My birth was at the bottom rung of the Western Ghats
at a distance of three rolls only from the boiling
She welcomed me waving her outstretched coconut
She shook the rattle of arecanut bunch.
In the sugarcane press she sat at the teeth and made
me drink the ceaseless flow of affection.
In the paddy, wheat and maize fields with fleshy
songs she fed,
On the fragrant peaks of Jasmin, gorate and Mandara
she lulled me to sleep.
She sieved me with the Jamoon sounds that flowed
from the throat of birds.
To the universal form of the cloud in sky
she added the protoplasm of the Earth.
Under everytree in the underwood the thickly fallen
Dhoopanut sprouts, shrieks and cries;
Wherever the rain wand has touched the ups and
downs there are sprouts, saplings and grass;
The rainbow intoxicating bulb like gorate flirts and
The bee with tinkling anklets lifts the cup of Nanda-
battalu to its lips.
Sitting in the backyard, I the pearl diver dived down
and deeper still;
The green waves swashed and foamed; there were
winds and thunder;
Blinded by the maddening colourful pearls at the
bottom I dallied till the evening;
Though I pulled the winebag sticking to my lips,
my fancy searched its spring.
On the fence, at the edge of the field, on every inch
of the grove
There are maternity homes, pain, anxiety and laughter;
the log sprouts—what beauty, what shrieks and cries!
Nurses and Doctors move in and out—
four persons always follow them;
In the cradle shop the bamboo is cheap;
The priest who christens children knows better the
Packs and packs of worms crawl down to the earth
from the slimy bark,
Flap their wings in the vacuum, clap and dance in the
Under the scorching sun leechlike worms dwell on
Oh what a thirst at the dawn for light.
In the dark waters of Yamuna shines a stone on
the hood of the dark serpent;
Doors, windows, houses, towns and forests looked
The childlike camera eye clicked from every angle.
In the darkness driven room reel after reel was shown
on muslin curtain.
In the ins and outs of the estuary played a chain of
Pearl, gold, emerald, amethyst, red and yellow;
Wherever I fell I was in a snake-coupling;
Lips had the itch and thirst for an ocean;
I opened my eyes and listened to many colours,
My ears were full of green, white, yellow and red.
The cat with ghee smeared forehead was turning like
a top with its tail in the air;
She hugged me more like a mother;
She suffered me repeatedly in her womb;
She throttled birds to sing for me;
She cut the throats of saplings to feed me.
This Dhritarastra love crushed this Bheema;
Nowhere was Krishna’s grace.
My feet have roots in her, vainly I hitched my wagon
to the stars.
Like a spineless coward, I explored the endless path
in the bathroom of my mind.
I am stricken with the secret sin of Oedipus.
I rode a tractor, ploughed and thrashed
I sowed and grew atom bombs
Deadly bacteria was all my joy.
They call me on and on, those heavenly birds
With sixty invitations to the court of wind;
They whisper in my ears, haunt me again and again.
This magician was ineffectual; I got angry with myself,
I dashed my brain against the pillars and windows.
Beating my wings against the walls I shrieked.
I pecked out my feathers and piled them on the
The colt neighed and danced, all round was grass
With the bridle of gold and golden rein,
With a crown of colourful quills over the head,
Harnessed to a coach it danced till its ribs were
‘The body was heavy, the mind was heavier’
‘How can the bride go to her in-laws?
Only the God of Tirupati should help her’
‘Those who pay for ale will all go to heaven’
Study of veda, shastra, purana, prayer and worship;
When the stock of oil is over
She makes a wick before a broken lamp;
Even then this Matron won’t leave me, she raises the
smoke of chillies and scratches the shell for its
When I am carried in a bier, she can’t come out;
She brings forth another child.
In the lac—magic—house of Mother Earth
Memory of Hastinapura was not kindled.
Whether it was constructed by Maya of Suyodhana
I need not doubt till I scratch a match.
I enjoyed myself there: I skated on the slippery floor
from the front yard to the inner darkness.
“Who goes there? My mother?”
“Mother? what is this madness? you stupid
“Are you fury or fire, pray what can I do?
“If you are manly, kill me, can you?”
Who pushed me into her gutter-womb? which
Karna was swept by the waters; Radha became his
Kunti comes only to kill.
Her whole body is a maternity home and cemetery;
She indulges in autosexuality;
Tiger, Cheetah, Elephant, Ox, Ram, Mule, Donkey,
Mango ‘Nerile,’ Jack-tree, Jaaji and ‘Jaali’
These are her natural offsprings.
Why did the demon of heterosexual thirst rise in her
the moment I came in?
They have left me blindfolded in the forest;
They have raised a fence of wires;
They serve me salt water to drink and live coal
They chain my leg and expect me to dance.
When the guest arrived, came six friends to
The candle burns, all around is melted wax,
Finally the wick will only be cinders.
Mother Earth is only a step mother.
She is Suruchi to Uttanapada
The forest is the only direction left for Dhruva,
Aranyaka paved the path.
Take away all the colourful clothes you offered,
Take this coat, this shirt and this pyjama
Even this broken cottage is yours; Take it away.
Unless I give away everything
there is no other way for me.
Otherwise how can I hold my head high,
and walk shoulder to shoulder with my equals?
Isn’t it only by giving up the god-given armour and
I can bare my heart’s ambrosia?
Viswamitra signalled “Trishanku, you move towards
He hung in mid air like a bat.
It is as difficult to take out your feet from slough
As the struggle that goes on in the sky-cage of golden
Mire is dirty, as soon as one is born there
is the bier of the uterine fluid.
If it were all earth, a toy of mud, that would have
But even in this toy, there is a mechanism of breathing;
Beyond this mechanism there is the conspiracy
of mysterious light.
The path of air has no footprints.
Look here, this is difficult:
What does anyone lose if dust goes to dust
Wind to wind, fire to fire,
Water to water and the element of sky to the sky?
an electric wire—
News from beyond the stars and nebulae,
Weird shapes coming from the netherworld;
There is a trickster that mixes and plays them
Some say they don’t know where the switch is
having forgotten the head office address.
The remaining say it is still here.
In the dark narrow blind alley
We have to move groping the walls;
The lame on the shoulders of the blind
We have to watch our progress.