These Two Poems of Jayanth Kaikini Will Make You Wonder How Beautiful The Poetic World Is

Jayanth Kaikini unread

Jayanth Kaikini, the most loved novelist, story-teller, and a writer turned lyricist have never fallen flat to impress us with his impeccable style of weaving words through metaphors and the similitude of life. If you have listened to him live then the very presence of him will take you to the world of imagination and put you on the flight of fantasy. Mr.Kaikini is more than his film songs rather he gets more lively through his novels and short stories. Let us unwind all the perceptions and get into the world of Jayanth Kaikini like a baby following the footsteps of a mother.

Jayanth Kaikini Unread: Poems


Jayanth Kaikini
Credits – Jayanth Kaikini

Proximity (Translation)

The stranger seated beside me has dozed off
His body slackened, head resting on my shoulder
How helpless he is, lost in his own sleep

His hands are lush with silvery hair
The breeze has a lock curled up on his oily brow
Small creases lie by the eyes, which if he smiles
Might wrinkle around his narrow gaze
At home, he could make himself more snug
Knees up and head reclining on his left shoulder
His drooping lips quiver
As though his mother is oiling his hair


There’s a blister on his fingertip
Is his voice like a greying whisker of hair
Or like the trace of his worn-out collar
Against the fading print of his shirt
Melting with age?
How he must have trembled as a child
On his first errand to a shop –
What thoughts crowd his lonely mind
When he lights the evening lamps?

One sandal has slipped down from his toe
The nails are growing thick and fast
His tired limbs sprawled in different directions
A giant wing guards his defenceless sleep
The breath from his heaving chest
Is enough to keep the world warm.

jayanth kaikini
Credits – Jayanth Kaikini

Script (Translation)


When did the ant develop a taste for the news?
Or did it always nurse it within?
Crawling along the newspaper spread
on the floor, it devours each letter
of news, first the big headlines of national mourning
later the medium-sized bride-burning bit
and those who slit each other’s throats
for a dime, and then the small fonts
of suicide, missing persons etc . . .
Thus polishing off each item,
the ant has left.

The paper’s blank now
like the pale cheeks of a pregnant woman
who died for want of blood
Roll it up now and see
the stars at the end of the tube
or place it to your ear and hear
somebody digging a trench somewhere faraway

Place it between your lips
and play the flute
or if you so wish, abandon it
in the bamboo forest nearby


Place it between your lips
and play the flute
or if you so wish, abandon it
in the bamboo forest nearby

Quoted from ‘Neelimale’ published in Patrike Prakashana, Bangalore, 1997.

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