Manjunath was 23. Manjunath was wearing a hooded, oversized black jacket with patterns resembling paintings of Pollock. It was raining more than a few hours everyday for six days continuously, it was drizzling that evening, he is kneeling before the image of Mary contained in a glass enclosing, situated in a meeting of four roads. Other devotees of Mary, a tiny sized man wearing a white dhoti, some sheep and a dog are frozen as images inside the glass dome and are safe from the rain, flooded by lights from all sides. Manjunath was alone outside it. He is praying…
I swallowed a small type steel ball
I don’t know how I got hold of it
When it was in my hand, I wondered what if I swallow it
Wherever I hid it, I found it again
A steel ball like that,
I did not know a place to keep it where I won’t find it again
I swallowed it suddenly
When it was in my hand, my hand itched
I had to control one hand with another
Biting my hand to hold it down, I had to fight myself
I would have ended up tying both my hands to a tree
With insides already broken, I didn’t want the same…
A quick translation of Poet Isai’s article in Akazh web magazine.
Love for gambling grows when you lose, like
Love for life grows when you suffer.
- Thirukkural, Gambling, 940
Whenever I think about this Kural, my heart adds more weight to the thought. It forgets the limitations of the stanza and multiplies the words,
Love for gambling grows when you lose and lose, like
Love for life grows when you suffer and suffer.
Words multiply into waves and eyes are filled with tears.
This is the last Kural in the chapter about Gambling. Valluvar aimed to warn…
A short story by Ki. Rajanarayanan
Gomathi Chettiar was thirty. When he was born, his parents thought they had a girl child and gave their child the feminine name Gomathi. All seven children born before him were girls. He loved wearing a saree, braiding his hair and decorating it with flowers, wearing bangles and doing other feminine things. Though he had the look of a man, his nature was a woman’s. It suited him as a child to drag out words while speaking and shaking his head. He always played with girls. Even if he had to play with boys…
Two men were talking in an office verandah. One said, “Not even a leaf can move hither thither without the will of God.”
God appeared before them and said, “It looks like you two gentlemen work in this office.”
“Yes, you are right,” said one of the men.
“Then, God knows that some files move hither thither in this office without the will of God,” said God.
“What is the proof for that?” asked one of the men.
“The proof? The proof is that I am God” saying that, God disappeared.
“So God knows this truth too!” …
Translation of a portion from T Dharmaraj’s book, Iyothee Thassar. Can be read online in Tamil here.
Caste, Language, and Religion are among the concepts most fiercely discussed and politicized in twentieth-century India. Social movements of the past century’s India can be identified as creating identities, moving towards power, social reformation activities, liberation of the oppressed, and by many other names. But caste, language, and religion have remained at the centre of all these dialogues and activities.
The idea that Indian society’s structure can be understood by explaining these concepts is ingrained in our research spaces. …
Ever thought about how much little water a little bird drinks every little sip it takes? I have not. When I recently saw a little bird break its long calls to take three little sips of water, I felt mellow.
Every day I wake up and hear the long tweeee tweeees of a neighbour. Some days I hear shorter sounds of gossiping or squabbling, which, I will never know. All the bathrooms in our slightly older four-story building have windows that are connected by two parallel shafts which open onto the terrace. …
Two children were sliding down the railing of a staircase and chatting. They lived in neighbouring houses. As usual, they started to argue.
“If my dad wants, he will hunt a dinosaur” said the boy. His grandma’s house in the village was decorated with ivory. Every time he visits there during holidays, his grandma will tell stories about his grandfather going out hunting and killing hoards of animals.
“We are a hunting family” he said with pride.
“My father too” the girl answered. “He will bring anything if I ask.”
“What will he bring?”
“He will bring the moon, stars…
A crow suddenly flies away
from the terrace.
From my house
left behind by the crow
a cooker whistles.
N. D. Rajkumar
For ancestral sins
I garlanded my father’s photo
made a meal of payasam, papadum and rice
and took it to the crow
with fear in its heart
the crow acts arrogant, and
after I beg caw caw
it comes down and eats
the waiting children eat after the crow.
Next day, the crow comes
and cries caw caw
for a hand of rice
like my father.
After the train left
I shared the loneliness
spread in the station
with a crow
Unable to finish its
share of loneliness
the crow flew away.
My share to eat
Selected from Selvaraj Jegadeesan’s compilation.
Defying multiple layers of
the fever cold
finds a way and
Outside the tightly shut windows
Time sheds its leaves
in reddish orange and
a colour that cannot be named.
The shivering cold
pulls apart the body
inch by inch
with its strong hands.
In the lost words of
the tea lies cold.
'Please bring the sun'
I want to eat
a handful of sand, and feel it
between my teeth.
Translation of Shameela Yoosuf Ali’s ஊர் மருந்து.