Sunday, February 25, 2007



Pondicherry is a quaint little place with a lot of empty spaces. The roads are like regularly spaced alphabets in a french magazine, with names like Rue Romain Rolland, Rue Labourdonnais. The buildings are like starched white clothes, neatly pressed. The branches of trees are perennially green and laden with flowers. They adorn the houses but are oddly reminiscent of the matted hair of hippies and ascetics alike.

Pondicherry was the home of Late Sri Aurobindo, extremist turned spiritual guru, erudite scholar and an extraordinary gentleman in his own right. Pondicherry was also a french colony and is still home to a lot of French people. It is vibrant with culture, replete with jazz music, good food, wine and a lot of joie de vivre.

The best bit about Pondicherry is that the sea lurks in the background. They haven't got her yet. In the evenings she complains of indigestion but during the mornings she is fine. They think it is the tides. Large stones and boulders keep her tied. At night she is a mad lady who laughs hysterically and her laughter rings through the city. When I was there, I heard her sob silently.


Let my life now merge in the all-pervading life.
Ashes are my bodies end. Om.
- Isha Upanishad

Hush, it’s the tentative tiptoe,
On a burning terrace. A sultry surface,
That singes every step into a muffled sigh.
Hop, skip, scuttle but before she leapt.
She stood at the edge and surveyed,
The cloudless sky for a hint of remorse,
A tinge of doubt, ever so slight,
Was there nothing in his eyes?
His head had sagged back like a punching bag,
Wagged like a tail from side to side.
She had watched it, trailed it,
Searched it for a sign.

“I give you these wings, you may fly.”
She spread her wings,
And noticed the world down below.
Those ants that race up and down the anthill,
Nameplates hang from their necks,
Faces are pinned to them and on their shoulders,
They bear a lonely burden.
She squished them too, with her thumb.

The gushing winds said that she had clutched,
At the sky. Her open palms revealed loose strands,
Of hair and a fistful of secrets,
That still clung to her hands and danced midair,
Like marionettes, to a melancholy tune.
She rolled, rolled, rolled in the air,
Like a cigarette rolled around her powdery,
Puffy soul. Roll some more.

Time would flow as blood from a wound,
That wouldn’t heal, but the blood had clot,
One day, when the curtains refused to be swayed,
By the plucky breeze at the windowpane.
Since then it hadn’t bled.
The kitchen tap still runs,
The saucepan is on a constant flame,
And the familiar smell still finds its way out,
To the inviting skies. As she fell, she smelt it too,
And rolled in her timeless feathery bed.
The wind was a conch shell to her ears.
He spoke of the patient sea and rows of,
Golden sunflowers and green paddy fields.
She closed her eyes and smiled,
When her fingers brushed the leaves.

She rolled, rolled, rolled in the air,
Like a cigarette rolled around her powdery,
Puffy soul. Roll some more.


How do we know said...

"In the evening she complains... ".. really Nice!

Vasu said...


Here goes..
My interpretation:
I will not distort it too much,though.. It is a lovely peice and I don't want to kill it..

I think you are talking abt the illusionary nature of freedom?

I love the first photograph. That blue sky only belongs to good ol' Pondy!

Tell me no more of enchanted days said...

beautiful...though i didn't quite understand what it meant...the words are imp still, the imagery cld be abt anything..the tide..the night...the last minutes of a suicide...woven tapestry of an invisible are u doing dear friend?

tumblewords said...

Lovely. Lovely. Lovely.

Wriju said...

It must be the tides don't you think ;)

No, the blue sky belongs to me! But yes pondy can have it for a while.
Ca va vaa ma?

No More:
I am so glad you liked it. You seem to sense a lot of what I try to write.
I have been surviving. Hope you are fine.

Thank you so much :)

Tell me no more of enchanted days said...

ur right in sensing the irony. these days, everything i write has it. also that inevitable fatalism, as u call it. i can't take anything at face value as well. i'm doing fine, just tired. shifted to my own new house. so busy running around getting things in place...write sometime...'surviving' is for pedestrians. u need more than that love!

[eric] said...

Looks like a nice town, but usually towns that look like that turn out to be tourist-only zones. Is that true for this place?

Tanvi said...

Simply wow!...the town and the poem

Priyankari said...

Great piece! The eternal rolling of the tides like the constant, same tune of our life...wonderful thought!

--Sunrise-- said...

The second photograph is lovely... sigh.