Love, in Four Fragments

English translation of ‘Pranayathinte Naalu Varnangal’


Whenever I try translating one of my works into English, I end up hating it and myself. This time though, a good friend of mine gave the tough job a try and I absolutely loved it!

Thank you, Zainab, for this beautiful translation of my poem 🙂

These are the same old stories;
for repetition
is but an eternal companion of love.
Beneath a thousand garbs,
was always this:
the distance
from non-being
to un-being


Divine love
took form between
two particles who’d never
met before

In the dark
in pulsing loneliness
she stood her ground,
thinking of him

History predicted
he would come searching for her,
overcoming darkness

and raging in his chest,
his love
refused to let him fall
as his fellow travellers had fallen

She waited, tearless,
her trove of secrets
firmly shut
to all knocks that weren’t his

Arrive, he did,
before winter settled over hope –
yet not breaking a sweat.

Their eyes met.

And before a smile blossomed
before even a word was spoken


became one
became many
became you and me.


Fire loved the rain
The raindrop dreamt of the ocean’s
infinite embrace
The ocean,
with each rise of tide,
yearned to touch the moon –
and the moon loved
the fire blazing in the Sun’s heart


Your glance,
one that propels me
to walk a thousand miles more
even as I drown in fatigue

the suicide bomber
fighting a vain battle
versus desire

A refuge we built
for all the footprints we etched

If we are love
and love is poetry,
if poetry is beyond
the trappings of time –

even as our bodies
and this fleeting desert breeze
and the world
sink into oblivion

we will be invincible

your hands holding mine,
your love
quenching my thirst for life

as I proclaim you
my Sun.


and endings
are mere nightmares,
said love.
The direction of time
is the greatest lie ever told,
taught separation.


On this altar,
on these untampered scales
I surrender
my bleeding heart

No devil or God
shall mediate this prayer

Neither shall we
meddle with weights
and measures

I love this sting
this pain

It shall cleanse me
of my sins,
thaw the burning
of my conscience

It shall purify my soul

I am the one crucified

I am the one
who disowned thrice
who crowed the arrival of dawn

I am also the one
who hammered in the nails

When judgment arrives
upon the last ringing of bells,
doubt not –
Paradise will be yours

while I will be weighed
and balanced

It matters not
if the caprices of chance
favour me: either way,
I lose

All that I have bled
is beyond return

The void beneath
my ribs
is no place for a heart

On that day,
I will not weep
But blow out the candles,
set ablaze the confessional

I will cross fields,
rivers and mountain ranges

Returning each night
to keep tabs on the tears I have shed,
the blood I have bled

to recall
the beats of that dead heart

to fondle
the blood-red flowers
teeming over it

and call out
your name


Love and loss
complement each other:
without darkness,
light is dark,
and if not for light,
darkness would be light


You think
my love is selfless?
Then let it be known:
there’s nothing more selfish
than love

My love
is my prayer
my awakening
my quest for immortality

and on that pilgrimage,
I think of you
very sparingly

You are but the earth
that bears my footsteps
of the journey
from me to myself

The fertile soil
that powers me to
unmeasurable distances

Now tell me:
is love selfless… or not?