Interpreting Devotion: The Poetry and Legacy of a Female Bhakti Saint of India
By Karen Pechilis
Arputat Tiruvantati, poem 98
Would the palm of your hand
turn red from the flames dancing in it?
Or would the flames turn red
from the beauty of your palm?
You who dance on the fire
where the pey live,
bearing bright flames in your palm
with anklets ringing
Make your reply to this.
Arputat Tiruvantati, poem 99
Is the dance you perform
adorned with the five-headed cobra
who spits fire
watched by the lady with young breasts like bowls
or by the circle of pey at the fiery cremation ground?
Tiruvalankattut Tiruppatikam, Poem 8
In this fearsome burning ground
the heat bursts the tall bamboo
popping its white pearls
and desiccated pey
clamor as they gather to feast on corpses
while the enchanter dances
beheld with wonder
by the daughter of the mountain lord.
Romila Thapar addresses invitees at the
Southasian relaunch of Himal Southasian,
IIC, New Delhi, January 2013.
Flickr / girl.from.melbourne
An early monsoon
On June 16 2013, the India Meteorological Department confirmed the early arrival of monsoon rains across the whole of India. Full coverage was not expected until the middle of July, making farmers hopeful for a bumper crop.
From our archive:
C K Lal discusses the fixation of Southasia's political leaders with 'monumental waterworks.' (September 2007)
Somnath Mukherji explores the sights, sounds, smells and feelings that monsoon evokes. (June 2007)
Venu Madhav Govindu notes the 'fundamental importance' of a good monsoon for both city and rural dwellers. (August 2003)