PN Gopikrishnan Auther
P. N GopiKrishnan 

Jawaharlal sat leaning on the wall
looking at that dead body.
Manu straightened
those misplaced glasses
to perfection,
not possible when alive.

Slogans echo outside.
most likely
they would be
Gandhi has become immortal.
Language treatment
for dead Gandhi.
A chunk of remnant bread
left behind by a satiated man
was how the dead body looked.

Who could that man with a full belly be?
two newly, just formed countries?

Jawaharlal saw
transforming into ants,
struggling to carry away
that piece of bread.

What remains in it?
the sweetness of Ahimsa?
threads woven by the Charka?
the DNA of love?

The rivers of blood
that flowed
in Noakhali
and Bihar
had been sucked
by that piece of bread.
on its salinity
the ants must have
researched on taste.
the bitter tanginess
which singlehandedly stopped
the sea of blood
that might have flowed in Delhi?

Relieved that the
killer is a Hindu,
used to sitting only on chairs
is seated leaning against the other wall.
Patel too, in disbelief
that the person who had conversed and left him
ten minutes ago
now returned as a dead body.

The Akashavani folks
are fixing the microphone.
at the police station
the constable continues to write
the murderer’s statement.

The teacher
has died
after assigning the arithmetic problem
Henceforth solution
has to be found by oneself.
This book written by the earth
over seventy-eight years
has to be published by oneself.

Jawaharlal took the
microphone in hand.
Thought he is
going to burst into tears.

The microphone then
started speaking
on its own.
“That light has gone out.”


1.Gandhi had conversed with Patel, just before his death.

2.Mountbatten who rushed hearing the death of Gandhi, turned, hearing someone from the crowd shouting “the killer is a Muslim.” “No, it was done by a Hindu,” retorted Mountbatten loudly. At that time he didn’t know that the killer actually was a Hindu.

Translated from Malayalam by Sylvia

While jumping from
Mathilakam mosque
to the Arabian Sea
the azan
used to linger
in the sky for some time.
right on top
of our house.

Grandmother stops prayers
at that time.
Allah and Ram clash?
I used to ask
as a half-baked rationalist.
Not just to argue
but to feel the goodness of the laughter too
that grandmother alone can give.
At the time
when the world hits the heart
at the time when
each vein is squeezed out
at the time when hair follicles are pecked and examined,
with how many drops of blood were humans created
What was the meaning
of that laughter?
Was it to express
the same deep silence that
made Guru and Ramana Mahirshi
sit either side
in Thiruvannamala,
between Ram and Rahim too?

To shut the waves that lash
rama rama rama rama
with pahimam
or joining Kumaran asan⃰ with
‘is it my fault, that we happened to live
for long in variance’
in beginning to scrutinize Ram
as a variety of naughtiness?
Or is it the realization that silence
is the common language in any language?
Grandmother is no more
to ask.

on January 26, 2024
when I spread out and looked
at the laughing photo
what a surprise.
Our portico has
become a middle class city
in that.
Insane mobs
making endless noise.
in the middle,
are standing naive people with folded hands
who have mistaken
a gym for inflating
the muscles of religion and power,
as a temple.
In the corner
of a dirty street
just an old man
continues to create a harmonious music
on a single stringed
raw fiddle.
When he strung
eshwar allah there naam
a double leafed grass blade sprouted
splitting the hard ground, rising up.
I quickly grasped why grandmother
was stopping her prayers
or shedding laughter.
The ears of grain that sprout from
the same seed
should not stab and tear at each other.
The horns of the same cattle
should not confront.
Should not give way
to the cancer
where one cell eats into its
neighboring one.
India is a secular republic.


⃰Malayalam poet, social reformer and philosopher.

Translated from Malayalam by Sharmila Narayana


All of you know
that it was
Dasaratha who exiled
Ram from Ayodhya
to the forest.
on Kaikeyi’s demand.
though not birth mother,
she was mother to
Ram and Lakshman
and like mother-in-law to Sita.
All of you know that
Ram was exiled to Ayodhya
by close relatives.
not just Ram,
they exiled Sita and Lakshman as well.
There were no courts or police station
in those times.
but there were poets.
Valmiki in sanskrit
Kamban in tamil
Krittivasan in bengali
and Tulasidas in hindi
shouted out
“own family is behind
that exile.”
In South Asia
and South East Asia too
in all possible languages
“Those youngsters
were thrown
‘into the forest, not by the public,
but by kith and kin”
Unable to bear,
scolded near and dear ones
in malayalam as
‘O’ cruel, dark and evil minded.’
and cried through the assembled people
as ‘O lord! I have lost my life.’
Portrayed repeatedly
three souls
lying wearied on stones and roots
just drinking water from the Tamsa river.
friends who are yelling that they have brought back Ram,
it was not Babur
who chased away Ram from Ayodhya.
But his own father
and foster mother.
the manipulation
in one’s own house.
the toxicity
of the palace.
and thirst for power.
and Thunchaththu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan himself
are standing in court
as witnesses.


⃰ Thunchaththu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan is the father of Malayalam literature and the author of Adhyatma Ramayana.

Translated from Malayalam by Sharmila Narayana


P N Gopikrishnan

PN Gopikrishnan is the winner of this year’s Odakkuzhal Award. He is a poet with absolute political responsibility amongst his contemporaries.

In this issue of The Eye, Three of Gopikrishnan’s recent poems are included. These refute the Hindutva agenda that has obscured the nation’s secular and pluralistic colours. It is a call to explore the multifaceted choices before us and opt the right one in the upcoming General Elections.

Sharmila: English Professor at Christ University, Passionate about research and writing

Sylvia: Graduate in Engineering from NSS College of Engineering, Palakkad. Former DGM in ONGC.

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