Ardra Manasi

The home coming


The dwindling paddy fields that define the contours of my nondescript village

The giant Banyan that sings paean to the village deity

The pristine music of the gurgling streams

The Kathakali songs that enliven gloomy evenings

The sour palate of tender mangoes and green tamarinds

Memories suffused with rain kissed thumpa flowers

The room that smells of ‘good herbs’

The tranquilising aroma of turmeric, tulsi and thali

Delicate fingers that run through these recalcitrant strands of hair,

meticulously disentangling intricate ringlets of knotted hair

Grandma's privileged touch it was!

The blissful luxury of a Navarathri holiday

The memorised array of Devi hymns

Books with skeletal imprints of dried tulsi and thechi flowers

The old Shiva temple with its intimate pebble strewn corner that I once calligraphed with letters

Will they ever coalesce into beautiful words with blessings from the mighty Gods?

That turgid feeling of soft, spongy mud intertwined with the memories of snake gods

The feeling that’s home!