T K Padmini — A Poem by V R Santhosh


Artist T K Padmini 1940 - 1969

While getting out and gazing alone

The half-naked earth before, becomes her self


The interior of her home is arranged accordingly

Outwardly she is always that Malabar lass


Temple bells and shades of the sacred grove

Provincial river and primal trees formed the garden of childhood


Internalizing the lone boat revealed by the river

To stay still in solitude on the bank


And crossing so many whirlpools to sit alone

In her room that is rowing nearby


Moonlight and the toads of darker love

Black cobras crawling on the body


Shady blue clouds and charred hilltop

Songs from the shrine and the walkways of the specter


If an isolated wench on the other side of the river

She would engulf the male to her bosom on this side


She has drawn and painted each of these restless resonances

In uncountable hues and textures


Intense yearnings are rendered into carnivals

Never adorned the breeze-damped hair tip with petals


In a suppressed sob she spread the lilacs

To moonlight with the touch of cosmic essence


As the feeling of the self dispossessed her

The enlightening who deluged her


Even when the kids, the lone kite and the moonlit path

And the trees search for her in distance.


A painting by T K Padmini

(A sojourn through the paintings of T K Padmini (1940-1969))

Translated from Malayalam by Ajay Sekher