Friday, January 29, 2010

The Anguish will Continue……………..

Sivaprashanthi. Thambaiah ( Shanthi)
[Translated by : Sarvarakshani. Thambaiah ( Rakshi) ]

Didn’t see my mom’s face
Didn’t touch my dad’s hands
Didn’t eat from my sister’s hand
Didn’t get sweets from my brother
I’m crawling on the dust
Of a refugee camp……..

The coconut in our garden
Never bowed its head
It had coconuts left
No matter how many you pluck

We ate only on the tip of the banana leaf
With much delight and pride
The rice that was brought from our own field
(Tip of the leaf is considered to be special and given only to heads of the family or on very special occasions)

Five kinds of pittu (a meal made from rice flour)
Fish gravy prawn gravy
Crab neththeli (a small variety of fish, commonly cooked in villages)
Every thing that flies and crawls
What did I miss?

The smell of ghee
From our village egg plant (gravy)
will stay on our hands for two days

This much happiness
We lost all now
I’m all alone………..

My machchal (cousin) from Canada spoke
But I couldn’t understand
She said ‘chips’ she said ‘bakers’
The rice I got in the camp from the charities
Is very hot, the egg plant is too spicy
My dear Canada Machchal (cousin from Canada)
Can you ask my Maami (aunt) to send me
A spoon of milk curry (a spoon- colloquial way of saying ‘little/some’)

In the pictures my priyamma mahan (cousin brother) sent from London
I see a big house and a car
But my Anna’s ( elder brother’s) push bike
Has gone into pieces in the shelling
But don’t send us a bike
Anna (elder brother) has no legs to ride

Periyappa!! (father’s elder brother) in France
Sithapppa!! (father’s younger brother) in Germany
periyamama !!(big uncle) in Switzerland
My mother used to boast
To the whole village….
My bothers shower their love at me
They send me money
They call me (on the phone) all the time
As soon as we get ‘Tamil Elam’
They say they are going to come here
I need to look for lands
To build two big houses

Periyamama!! Sinnamama!! (big uncle and small uncle)
My mother who stood alone
On behalf of you and I
To see the Tamil Elam bloom
Is lying dead on the ground
Will you come to pour milk???............. (Close relatives are expected to be present at the funeral to pour milk as the last rite/ritual )


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