Poem: While she slept like Vishnu

The Ganges is alien to those who
eat rice of the Cauvery delta, he
says. She says she doesn’t care.
She just needs her starch. White
cotton, snakes its form with the
midnight wind. All is a deep shade
of somnambulist blue.

The cats near the Ghat are dazed
by the final flames. The milk in
their stomach curdled, and their
paws kicking dust into the winter
regret. This man, and this woman,
they have gone past the first ten
days of lovemaking.

From tomorrow they will share their
childhood. Their purest parts, the
dirtiest clothes, the smelliest aunts.
Superlatives traded for memories. He
looks wistfully at his new lover, she
sleeps on her palm that rises from
the elbow, slanting.

He will tell her, on their eleventh day
“My dear Kannamma, I will eat even
dirt with you. But rice is preferred.
But you must know this, last night,
I stole a little of you, while you were
sleeping like Vishnu.

From some vague link, an explanation of Vishnu‘s reclining pose. “Some Puranic literature refers to him as the eternal, all-pervading spirit and associates him with the primeval waters believed to have been omnipresent before the creation of the world. So regarded, Vishnu is depicted frequently in human form, sleeping on the great serpent Shesha and floating on the waters.”

8 Comments

Filed under Poetry and Fiction

8 Responses to Poem: While she slept like Vishnu

  1. Aiyo! Ivalov footnotes thevaiya?

    My deficient feminine brain is confuzzled.

    *runs off*

  2. sudha

    me liked the footnotes :(

    neways, i like the way the lines sparkle with Indian ness, at the same time, they do not end up sounding like something translated from a regional language, the best example of that is the beat – talam poem, my favorite. its a nice break from most poems I usually read/enjoy, where though I can relate to the emotion, not the locales/scents/sights easily, atleast not a few years ago. And add to it the South Indian flavor, its really a treat, thank you :)

    And I have to pick up AK Ramanujam , never read him before, sometime soon. But my list of things to do never ends , sigh.

  3. Sudha,

    ethavadhu olaranumennu olaradha. please.

  4. sudha

    unakku poraamai :P

  5. The cats near the ghat? Quite an image.

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  7. Nice blog. And well said.

  8. Megha: Odai vizhum. Vara vara..

    Sudha: Please definitely do pick up AKR. Worth every minute spent. And thanks for liking this one – I think it might become one of my favourites.

    Nilu: Hhmmm. Though I agree with what Sudha says – Onakku poramai.

    mumbaigirl: Cats somehow fit in so well. Or maybe they don’t. Either way the image is refusing to get out of my head..

    Dr Mohamed Taher: Thanks for that link.

    Vahsek: Thanks.