Santhan is a well known Malayalam poet, essayist, film critic and cultural activist born in Kerala, India in 1968. He publishes his poems and articles in all regional magazines of Kerala for the last twenty five years. He was awarded Asan Prize in the year 2008 for an anthology of poems published by DC Books in the year 2006 titled ‘Riding on a Motorbike in Rain’. He was also awarded Raveendran Nair Memorial award for his outstanding series about life experiences in Kalakaumudi Magazine which is widely popular. His poem “Language of Earth” was awarded ‘Thanima Puraskaram’ in the year 1998. Santhan is also a post graduate in Msc. Psychology and now is working as Technical officer in the department of Radiotherapy, Regional Cancer Centre, Trivandrum.
While Riding The Motorbike in The Rain
The motorbike moved shakily along the road
That was spread on with water-carpets
The rain patted on my shoulder over the rain coat
And muttered its secret, And then moved down.
The rain pierced its needles on my lips and eyes
Slight coldness trickled down inside me
Without any barrier
It was raining, chatting with everyone
In between lightning shone
And showed me my path.
Apply the brake in heavy rains!
And you have it- the skull’d break
And blood’d flood.
She’d be waiting impatiently for me
because of I’m very very late in the rain.
I am too worried because she is pregnant
and the heavy thunder and rains intimidate
Upon the window in rain, the pregnancy’s pleasure
is chatting with the rain.
From the womb a smart infant
is calling the rain to play.
‘I’ll come later with a boat to play with’ – replies the rain.
And before departing, the raindrops
Scattered on the water and uttered laughingly:
‘I’ll visit you in every generation
In order to play with your children.’
Travelling with the moon.
In between the leaves festooned
At 50 km speed the moonlight
The bike stopped
The moon stopped
After filling fuel
The journey resumed
The trailing resumed.
Inside the bar
Inside the glass
In one gulp
You were staggering
Trying to keep
Pace with the bike
Was it to give me company
Or to see me fall ?
With different travellers
With different speeds, you
Run, walk, fly
Till the end of the world
I may stop for ever
With every birth
A new moonlight rises
With every departure
A moonlight sets
If on a rocket
I come towards you
Will you turn towards me
Or drift farther and farther
Away in to ‘Amavasi’*
*Amavasi – New Moon Day
Have an overall view of the room
It’s a rectangle
House is a deluge of rectangles,
With no organ rectangular
Man conceived the earth to be a rectangle
The person who said the earth
To be a globe was squarely framed
Everybody’s earth is a rectangle,
For which all of us fight
We squarely laugh, think and cry
Nothing God created as quadrilateral
We can’t establish a parabola like Kepler’s
When the mind is locked in a rectangle
How can we make the mind a sky ?
To Geeta Hiranyan
(A writer died of Cancer at the age of 45)
Noon time, electricity had failed in the apartment
My haste was to prepare the meal
Your fright was about the spreading of the disease
You Sat burning under the stilled ceiling fan
In the Biopsy the speed of light
Like rice in the cooker, whistled off
my sweltering chest.
My Hurry for food – preparation angered you :
‘Let’s eat outside’
‘Why not eat my food once ?’
Hiranyam sat making a cross out of love
Cancer had done everything
What could not have been done further
While returning after a friendly visit
The Mobile phone informed : ‘Geetha died’.
Unni, Ammini, Hiranyan, weeping friends
I returned before the cremation.
‘The cremation was on a full moon day’
So said Shanmughadas*.
I see you smiling from the sky
As moonlight on the funeral pyre.
The trees of the Cemetery
Foot covered in the ditch, the ‘tree’ is destined to pass the time
Bearing, through out its life, the heat of the funeral pyre
While watching what is left with deep grief
At the funnel pyre, the bone – branches break
With aggressive youthful vigour
It wears leaf – crown, it straightens its spine
In its eyes that have sprouted and exhilarated
There’s the lustre of the cemetery
Bearing the day’s fright
Because of bats hanging upside down
The old trees stand withered
But still have blossoming flowers
Even on their roots
Like the night with unextinguished embers
The trees turn towards the sky
With a mind that is
Shining and smouldering
Dense, Silent and mysterious
The Language of the Earth
Have you heard the language of the earth,
The language not spoken by trees and valleys ?
I’m reminded of your word
That’s damaged by wars and calamities
Aren’t you afraid of the never – ending
Flow of generations ?
Aren’t you bewildered by the memories of the departed?
Who taught you to conceal everything inside
And laugh like spring,
lie by donning snow
And bathe in the rains ?
I know that the burnt blood
That is trickling down due to deep anguish
Is nothing but your painful memories
Before exploding, you must
Shout off your pains
And rain them on to me
My mind is starting to rotate
So as to invoke the seasons.
Perhaps by listening to your terrific language
The footsteps of that rotation must become
New gen bike
On a new gen bike
A world flattened out
On raised up front wheel
On the rear wheel
The sky hangs down
In the roar of the engines
The word somersaults
When you speed through
The crowded vehicles
Death ride, curses many
Smashing the heart
The bike’s face
May get wet with blood
Mumbling, lying on its side
The indicator may point towards the sky
On the power of the mind
The rebuilt word
Moves forward –
On the bridge of sorrow
Oh, to inherit a second
Inexperienced by word
As a witness
To a life lived.
Urinal graffiti taught me
The first lessons of sex :
The structure of sex organs,
Period going astray, fertilization
I roamed about seeking
Such rutty, non curricular graffiti
And I too scribbled wherever I could :
Latrines, Urinals and train – lavatories
I least imagined that such
Simple thrills go to build up one’s life