email: vydheesw@gmail.com

Sunday, March 25, 2012


[from Muse India]

S. Vaidheeswaran, born 1935, belongs to the older generation of poets who started writing in the 60s. A poet, stage artist and musicologist, his first book of poems Udhaya Nizhal (The Shadow of Dawn) was published in 1970. His second collection,Nagarach-Chuvargal (City-Walls) was published in 1994. His third book, a short-story collection titled Kaal Mulaitha Manam (The Heart With Feet) was also published in the same year. A selection of his poems translated into English as published by Writers Workshop, Calcutta, under the title The Fragrance of Rain (1999). He collected all his poems in a comprehensive single volume in 2000 under the titleVaidheeswaran Kavidhaigal. His latest book of poems Kaal Manithan (Quarter Man) has just now been published.
A self-taught artist, his paintings and drawings were exhibited in the Gujarat Lalit Kala Academy and Madras Art Club. Brahadhwani, a music research foundation has produced a cassette based on his lyrics. He retired as ‘Flight Manager’ in Indian Airlines. He has two sons and a daughter and lives in Chennai. 
He can be reached at his

Once in a while 

I don’t regret 
To be of no use 
To this world 
For a few seconds. 

The heart stands in penance 
Longing to lie awake 
Between life and death 
In the light sans history 
Discarding for a moment 
The life 
That jumps on my back 
And rides me incessantly. 

Verse I 

Whether you like it or not 
The sun shines 
One cannot stop the rain 
From pouring down 

We cannot command 
The whirlwind 
To stop 
“ Ok, enough., not anymore” 

Only after falling down 
In a swirling flood 
The waters turn sober 
Into a river. 

And so are these poems 
It seems, 
The mysterious outcome 
Of some inner stubbornness. 

Verse II 

The mind that has perceived the leaf 
Before the world 
Invented language 
In what wavelength or tongue 
Would it have mused over it? 
It is impossible to know. 
In my mind what covers 
And shrouds verse 
With numerous tongues 
Every day, 
Will there appear 
A way to pluck and bring that 
Tongueless leaf 
Within the lapse of my time? 

The Fragrance of Rain

Whichever way I walk 
This fragrance that 
Comes with me, circling the nose 
As if flowers are tied round the face, 
What is it? 

As sandalpaste applied 
On the body of a breeze 
By hands invisible, 
What is this floating scent? 

Has love become the very air 
With the world getting drenched 
After the night’s downpour? 

The flowers that look 
From above the bunches 
Like hue-filled eyes 
Hide the sky’s blue hither and thither 
Spreading a red-yellow shamiana. 

On the leaf-tips 
Are the rain-drop semens 
Yet unshed. 

Inside the sultry flower bushes 
Are the wing-strains of the flies… 
It’s their impatient age 
Overtaking me to inhale… 

The floating silver spread 
Of the angling sun-kite 
All over the space: 
On the branch, creeper 
On the shade close to the Spring. 

Spreading on all sides, 
The earth smells sweet 
Without my effort 
The soft-voice of the 
Silence-mixed drizzle. 

Behind the cover of the leaf appears 
A semblance 
In the manner of God. 
This is soul-filling rain. 

Yet the memory of the 
Fragrance of rain 
Doesn’t stay long enough 
In me 
Who trudges a humdrum life. 

From rain to rain 
Somehow curiously 
The heart changes! 
 Translated from Tamil by Latha Ramakrishnan


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