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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 8, Number 1, March 2014

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Kala Ramesh
Pune, Maharashtra, India


Rain

Fields and more fields were all she knew when growing up with her grandparents. My maid, who has been with me fourteen years, constantly recalls her childhood years spent in the village called Kudal. On and off in between her chores, she'll tell me how she was forced to leave school so that she could lend a helping hand to her grandfather in the fields. And how lovingly her grandmother would bring them their lunch of round chapatis, spicy masala curry, warm fragrant hand-pounded rice and yellow dal. How, after four gruelling hours of work in the field, she would simply gobble up the rice and dal, as though it were her favourite dish.

flanked by seas
the land shrinks into a dot . . .
until my first flight
the city of my birth
was the world for me

With delayed or prolonged monsoon during the months of June, July and August, my maid will tell me without fail, how, by now, the crops in the villages would have been ruined, since groundnuts, maize, and jowar need rain only when they are being sown.In the midst of this concrete jungle, her heart lies far away.

an apsara
descends on mango blossoms—
I don't have to be
a Michelangelo
to read stories in the clouds

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