“through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us. . ."

Friday, June 26, 2009

An evening in winter

It was dusk outside; inside the long hall

Dinner was set; candles lit.

Away, from the end of the corridor

Twilight fell softly across the floor.

At the other end, a door opened

To a patch of sky and a green-capped tree.

In the hall, alone at the table, I sat

Staring at the food I really didn’t see.

I didn’t hear him first; maybe I sensed –

What was he after, inside a house?

Silently he had entered from the garden

Perhaps a gust of wind swept him in.

A little sparrow, fluttering his wings,

He skitters, flies up and down, zigzag.

He almost hit the ceiling, and he didn’t -

He tried to escape but the windows were closed.

I watch him, and in him I see me.

He comes up and passes over my head.

I wince, a panic rises in me

As he flies nearer to the fan.

I am tense; fear grips, I clench my fists.

Then I hear him, he chirps once –

Maybe I spoke to him, silent;

Maybe knowing is enough, no words;

Maybe all it needs are two hearts,

To let it be known that we love.

At the other end, sky had become bright

And the tree now glowed golden.

Now chirping louder, the sparrow shot

Swiftly out through the door.

He vanished

Into the winter sky

Whence he came;

I muse on my life –

Whence I came

Where would I go?

Outside, a cuckoo calls.

********* Balachandran, Trivandrum, 26.06.2009


  1. Beautiful and vivid. From eternal space we come to a frightfully cramped space, peace probably again will be ours once we are back to the space eternally like the sparrow shooting out of that room.

  2. Peace...How gentle, how beautiful is that word! Thank you, Sujata...

  3. That was beautiful. Arent all of us like the little sparrow wanting to escape into the free sky .
    Its amazing how you read so much into a mundane daily-life incident.

  4. @Gymnast: call me B, if you like. Hope you too have a name! :) The flight of the sparrow through the hall is a metaphor for life.

  5. This is one of the most gripping writes yet. I see so much in this. So much like the bird, we are. Oh Balan, how we do get lost from time to time and forever wonder how we got there. This is beyond description. So poignant in so many ways..I love your music choices.. So much like my own.Your page is beautiful.. Sandy

  6. @Sandy: Thanks, buddy! :) I love those songs so much!!!!!

  7. this is beautiful poetry, balan. on the plain surface it narrates a moment of grace. deep down it is something else. how we get trapped inside and struggle on and on in the constricted space within four walls, when the door is wide open!

  8. great metaphorical writing.i had to read twice and thrice :)

  9. I read it thrice and every time I read it a fresh feeling grips my body. Beautifully written!!!!

  10. Oh the sound of that music takes me to places that only I may go...

  11. This is really lovely Balanji..where I come from and where will go ..... who am I?

  12. Have not seen you around, no new posts either..hope things are alright!


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