May 03, 2009

i) travel sense

This room where I sleep
close to the waves
in Bambalapitya,
feels like JB,
seems like Malacca,
vestiges of home

where humid heat
and incense mixed
with fresh sea breeze
and spices cooking,
wash through
and lead me
to earthiness.

The food is always carefully cooked
tasted and served, just so;
coconut sambal and puttu for breakfast,
vathal appam for desert at lunch,
homemade kolkotte and mangoes for tea
sothy and strings at dinner.

These are the senses
I carry inside me
wherever my palate
will travel.

       and I read in the news
       of refugees drowned
       in high seas of terror
       from boats overloaded
       with captives of pain.

You left your home
Your kitchen floor
Your bathroom tiles
And sarees.

You took your child
Your travellers cheques
Your personal files
And jewelleries.

You ran as fast
As legs could flow
No time for looking back.
Your heart beat drummed
In dreaded slow
No hollows for regret.

You boarded
In the moonlit dark
No violent eye could see.
Your hope
To reach a safer shore
No thought of death by sea.

(c) Charlene Rajendran 1999

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