Monday, June 29, 2015

Parting (Mettupalayam Station, 1970)

The child belongs to the National Cadet Corps. A group of cadets was being taken to the Nilgiri Hills, the home of the Defense Services Staff College at Wellington. His pensive mother waits with him for the train to arrive.

I posted another picture from the same time and place here:  Future Past.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


It is known among known matters in the universe that human beings make life the murkiest. Within this, the murkiest of all is politics.

My Life, My Death

I have lived through storms
they have become my address
my mark will be there
for those who want to find me

I have cried a lot
I have laughed uproariously
the sign of all this
I left floating in the flood
swirling in the whirlpool

I have forgotten
when you passed by me
speeding like monsoon clouds
overflowing like rivers
you filled me with laughter and loving

as quickly as dreams shatter
even when held in caring hands
the deluge drowned my dreams
and carried my traces to distant shores

windblown and lost to me
dear fallen leaves
should the cloudy dreams of your heart
seek me again

I will cry and laugh as I did before
I will ride the tide again
as again I leave my seal on the lightning
and on death itself
where forever you will find me

Update:  Anant Maranganti, Ph.D. wrote:

Images match words and all of them blur into a sensual experience whose  boundaries are impossible to fix - This is really about life and death,  in a universal sense, not about any particular life and death or is it ?

Just for a moment, before I let go of myself, I puzzled over  how the  imprint of French existentialists of the 1960s could have  blended beyond recognition with the early 20th century American  transcendentalists into a fiercely Indian sensibility. But then I let  go. I am content with the realization that the song belongs to genre of  experience that I can shamelessly gulp down - moist, breezy, excited,  throbbing like a frog in a rainforest.

I recognize this  particular impulse to draw on something from the past as different from  other impulses.  It is an odd one - it is one of those impulses that  helps me feel at once contemporaneous and timeless and forget that  grating voice that accuses me of being an imposter in a masquerade.

Thank you for sharing it.
My reply:

Dear  Anant:

Your gushing was  emotionally as overpowering as the tears of joy and hurt that gushed through the  lines I wove. I am very touched, first by your reading my lament–laughter, and  then by your mulling it over with such profusion of emotion that now I cannot  decide whether my poem is actually not surpassed by your  reaction.

Throbbing like a frog  which cannot leap, but cannot but dwell only in a  rainforest,

Ramesh  Gandhi


Sunday, June 21, 2015


behind the veil
a glimpse of red
a cover-up
by a white cloth

Anonymous wrote:

My heart sinks at the sight of the shroud and its text. It reminds me of the red frock of the child in Schindler's List. The sharpness of the creases holds such a rigid finality... it is chilling rigor mortis.


Anonymous wrote:

This pierces with the sharpness of the angles, as much as the bare metallic edges. The lighter marble holds the light almost reluctantly while the grey slab seems almost to plunge into the dark. My heart sinks.