Tuesday, July 15, 2008


There were a thousand births before this.
Bright yellow festoons,tied onto electric wires.. fluttering carelessly in the breeze.Bangles - Gold,green and glass ones .Glittering like a thousand suns.Happy, boisterous voices booming through the house.Sweets passing through greedy hands.sticky fingers dipping for a second helping

There were a thousand deaths before this.
Thin white muslin sheets.Spread from head to toe.No face,No name, No religion.Be they burned, buried or left alone.Frozen air wafting through the morgue.Even tears are frozen cold,...and dead.Sound does not exist.Nothing moves or asks to be moved.Naked in their passivity.\

I existed.
Everything slows down.Almost to a stop.You can watch the first ripple form on the water.Almost perfectly.The single feather on the crows back shimmers in the sun light, as it waits to take flight.The smile that changes instantly to a frown and changes back just the same.The father,the son and the ghost walk hand in hand.Life beside death,Good beside Bad,and Form beside None.

I walked through empty cradles and full cemetaries.Through windy deserts and airless seas.I watch you laugh and cry,Speak and shut up.I watch.This body feels like a cage.Holding a cosmic force within.A nuclear energy,that is waiting to explode.It rattles against the walls.Unable to speak, act and move.It is
Shape without form,shade without colour,
Paralysed force,gesture without motion;

Who am I? What am I? Nameless, Formless and aimless.I cannnot do what i want,neither what i don't want.I cannot die happily,nor live forever in despair.Is this life? This does not feel like death.I see my face everywhere and yet there is nothing within me.I exist.I exist.

I am a million,million people
Talking all at once,with voices
Raised in a clamour,like maids
At village wells.

I am a million,million deaths
Pox clustered,each a drying seed
someday to be shed, to grow for
Someone else, a memory.

I am a million,million births
Flushed with triumphant blood,each a growing
Thing that thrusts its long nailed hands
To scar the hollow air.

I am a million, million silences
strung like crystal beads
Onto someone else's
------------- kamala das