Hibiscus from Broken Skulls

Kalapriya and Tamil New Poetry

Kalapriya, the celebrated writer from Thirunelveli, whose poems were first published in Kachatathapara over fifty years ago, represents the culmination of Tamil New Poetry.
Ashik Kahina Illustrations by Kevin Ilango
01 November, 2018

THE NATIONALISM OF THE CONGRESS and the vision of Indian civilisation that sustained it—the fantasy of a Sanskritic, Aryan heritage that united the subcontinent’s countless peoples—have long been supplanted in Tamil Nadu by a politics of Tamil difference and autonomy. Similarly, the imagined institution of Indian literature has long ceased to animate Tamil writing. The first Tamil modernists of the twentieth century, though, drew heavily on the imaginary of Indian nationalism and its associated reform movements—the Brahmo Samaj and the Arya Samaj. Foremost among these writers was the poet Subramanya Bharathiyar. He wrote both Tamil and Indian nationalist songs, was deeply read in Sanskrit, and believed the Tamils were Aryan.

Bharathiyar wrote the earliest poems in Tamil without metre. His poems demonstrate how, for him, the human, the divine and the nation are connected. In the poem “Shakti” he writes:

This is all one.
The stupid, the intelligent.
Ant, parrot.
They’re all one substance.
Vedas, seafish, cold wind, jasmine—
are one substance’s many appearances
but inside is only one substance, one.
This one’s name is “Self.”
“Self” is god.
Self’s ambrosia is everlasting.

The Tamil word Bharathiyar uses for self is thaan; the Sanskrit word is aatma—absolute spirit, universal self, god. His theology and nationalism have the same basis. The many are, in reality, one, and the one has many names: the self, Parasakthi, Bharat Matha. In Bharathiyar’s nationalist songs he uses the same language. Indians have many different appearances in the form of languages and geographies.

In the 1930s, Tamil politics began to turn away from the Congress-led movement for national independence. EV Ramasamy (called Periyar by most), disillusioned with a Congress party he thought irredeemably Brahminical, left to start the Self-Respect Movement, which later became the Dravidian Movement, dedicated to Tamil autonomy, socialism, atheism and the annihilation of caste. This new politics saw the Vedic Brahmins—the Aryans—as invaders who imposed caste, patriarchy, Sanskrit and superstition on the indigenous people of India. They were opposed to Indian independence, which, to Periyar, meant Brahmin rule. Bharathiyar’s nationalism had been left behind.

Since Independence, Tamil Nadu has been ruled (except for a few terms of the Congress) by one of two splinter parties from Periyar’s Dravidian Movement: the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (Federation for Dravidian Advancement), or DMK, and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, or AIADMK. Several of its ministers were artists. MG Ramachandran and Jayalalitha were actors, Karunanidhi wrote scripts and poems, Annadurai wrote plays. Art, especially cinema, has been the vehicle of popular politics in Tamil Nadu: in fact, cinema may be the most important space for the production of Dravidian nationalism. In the 1966 film Naan Annaiyattal—“If I Swear”—starring MGR, a song goes:

I swear on the mother, I swear on Tamil,

I have opened the eyes of the blind
Though I may be alone
Though I may lose my head
I will put an end to all suffering.

The popularity and influence of the movement circumscribed what could be written about and how, consigning writers for whom the literary was a domain autonomous from the political to small magazines.

This was a problem for a writer such as Sundara Ramaswamy—modernist and difficult, Brahmin and bilingual in Tamil and Malayalam—for whom Indian literature’s failure to cohere into an institution was a source of deep anguish. We can see this anguish in his 1981 novel Some of JJ’s Diaries, about the life of a Malayalam writer. In one scene, Balu, the narrator, recounts his attempts at starting a Tamil journal devoted to literature translated from other Indian languages:

There are fifteen official languages listed in India’s constitution. Ask Tamil writers if they have seen even once, all fifteen scripts. They will say no, exhausted to have been asked. I have been saying for twenty years that we need magazines in every Indian language dedicated to introducing literature translated from the other fourteen. That would be—15 x 15—225 magazines. I’ve lost many a friend over that number.

The passage is about the failure of the institution of Indian literature to come into being. But Indian literature here is also a synecdoche for India itself and for national integration, made impossible by regional chauvinism.

