebrated by a community so small
draws crowds large in hundreds of thousands.

The sleepy town of Teluk Intan
surrounded by river on three sides
a tiny peninsula in the straits of malaysia
woke up in a starchitra pournamitle to the Pournami rhythm.


The Image Of Malaysia

The nation is in dilemma
everything there is an enigma
law and order being ever absent
corruption being thoroughly present.

The “boleh “land as Malaysia is called
beaten up by the latest slip and crawl
that be of the disappearance of a flight
attributing various reasons for on sight.

The Police take no action against theft
race up when there is a speeding by a car
they sit in their “Balai Polis” hearing a murder
never do they conduct any investigation thither.

The judges speak not justice on the whole
try to find an easy loop-hole
money plays a part in government offices
the more you pay the most you get as large pieces.

Lazy be the synonym of its people largely
drinking and enjoying in “kopi kedai” mostly
eating out all the times inordinately.
doing nothing at home totally.

The vanishing flight has tarnished the image
the grieving families of the passengers is enraged
making easy money from the revenue of palm oil plantations
agonised the rain and the weather too have started their ration.

This year the country is hot and moist
with water scarcity staring hard in the foist
receiving less rain the country with the open drainage
would be thwarted by its sanitary modules of age.

It is time for the Malaysian leaders to wake up
see around them the nations that have grown up
scourge its system in a pace fast and kedai kopioil palmquick
as it is a country that should tick.


The Sun Is Still Sleeping In Malaysia

It is still dark outside 

with the time being 7 in the morning

no sound of the birds  on all sides

not that of the honking of cars or any ring

this would be the usual I feel

where the sun sets as late as 8 in the evening

needing a download (61)twelve-hour break  in its steal

the sun would be up only 8 in the morning

This has escaped my attention all through

might be I would have got late

might be I did not go out and see being true

might also be I being preoccupied  in a rate

with the regular chores

that I forgot to note

the sun rise in the morn. from its source

More or less I conclude

the blame is not on the sun

but on the government  all in an include

that has set the timing so be not it a fun


Hot, Hot, Malaysia

I see heat really  with my eyes 

 How come ? you might ask.  as if it is a lie 

It is seen actually  right before

The roads glitter in the sun  all the more

It is silvery everywhere  across the tar road

The glare is too much  to bear on board

It is so shining  and blinding

catching the eyes in a ring

not really capturing the eyes as such

not really seizing the eyes  as much

Well really ceasing the eye sight

it being so shiny  and reflective  in a bite

that I could not see over  at all

but see the heat alone  while I fall

Hope you come to terms with me  now

Where ?you would ask  to know

Oh! let me tell you  the place

it is so in Malaysia

where the heat is existential  with might

with no rains almost for a fortnight

while my washed clothes dry up in an hour

my plants wither in   twenty four hours

my trees dry up in a week mostly

while  I suffer a sun stroke  essentially

withstanding the exhaustion  efficiently

a little exposure to the sun

tan the complexion not brown

but turning to soot black

Well, that is how is Malaysia

with heat circulating around

and Malaysia rains not be found







The Year Of The Horse

The chinese over here 

 are chinesegoing gay with New Year

being in malaysia for generations together

far away from their mainland

 firing crackers and enjoying

 going to the temples and praying

 that being the Year of the Horse


where everything would go in a gallop

as the astrologers predict

there could be volcano eruptions

and unrest among the people

conflicts would mount

tensions would prevail

with business not so glittering

while the lumber  business

would prosper  and thrive

there be a lie down

for those born in the year of Horse

as the Ying-Yang is not balanced

with the Chinese astrologers

giving all sorts of cautions

but the year has begun

let us wait for another twelve months

and find out what is in store


The Distinctive Strains.

The distinctions of the two countries

keep me at the anvil

one being laid back  and clean

the other being buzzing and unclean.


The countries I talk about

being varied in ethnic

all religions stay put and  abound

one with three races in the round.


The languages and dialects in one

becomes countless in the go

with some without alphabets

only going by the talking


The other being a settlement

with one race claiming to be native

the other two coming  for livelihood

having  enriched the land  of occupation.


The ancient land with a heritage

and a beautiful culture

known for its great stature

remains so in the annals .


The second one being a small nation

when held in close  comparison with the other

has a compact land area and population

with fertility being its chosen play.


The ancient land teeming

and bustling with men

holds the pride in technical  front

yet is being locked in corruption.


The same goes with this peninsula

for that matter  the distinctions go amiss

as both countries  are peninsular

being equally corrupt.


The discriminations being dealt so far

being marked in areas of density  and cleanliness

earmark the  validity of the nations 1-3122India and Malaysia

that lie in the Asian continent,














Namaste And Salaam

hamsa-damayanthiIt is namaste that greets me
wherever I go around the world
seeing me in saree that looks different
in my own country where saree being the national dress
as women move about in pants and T-shirts
and my bindi which is another incongruity
largely round in my forehead shining red
which too has become obsolete in my country
where women go with no marks on the forehead
or the bare minimum being a tiny dot
that is not visible from a distance long
but could be noted in close quarters
with a salaam I an shown a place not at the back
but given to take a prominent position
right in the front among the very important
granting me great respect and warmth
which others in modern attire do not get
Proud to be in my own attire with the saree
draped around with pleets and folds
a perfect dress in which I feel at home
whilst the other modern attires seem something out-of-place
very much alien to me while I wonder
how people move about in such forms
that get tight and strain the muscle
forsaking the comforts of the loose
almost an enviable six yard cloth
that needs no stitching and requires no fittings.
Like my sari namaste is also so loving to me
keeping me at home at any part of the world
as I tend to wander all over the world
while a salaam chooses a precious
salutations that make me know that I am being
acknowledged by my Muslim brothers as well
Namaste ans salaam are an integral part of my life.
having one foot in the Indian subcontinent
and the other planted in the Malaysian peninsula


One Malaysia

One Malaysia they say with pride
is it worth the ride?
Malays,in their country
get through with all concessions.
Chinese with their business brain
go through with less strain
Indians with their hard work
reach not near the top .
The three races still go on
have their own identity to an extent
living in areas best suited for them
mixing up with the youth picking relations
converting to the religion out of necessity
as to keep up the pace of harmony
but still there remains a divide
very discreet and very phenomenal
that could be keenly felt
and faintly experienced
Yet, Malaysia pulls on
not on policies great
but on the unity of the races
which had lived for centuries together.onemalaysia


Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri

The country where I live most
has a distinct character utmost
formed of three races all the more
it abounds in festivals even more.
With the festivals come the celebrations
along with rejoice and reverberations
where shops and stalls abound
where every town and city rebound
people move up and down
paying obeisance to the elders in the town
above all with holidays all around
for every festivals in the round
be it Muslim, Chinese and Indian all through
while the country goes on a holidaying mostly through
with days becoming weeks in the go
while the administration halts with the bow
The country has gone on thus for years together
easy-going and enjoying on the whole altogether.
It would be a surprise to any one coming from other lands
as they had been taxed and worked up too much in their own land.
This little peninsula Malaysia,in the far east frames its own time
living and working as it wishes not minding the clock’s chime.Hari rayaobeisance.