The Day I Thought I Would Die The day I thought I would die the woman who accompanied me to the hospital said, she needs cooking oil for, “tomorrow,” I used up a little of my valued time, to contemplate on, “tomorrow.” Coffee houses, supermarkets and theatres drove past me, coffee, bread and rice were found unseasoned . . . And they went on talking of “coffees” while I rode in a vehicle called, “now.” All things, other than me were yesterdays and tomorrows. ** Talcum Powder The first time I powdered my face, I imitated the manner my father did, tender strokes on the brow, cheeks and chin, and a mellow even rub, from that time on, I thought of him, twice a day, at no unusual hours, later on, I gave up using talcum powder. The first time I oiled my face, I imitated him over again, beginning with lips, then ears and eventually hair, later on, I gave up using hair oil. Then I began, remembering him at needful hours as I remembered God. ** Falling in Love When you fall in love you give in piecemeal, in unhurried steps. . . the manner a child fancy a stranger, the smiles, the primary moves, and the final acceptance of the stranger . . . you take in this stranger like medicine, unwillingly in steps, to smell rejuvenation. In the end like a child, who relented to a stranger, to squirm out of the hold, you draw yourself out, tearing up your being, here and there, bits of you carried away in the attempt, your injured body evades suture, rather it stays, how you fell like a child to love. Love is a stranger who knocks on your doors at strange hours. ** My Grandfather The only time I recall my grandfather was on the passing of his wife, my grandmom. He was in his room, on the other end from where she was kept, people regarded her and went to him, to make sense of their comprehension, they looked up for substance that were absent in the dead. People presumed links between the dead and the living other, I can bring to mind the manner he returned their looks, I was merely five, Today, I attempt with great effort to read his eyes. And this is the only time, I recall my grandfather. ** Church Going The one thing unlikable while going to church as a child was my mother’s transcendence, she turned some other, tears waved down her cheeks, when looking at graven images of Mary and Joseph, the little pebbles descending the river-eyes, and I was so embarrassed that I not ever prayed rather tried constantly to screen her from external glances. While, at some other times, she smiled, looking at Mary and child Jesus, I sensed being burnt, and believed people would foretell craziness race in the family and once again I tried to screen her with my torso, to that I pretty prospered, while she drove me to one side oblivious of my not so harmless design. Even today, distractions, none the less run while at church, looking for mothers and daughters and in what way the former conducted and how the latter responded.
Mini Babu is working as Associate Professor of English with the Dept. of Collegiate Education, Govt. of Kerala and now working at BJM Govt. College, Chavara, Kollam. Her poems have featured in anthologies, journals and magazines. Her collections of poems are Kaleidoscope (2020), Shorelines (2021) and Memory Cells (2022). Her co-edited collection of poems is Meraki (2021) and Glass Bangles.
Unique diction. Beautiful work.