By trying to make space for the literary in what he saw as a landscape overdetermined by language and caste politics, Ramaswamy drew on a movement from the 1930s that represented an alternative to both Bharathiyar's modernism and the aesthetics of the Dravidian movement.

By trying to make space for the literary in what he saw as a landscape overdetermined by language and caste politics, Ramaswamy was drawing on a movement from the 1930s that represented an alternative to both Bharathiyar’s modernism and the aesthetics of the Dravidian movement. This movement clustered around the little magazine Manikodi. One of its most prominent figures was the short-story writer Pudumaipittan (a pseudonym whose literal translation is “crazy for the new”). Bharathiyar’s work ignored interiority, dream and fantasy. The protagonists of his stories are solitary, intellectual narrators. Pudumaipittan’s stories, on the other hand, are satirical and ironic. Humans are allowed to be foolish and despicable and speak a wide range of dialects. He brought characters from classes and castes that were previously excluded into his fiction: petty clerks, cremators, prostitutes.

It was also in Manikodi that Na Picchamurthy, the father of the New Poetry (in Tamil: Pudu Kavithai) published his first poems, in many of which the registers that define Bharathiyar’s work—rhapsody, exaltation, triumph—are no longer in evidence. He reached for a plainer, more subdued, and more philosophical idiom to match his vision of human life as filled with often implacable difficulty, of a human being marked by shadow and emptiness.

Here, for example, is the beginning of a Picchamurthy poem called “Bear the Load.”

With strained neck and
sweaty forehead
clenched eyes
and a salty mouth I carry
this load to the market.

I see no one who can share
this burden. Will anything
lighten it?

Most striking about this poem is all that is missing from it: images, psychology, music, history, politics, narrative, landscape and the concrete details of people’s lives. The speaker is shorn of flesh and blood, flattened into an obvious allegory. Picchamurthy reads not like a step past Bharathiyar but an attenuation of him.

Picchamurthy’s poetry marked the beginning of a movement in Tamil poetry associated with the magazine Ezhuthu and included (among others): Sundaram Ramaswamy (who wrote poetry under the name Pasuvayyah), the poet and critic Si Su Chellappa, and the novelist and poet Nakulan, a professor of English and the first to write a stream-of-consciousness novel in Tamil. Their work shares Picchamurthy’s insipidness.

Here is an entire poem by Nakulan which, though brighter and sharper than Picchamurthy’s, is also oddly empty:

“A tree”

many branches
say a word
in(side) it

many curves
some ornament
matters of sound
states of silence
in which
unaware of time passing

The poems are totally wrapped up in the generic, the existential. Yet the philosophy they present us with is too simple, too slight, devoid of enlivening angst or dread. Some poems written in that period were comic, such as C Mani’s “Answer.”

He pestered him for an answer,
O Guru!
What after death?
The guru screwed up his eyes and said:
O that?

What after birth?

But the comedy was feeble.

The next wave of poets felt that there was something fake about Picchamurthy’s modernism. The poet Gnanakoothan, a pen name which means something like “knowledge dancer,” among the most influential of the 1960s, articulated this suspicion in an interview with the weekly Kalachuvadu (founded by Sundara Ramaswamy) in 2009:

Picchamurthy didn’t like cigarettes. They were a symbol of modernity. Smoking cigarettes, keeping a moustache and all were new in the ’50s and ’60s. Among many, keeping a moustache, wearing a veshti below painted ankles and all were not allowed. A society like that existed. Picchamurthy’s poems failed to represent this. Today’s poetry is full of what he wanted kept out of modernity. He didn’t approve of sexual freedom or queer sex.

If making it new was about clearing space for what previously could not be admitted into poetry, then there was little new about Picchamurthy’s poems, which included nothing of the world in which he lived, the world of cigarettes, sex and veshtis that fall below the ankles. Gnanakoothan’s “new poetry,” which became an institution through the magazine Kachatathapara, does not shy away from politics and society. His register is usually mocking, his imagery often scatological and surreal. His collections are filled with pencil drawings in the style of newspaper cartoons, made by the author himself. Poems such as “Comrade Mosigeeranaar” (“Mosigeeranaar” is the name of a Sangam poet) read like political cartoons: quickly sketched, light, mocking.

