> Bionote


Par |2018-08-16T12:12:20+00:00 12 juillet 2013|Catégories : Blog|


Very brie­fly then,
I am middle class
and very Madras.

Born and rai­sed in
West Mambalam-
the other side of the rail­way tracks
where fabled mos­qui­toes turn people into

Went to col­lege in
Khushboo sarees strip­ped
right off the absurd­ly volup­tuous man­ne­quins at
Saravana stores T.Nagar Chennai 17.

To wed­dings I wore,
in defe­rence to my mother,
silk kan­jee­va­rams with temple bor­ders.
Every other girl
was a desi­gner-sequi­ned shim­mer.

I thought nothing of
thro­wing away
my drea­ming hours on
MTC’s 47 A,
sit­ting beside women who rui­ned my
lea­ning casual­ly across to
spit or
through the grime of  win­dows
spi­nach stems they didn’t fan­cy
in their eve­ning Kuzambu,
hur­ling  mother­ly advice at
young men who dared death by
from other women’s win­dows.

My idea of a holi­day
was rol­ling down the hil­l­sides
of Ooty,
dres­sed in white
like Sridevi.

Objects of love-hate :
the auto annas.

And of course it is cof­fee that defines
the limits of my ima­gi­na­tion.
I never could think of it as
cap­puc­ci­no or mocha or
any­thing other than
decoc­tion cof­fee,
deep brown like my own Dravidian skin.
Lunch :
10.30 sharp : samb­har rasam cur­ry

Tiffin :
5 sharp : idli dosa vada

My idea of arc­tic win­ter :
twen­ty six degree cen­ti­grade.

And so on and so forth
as they don’t say in Tamil.

Never mind this new ups­tart Chennai.
Madras, my dear, here I come !
About me, rest assu­red,
there is
no Bombay, no Delhi, no London
and cer­tain­ly no New York.
I am all yours,
Madras, my dear,
wrap and filling !


Featured in Poetry International Web, November 2, 2011