Poem: To the temple, Part 2

Inside the temple, you morph in
my memory. From a flimsy term
like ex-lover, I begin mouthing a
soft kannamma.

Meant for Shiva and his cronies,
I find myself thinking of you as
my Krishna. On the floors of my
hometown, baby feet are traced with
rice flour.

– – –

The fat priest and the small one,
both ask about you. So in the
temple, I tell them my purest lie.

That you and I are married. We
have three children. They remind
me that they saw us, just two
years ago.

I tell them we had triplets. I wave
across my stomach (I have a tiny
belly now) to suggest how big you
had become.

They laugh. The little ones must
give us trouble. I couldn’t stop
lying. I said I had to hurry, to
be home with you and the kids.


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0 Responses to Poem: To the temple, Part 2

  1. dipali says:

    What a tempting strategy to follow!


  2. Vidya says:

    Didn’t ask the priest for extra tamarind rice cups for the 3 kids??


  3. Crazyfinger says:


    As soon as I saw this “Part 2,” I was saying to myself, “Yes, of course, it is so natural…!” That “of course!” belongs entirely to the creative leaps you are making these days with your brilliant poetry.

    I said it is so natural because I see the “He” in the “part 1” and the “She” in the “Part 2” and for some reason I was already listening to that unforgettable opening paragraph of “The Man Who Knew Infinity.” (Robert Kanigel, this is the biography of Ramanujan).

    Natural not because the temple in the book of Ramanujan has anything in common with the temple here, but natural because the memory, the re-collection occurred so swiftly, so naturally in me. I think I said words to these effect in some comment or the other, that, you are a genuine artist because while you respect the private unconcealed space in all of us, you are not afraid to operate creatively from there, letting these creative re-collections take you over.

    I don’t want to say it is a gift, for it belittles the anguish one experiences while writing such poetry, but I do want to say “Thank you!”

    Home, life and people are never more beautiful than after reading your fragments and poetry (come to think of it, with this particular set of two poems, I think you may have bridged that artificial separation between “poem” and a “fragment”. Don’t you think so?)

    These are my own private measures of brilliance, they are very personal, and in that measure, your art is already making significant bounds this year. May be I should just shut up and enjoy the poetry and not talk this much, but if you are anyone like Ramanujan, you deserve even a small morsel of honest feedback. You must must must know these things so you never stop.

    Thank you, Crazyfinger