Mosigeera, forgive me
for letting my delight
make me forget my manners

I haven’t yet read
your Sangam poems or anything

but still
I developed a real affection for you
you’re the first guy to put me to sleep
in a government building.

His poems also mock the time’s most cherished sentiments. The sanctity of Tamil (a poem called “Dog” ends with “Tamil is my very breath too/ but I don’t go exhaling on others”) and maternity:

“Mother’s Lies”

You said, “Love a girl
and your ears will fall off”

You said “Make a mistake
and god will poke out your eyes”

You said “Ask for something to eat
and your body will be ruined”


Can I stop taking your lies
as I stopped taking your milk?

If your child leaves you
where will your lies go?

KALAPRIYA, THE CELEBRATED, NOW SEPTAGUAGENARIAN, WRITER from Thirunelveli, whose poems were first published in Kachatathapara over fifty years ago, represents the culmination of the new poetry: thoroughly modern but distinct from the solipsism of the first New Poets, able to apprehend the society he lives in.

But that isn’t what led me to him. I bought Kalapriya’s “Collected Poems” the first time I visited a Tamil bookshop. It was 2016 and I had had only three terms of Tamil. An assistant brought me buttermilk as I browsed. Vannadasan had just won the Sahitya Akademi award and the bookseller wanted me to buy his collection of short stories “A Small Music.” When I refused, he brought out Kalapriya’s book saying, “They’re friends.” The cover of Vannadasan’s book showed the entrance of a traditionally built house; the cover of Kalapriya’s was a Tanjavur-style erotic painting. It was a simple choice.

The only Tamil books I had handled till then were cheap copies of Bharathiyar and the ancient poet Thiruvalluvar. Their flimsy pages were cramped with small black letters set in uniform couplets and stanzas. The stanzas in Kalapriya’s book were jagged, irregular and surrounded by white space. The paper was thick. The book was going to teach me Tamil.

For the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, all language is founded on a primary repression. It acts like a barrier, stopping us not only from experiencing the tabooed ecstasy that precedes language, but even from remembering what made us so ecstatic. Lacan’s metaphor for what we enjoyed before language is the mother’s body, which is to say, union with your origin, return to what you cannot return to.

For me Tamil, the mother tongue, its consonants limbs (mei ezhukkal, literally “body letters”), its vowels animating breath (uyir ezhuthukkal), was this body. Tamil was forbidden, not by any external authority, but internally, as though I was a low-born imposter in a noble family, afraid that if I spoke my language, my true lineage would be discovered.

By 2016, learning Tamil, the forbidden, forgotten mother tongue had become a way of recovering a lost origin, Lacan’s desiring, ecstatic self, of finding out what I desired. What Andal, Lal Ded, or Tukaram could feel, what Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan could feel when he sang, what Tagore and Bharathiyar could feel, I thought I could learn to feel by learning Tamil.

This hope saturated my reading of Kalapriya, but I didn’t find a teacher sympathetic to my longings in the aged man who has never left the municipality of Tenkasi, who happily worked at the same bank in the city of Thirunelveli until his retirement, who didn’t have to search for a language to write in, only turn to the language he knew, the language he had been speaking and hearing since he was born—the dialect of the Thirunelveli Saivite Pillais.

In his first collection Vellum—“Flood”—published in 1973, from which many poems were first published in Kachatathapara, Gnanakoothan’s influence can be easily discerned. Some poems, such as “Admission,” mock cherished Tamil sentiments:

Because she is without beauty
I made her my little sister

After Freud and psychoanalysis, a poem like this one or Gnanakoothan’s “Mother’s Lies” feels tame, and yet this minor, immature poem of Kalapriya’s remains controversial. It bothers him even today, as can be seen from an interview he gave to the popular weekly Ananda Vikatan earlier this year: “In college my classmates were outraged. So what, if your little sister was beautiful you’d sleep with her would you? Even today critics continue to drag this poem along a false path.”

The Tamil avant-garde and its little magazines must, of course, be thought about in the light of their foreign counterparts and sources of inspiration: Walt Whitman, TS Eliot, Pablo Neruda and Octavio Paz, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Gorky. But it is equally important to think about these literary movements alongside MGR and Karunanidhi, popular cinema and politics. Kalapriya participated in the Hindi Opposition movement of the late 1960s, has been a DMK supporter all his life, and spent much of his youth writing letters to the MGR Supporters’ Society.

