Wednesday, November 5, 2008



One day a lean poem
reached Gandhi’s ashram
to have a glimpse of the man.
Gandhi spinning away
his thread towards Ram
took no notice of the poem
waiting at his door
ashamed as he was no bhajan.

The poem cleared his throat
and Gandhi looked at him sideways
through those glasses
that had seen Hell.
‘Have you ever spun thread?’, he asked,
‘Ever pulled a scavenger’s cart?
Ever stood the smoke
of an early morning kitchen?
Have you ever starved?’

The poem said: ‘I was born
in the woods, in a hunter’s mouth.
A fisherman brought me up in his hamlet.
Yet, I know no work, I only sing.
First I sang in the courts:
then I was plump and handsome;
but am on the streets now,

‘That’s better,’Gandhi said
with a sly smile, ‘but you must
give up this habit
of speaking in Sanskrit at times.
Go to the fields,listen to
the peasants’ speech.’

The poem turned into a grain
and lay waiting in the fields
for the tiller to come
and upturn the virgin soil
moist with the new rain.
(Translated from the Malayalam by the poet )


ശ്രീ ഇടശ്ശേരി. said...

ഹൂം..കവിതയ്ക്കും ജതി,മതം??
മണ്ണിന്റെ മണമുള്ള കവിതയ്ക്കെ നിലനില്‍പ്പുള്ളൂ..
നല്ല കവിത ,അഭിനന്ദനങ്ങള്‍..

laya said...

dear sir , a wonderful thought expressed through really simple words which could be relished over ....juxtaposing ourselves in that place......
loved it sir

hope you remember me