Artville café, Bangalore 22nd April 2016
1-Two Children (1946)
Two children, who have come to play at a riverbank, are bickering, oblivious to their beautiful surroundings. Then the poet (who is one of the children) urges her companion to stop fighting, and pay heed to the butterflies, the honey-filled flowers and green grass, the beauty of nature that has been beckoning to them all along, to join in the celebration of life. This poem was written in the backdrop of the Bengal partition and the atrocities that the poet saw in those days.
Enough of this futile one-upmanship, enough, my dear friend
Although this new age cloaks us
In fine white silk to cover
Our primeval animal selves
They rise in revolt and
Indulge in their demonic dance
Why do we stone each other with thoughts that wound
Why do we hold up mirrors to each other’s souls
To display the ugliness and inadequacies
And then feel sad, feel ashamed?
The fruit is sweet only in time, when it ripens.
Nature finds nothing unforgivable
The sky glimmers like a mother’s eyes
As she watches her children at play
Before that infinitely gentle gaze,
Who is guilty, who is humiliated?
As the game ends and we depart
Hand in hand,
Let Love come and roost again
Within our interlaced fingers.
Nalapat Sulochana, a medical doctor and a writer herself, author of 10 books in Malayalam and one in English is the daughter of Smt. Balamani Amma.