Some early poems hint at what would later become trademark registers of tone and imagery: mockery, violence, sadism.

“Her Perspectives”

Chasing, stabbing
a wounded crying pig,
crows that aren’t hungry

In the gap between the body of the poem and the title, a gap that generates rather than forecloses meaning, opens rather than seals, we see echoes of Surrealism, whose influence—acquired by reading Gnanakoothan and Latin American writers who drew on the French Surrealists—never left Kalapriya.

Gnanakoothan's "new poetry," which became an institution through the magazine Kachatathapara, does not shy away from politics and society. His register is usually mocking, his imagery often scatological and surreal.

In the poem “My Land on High” (which appeared first in Kachatathapara in 1967), Kalapriya mocks lyric convention. The poem initially seems to be a rhapsody about the cool hills of Tenkasi—the source of the poet’s inspiration.

My high land was shivering
in yesterday’s cold rain.
My high land dries
in today’s blazing heat.
My high land
will understand meditation
in tomorrow’s emptiness.
I can feel all this
buried in it.

At the end of the poem, a corpse—a fitting image for a dead trope.

In the poem titled (in English by Kalapriya himself) “Run Wild, Run Free,” the rush of the contemporary is palpable. This is poetry that includes the newspapers, the streets, the movies:

This century
there’s still no ration
for LSD.
In “A” certificate films
there are still women
with clothes on.

I had to pay a bribe
to get a job. But at least
they didn’t ask to sleep with my wife.

This century
They are still writing poetry.

Balancing this bitterness, satire and violence, contrapuntal to Gnanakoothan’s impact on Kalapriya, was Tagore. Kalapriya, in an interview published in the introduction to his collected poems, admits this himself.

Everyone thought Tagore had an immense effect on me. Gnanakoothan said Tagore had affected me to the detriment of my work, my voice. This is true in a way. It has come to the point where I can barely tell which poems in my notebook are mine and which Tagore’s.

Tagore’s impact is more apparent in Kalapriya’s second collection Theertha Yathirai or “Completed Pilgrimage” (also published in 1973 but written later than the poems in “Flood”). In the poem “Day,” for instance, we can see the impact of Tagore’s delicate, melancholy treatment of daily life.

The piss their baby left
in front of the house
isn’t drawing ants today.

No crows were tricked into making clatter

the empty pots left to wash
in the courtyard. Not even
a beggar comes, selling
his voice, getting
only weariness in return.

No one has even asked father for a loan.
Only she, as usual,
came to hear mother’s
“He’s not here”
and leave in my mind
her walking away
with an orphaned look.

This reads like a condensed Tagore short story, except it works through sparse suggestion, rather than the voice of a talkative, empathetic narrator.

In the latter part of this collection, Kalapriya dwells on the Geetanjali; that is, on the Bhakti convention of union with the One which Tagore and Bharathiyar drew on in their nationalist poetry. In a conventional Bhakti poem, the speaker’s anguish comes from feeling that he or she is cut off from the One, while knowing that they are only real insofar as they are part of this One. If self and other, I and you appear distinct, then you are caught up in illusion.

The short-story writer Vannadasan and the port Vikramadityan were, along with Kalapriya, part of a turn toward Thirunelveli as a literary subject.

For Bharathiyar, the nation constitutes the unity that releases us from this illusion. For Kalapriya there is no release. Many of the poems in Theertha Yathirai are addressed to the “you” or “beloved” of Bhakti convention. But these poems—such as “At the Ranganathan Temple Agraharam You Don’t Visit”—are about its absence, about disenchantment.

He yanks distractedly
on the sagging poonul

of the man extending
his palm to be read, while
on the hairy feet of the mami next door

his lust grows
this “Brahmin” by the west pillar
his body black with ash.

The poetic “I” that could speak to the divine, even become it, has lost its dignity:

Against other pillars
other jobless fucks
like me.

In a later poem Kalapriya will call Bharathiyar’s “Self” a snake trapped in a cowdung-sealed hole, about to be smoked out. He will lament that he and his fellow poets have forgotten the beloved’s name.

