April 01, 2009

Rasam Recipe

If I write in Tamil
does it mean then
I have deeper sense -
of what we are
and who we fear
and why we stir
from here?

And if I write Malay
then have I strayed
and lost my roots -
become a curried nationalist
betrayed my race
and pride
as I shift lonely
to the side?

And if I write in English
just because
the taste is mine,
it is my strongest condiment,
I've used it all my life
to spice and flavour piquancy
does this mean I have

does this mean I am

(c) Charlene Rajendran 1999


  1. Hey, I like this!

  2. yeap i love it.
    being in a multinational country, its normal that we have many languages.
    just because you are not well-versed in your mother-tongue, doesnt mean that it denies your own ethnic root. as long as you can convey your voice in any language, that should be enough.

  3. I might just quote this one for either my class or some seminar.fantastic poem.
    will read more and keep in touch