Friday, March 30, 2012

Letter to Lyova

Lyova, wherever you are,
I want you to know
I have finally mustered up
My faltering courage to use
This handmade, woven notebook
That you pressed into my hands,
Urging me to fill it with words.

The little doll that tsunami-victims made
Still stays pinned on the cover,
Although the pin is now rusted.
"Tsunamika" is her name.
I wonder how long her creator
Struggled to concieve of such a
Witty play on words.

I wonder if she had writer's block.
Did she, like I, suddenly feel her words unworthy?
Did panic grip her every time her fingers held a pen?
Did every painful, labored word
Feel like it drew blood?

Lion-philosopher, did you know
The enormity of the burden
You left in my hands
When you left this notebook behind?

It is strange that after all is over,
When images of sitting on floors of dusty coaches,
Curd-rice, balmy monsoon evenings,
Jewish temples, Adorno and Heidegger,
Nuns severe in habits of gray
Have started to blur like pictures
Of trees taken from speeding trains,

This notebook remains,
Eloquently silent,
At times accusatory,
At others comforting.
Finally I have taken it up
Because I owe it to the gift,
And I owe it to myself,
And I wanted you to know that, Lyova.


  1. Great post. I blog tlawh a man-hla hle mai. Keep It Up.

  2. @ruolngulworld: thank you :) Been a long time, eh?
    @dr john: Thanks... do drop in again!

  3. Beautiful & touching poem. I particularly like the image of 'pictures of trees taken from speeding trains'.

  4. thanks @mesjay. There were actual such pictures taken at the time :)

  5. Hello. I know it is probably rude of me to barge in like this. It's just that this is a really beautiful piece.

    I really don't know about Lovya but I feel my words unworthy. Everyday. And I address it by writing about it.Or at least trying to. So far I have come up with 5856 hours and 32 minutes of blank page.

    Thanks for dropping by the other day.

  6. Dear Unknown:

    Thank YOU for dropping by, and for leaving that little clue about who you are :) Lyova, I guess, could be any of those people you meet who insist on believing in you even when you don't yourself. It is sad and strange that we often don't realize their worth until it's too late. But more than that, I think this poem is about the act of writing, the days and hours of "blank pages" that confront you... the sheer terror of trying to reduce to words that which you know cannot be inscribed, and the frustration that comes with being unable to do so...

  7. Thank you @Sanga. That means a lot, coming from you.