By his fifth collection, Swayamvaram (the name for a ceremony in which a woman chooses her husband from a line of suitors), published in 1985, conceived of as a book rather than a collection of individual poems, and inspired by TS Eliot’s The Waste Land, Kalapriya’s voice had grown mature. Like before, it is sarcastic and melancholic, alternating between sadism and masochism, but now it is firmly grounded in the dialects and idiolects, the landscapes and communities of the city of Thirunelveli, Tenkasi and the banks of the Tamarabarani river.

Kalapriya was not alone in this turn toward Thirunelveli. He was part of a movement that included the short-story writers Vannadasan (friends with Kalapriya from childhood) and Vannanilavan, along with the poet Vikramadityan, all of whom were from Tenkasi.

THIRUNELVELI IN THE EARLY 1960s. Quiet streets and old-style houses with slanted roofs, doorways framed by pillars and raised platforms painted pastel shades of blue, pink and green. A cool afternoon, permeated with snores, the sound of crows and cricket matches, the light dancing of leaves in the wind (for which the Tamil word is—salasalapu). Long curtains of black hair have been loosed for putting oil or picking lice. On a terrace, two schoolboys making a magazine.

One of them, Kalyani Annan, is in the eleventh or twelfth standard. He sketches what will eventually be a watercolour, the entrance of his house framed by two pillars. The younger, Gopal, in the eighth or ninth, sings to keep him entertained and motivated, as though Kalyani were a bus driver on an all-night journey:

The Kaveri that sings our history
runs like a fresh, tender bud.
In gold-decked Madurai
Our daughter Tamil sings Tamil music.

Kalyani Annan has taught himself to draw and paint by copying pictures from Ananda Vikatan. He also writes short stories and his first ones have already been published. Gopal, to whom Kalyani lends every book he reads once he is done with it, has tried to write stories as well, but found it difficult. More than anything, he loves the fight scenes in MGR movies and writes regular letters to the MGR Supporters’ Society.

Gopal must have memorised hundreds of dialogues and lyrics. Kalyani suggests that he write a poem for their magazine, perhaps a love lyric in the style of the popular songwriter Kannadasan. Gopal used to write under the name “Kumbum,” a reference to his star sign (Aquarius). But the name sounds wrong to him when he is asked to write for an issue of a handwritten magazine. Kalyani Annan, who usually calls himself Vannadasan, suggests “Sasikala” and “Kalapriya.” Gopal chooses the latter because Kalyani says he likes it.

Kalapriya is eighteen when CN Annadurai, DMK founder and chief minister of Tamil Nadu, dies. He listens with awe to Karunanidhi’s elegy and decides to write his own. A vigil is held at his college and a classmate of his sings his poem beautifully in a four-beat metre. Kalyani Annan has been translating Soviet fiction—Gorky, Sholokhov—and publishing poems in Kachatathapara. After his elegy’s success, Gopal decides to do the same.

TAMIL LITERATURE, believed Kalapriya and his friends, was too detached from ordinary life. In Vannadasan’s words, the glimmer of not only stars but also fireflies was needed.” The Ezhutthu writers were too solipsistic, Gnanakoothan’s way of writing was too absurd and ironic, too urbane, and the poets around the magazine Vanambadi were too entrenched in the Left or Dravidian politics.


Vedanta from the North
Saiva Siddhantha from the South
Daoism from the East
and Marxism or whatever from the West
everyone here lives.

This poem by Vikramadityan reads almost like a manifesto in its declaration that from now on “everyone here”— fruit sellers, tea shop owners, priests—ought to be the subject of poetry. And indeed, Vikramadityan’s poems and Vannadasan’s short stories are intimate, detailed portrayals of middle class people in Thirunelveli. But their aesthetic ambitions end there. They don’t search past the worlds they come from. Thirunelveli in their work is just that: Thirunelveli, vividly rendered.

Kalapriya, unlike his contemporaries from Thirunelveli, does not reject Gnanakoothan. Adopting registers that Gnanakoothan made part of modern Tamil poetry helps him bring to life those outside the middle class—mad people, beggars, labourers—into his work. Nor is he a realist trying simply to depict Thirunelveli; Thirunelveli becomes in his work an archive of images with which he can express inner states or movements, an interior landscape.

