Wednesday, 26 March 2008


On my native land,
After a Ramanic exile,
for just two weeks
of pleasant acquaintance.

Years that have gone by
Show as wrinkles
On people’s faces.

Scores of faces—few
That I remember, None distinctly,
Some that have been revived in the memory
by photographs;
hundreds that have been heard of—
A jungle of faces that know me,
but whom I know nothing about.

The land that smells different:
Sometimes the common stench,
Sometimes a unique fragrance,
And lots to remember
for a long time hence.

The people that seem familiar—
The wavy black hair,
Oily dark faces,
Thick moustaches, and
Delightful accents.

The routines that assume
a fascinating surprise—
The temple- visits,
The bus travels,
The tea- shop rendezvous
and playtime blues.

The attire that pleases
the eyes forever—
The kasavu saree,
The gold, the bangles,
and the pattu- pavadas.

One by one,
they recede from memory,
As one goes back to one’s land of settlement.
And once again,
The faces,
The people,
The lifestyle,
and The tradition
That you grew up seeing...
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