The phrase “interior landscape” was coined by AK Ramanujam, the poet and scholar through whose famed translations from the eight Sangam anthologies written early in the first millennium—collected in The Interior Landscape and Poems of Love and War—most who cannot read Tamil have been introduced to its poetry. These ancient poems feel modern. They are dramatic monologues not addressed to, but overheard by the reader, articulating mood and feeling through a taxonomy of images: the landscapes, seasons, people, animals and plants of the Tamil country. In the poetic traditions of Europe, it is difficult to find anything like it until the French Symbolists.

The novelist Jeyamohan, in his afterword to Kalapriya’s “Collected Poems,” makes the astounding claim that since these anthologies, attention to the lives of ordinary people, in the manner of, say, a nineteenth-century novelist such as Tolstoy, has been absent from Tamil poetry until the arrival of the New Poets of which Kalapriya was a representative. And in fact, in the works that came right after the anthologies, such as the Jain epic Silapattikaram (translated by Alain Daniélou as The Ankle Bracelet), the minute intimacy of the early Sangam love poems has disappeared. Although they carry forward the Sangam style of evoking mood through landscape, they are interested not in ordinary but great people, not in psychology but destiny.

Of course, neither Kalapriya’s poems nor the Sangam songs can be called realist. The images in Sangam songs are not local colour; they are metonymic representations of inner life. Moreover, these images form a closed network of signs in which one can play with convention but cannot break from it. A kurinci flower means a clandestine lovers’ meeting, coastal land means anxious waiting. Kalapriya’s Thirunelveli is also a stock of images (not only visual but sonic, snatches of speech, idioms and proverbs) that articulate inner states, but the use of these images is not governed by a similar set of conventions. His images are unstable, open, excessive and do not have any obvious symbolic meaning attached to them.

The poems in Swayamvaram come in numbered series. The titles are abstruse (“Still, Parrots,” “Grotesque Flowers,” “Some Laws for Plucking Off a Single Breast”). These poems rarely share a theme, and nor are they narratively connected. They don’t even have the same mood. They are, like the poems in The Waste Land, ruptured and fragmented. They employ registers that clash with each other and cut rapidly from scene to scene. In Kalapriya’s work, however, unlike in Eliot’s poem, a patterning can be discerned. His sequences are given continuity by the repetition of a gesture or movement like an abstract piece of music or dance.

“Some Laws for Plucking Off a Single Breast”

He bought his first cow out of charity,
this Brahmin, ignorant
of the right curse words
trying to lead it with a clutch of spinach.

The curse words that would pacify
his struggling cow, ignorant
of the Vedas,
must replace his lessons.

Today just bees are enough
for taking honey.

To be cautious
clip every butterfly’s wings.
When you need it
you can see
the notice for the festival
flying. Tell
the children prising pins
from railway tracks with a knife
to cut their companions’ fingers.

If you’re in the ruling party
throw the knife
at whoever doesn’t clap

On Sundays children tire themselves
trying to make damselflies
carry stones in the heat.
Butterflies try
to pick up the thumbai flowers
strewn like suns on the ground.
Let the escaped ones fly
to the hill’s zenith. The children climbing
can fall and smash their heads.
Hibiscus will bloom
in the foothills.

Don’t let lotus flowers bloom
with their leaves. Thinking
that they can reflect the sky
unnecessary dewdrops
will appear.

These numbered poems are united by doubles, imposters, imitations: the dewdrops pretending they are the ocean, the cow-protecting Brahmin who knows nothing about cows. The movement of each image is echoed elsewhere. The clipping of the butterflies’ wings repeats in the prising of pins from railway tracks. The knife used to remove the pins becomes the knife to be thrown at those who do not clap for your speeches.

The images here are of incompetence (butterflies that don’t realise the flowers strewn on the ground have no nectar, children that cannot make damselflies pick stones up) and cruelty (clip the butterflies’ wings, push the children down the hill). The title alludes to the end of the Silappatikaram whose heroine Kannagi, with divine power acquired through spotless virtue, burns down, as an act of justice and retribution, the city of Madurai by ripping off one of her breasts. Retribution accounts for the poem’s violent symmetries (the children’s heads break and flowers bloom).

I started translating Kalapriya (who has not been translated into English) to write myself into Tamil literature, to be transformed into a Tamil writer, to be formed. It would be impossible to write otherwise. Tamil literature vanishes as I move toward it, but I have to keep moving to renew the possibility of writing.

All translations from Tamil by the author.