Tanka by Kala Ramesh in India

2010/08/07

 

On May 20, 2010, Kala Ramesh sent me an e-mail as follows: 

Dear Hidenori Hiruta san,

Sending my work for your site.

Please take time over your translation, because I’ve sent tanka and Haibun too, which might need more time for proper translation, I feel, since they are longer.

I’m given you many poems, please choose whatever you like from each genre.

Thanking you,

warmly,

_kala

According to her self-introduction, Kala Ramesh has long had a fascination for Indian classical music and is an exponent of both Carnatic and Hindustani Classical Music styles. She was fortunate to undergo vigorous training from leading musicians. She has worked extensively on Pandit Kumar Gandharva’s compositions and Nirguni bhajans along with the paramparic bandishes of the Gwalior Gharana, under the guidance of Vidushi Smt Shubhada Chirmulay, Pune.

Kala has made a concerted effort to understand the ‘spirit’ behind Kumarji’s gayaki – incorporating the vigour and the vitality, which is so inherent in his style of singing and she has performed in major cities in India.

Coming from an extremely artistic and culturally rich South Indian Tamil family, Kala believes, as her father is fond of saying, “the soil needs to be fertile for the plant to loom”. She also feels she owes this poetic streak in her to her mother. Kala is keen to see children in India take to haiku and its genres.

Kala is the deputy editor-in-chief of The World Haiku Review; is a member of the editorial team of Modern English Tanka Press’s new anthology, Take Five: The Best Contemporary Tanka 2008/2009/2010, is on the panel of the literary e-journal Muse India, for the areas of haiku and short verse [http://www.museindia.com/feature17.asp]; and was the in-house editor for Katha, New Delhi for the book Seeking the Beloved: The Poetry of Shah Abdul Latif (2005). Since April 2009, she has acted as Katha’s Poetry Editor and, in this capacity, edited an e-book of haiku, senryu, haibun, tanka, and haiga encompassing the work of 35 Indian haiku poets–the first such book to come from an Indian publishing house!

Currently, she is also the lead poet (sabaki) of a Kasen renku with six other international renkujin: experimenting, discovering, and incorporating the traditional renku with the Rasa Theory of India (which consists of nine rasas or emotions, namely erotic, comic, sorrow, anger, valour, fear, disgust, wonder and tranquillity, traditionally known as the nava rasas). Kala heads the World Haiku Club in India. As director, she organised the World Haiku Club Meeting at Pune in December 2006. The four-day 9th World Haiku Festival she organized at Bangalore in February 2008 was sponsored jointly by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ji and Sri Ratan Tata Trust

Here I present some tanka by Kala Ramesh with my Japanese interpretations.

I sincerely hope that you will enjoy reading her tanka and appreciate them.

 

Tanka

 

                                                        Love                    
is an oasis 
                 
you say… 
               
or does our thirst 
play tricks on us?
 

  

 愛

オアシスであると

あなたは言う...

あるいは、私たちの渇きが

私たちにいたずらしているのだろうか?

 

surfing through
channels of thought
I tune into
the lingering memory
of mother’s favourite saris
 

 

思いを巡らしながら

様々な思考回路を通って

私は同調する

なかなか消えない思い出の中に

母さんの大好きなサリーの思い出に

 

she lights 
the bronze lamp 
each morning 
a new day for mother to love
her Goddess, all over again

 

彼女は火を灯す

青銅のランプに

毎朝

新しい日が始まる

母が愛する女神のための日、もう一度最初から

 

a hundred lies
just to cover
the first
his conscience
allowed him to say

 

百ものうそ

まさに最初のうそを隠すために

彼の良心が

彼に言わせたのだ 

 

my family wept 
over our dog’s death 
I weep 
for those days I grudged him 
his early morning walk

 

私の家族は泣いた

私たちの犬の死に

私は泣く

あの日々のために

私が早朝の散歩にしぶしぶ連れて行った日々のために

 

draped in fragrance 
the jasmine withers . . .
my breath 
through the flute, cherishes 
each note as it fades

 

芳香の中に優美に垂れ

ジャスミンは色あせる...

私の息は

フルートを通して、心に抱く

萎んでゆく時の調べのそれぞれを 

 

autumn fields
a fork in the road
widening
our shadows    
even farther

 

秋の畑

路上のくま手

広げていく

私たちの影を

さらに遠くへ

 

worn out sandals 
the cobbler finds them 
difficult to mend 
and I find them hard 
to discard

 

 すり切れたサンダル

靴直しが修理は難しいと見る

だけど私は手放し難いと思う

 

rain in the city 
unrelenting
through the long night 
my life hangs
on your laboured breath

 

都会の雨

容赦なく

長い夜を通して降り続ける

私の命はすがりついている

あなたの骨折って働いている息に 

 

laughing
over old stories . . .
suddenly
I feel that mother
is young again

 

笑っている 

古い話に...

突然

私は感じる

母がまた若くなっていることを

 

for eons, waves
have danced the pebbles
to perfection . . . still
it’s the sand between my fingers
that leaves me spellbound

 

イーオンのために、波が

小石を飛びはねさせてきた

完成へと...さらに

私の指の間の砂である

私をうっとりさせるのは

 

 

it is possible 
I tell myself 
to feel 
the depth of the sky 
from within me . . .

 

可能です

自分に言うのは

感じるように

天の深さを

私の心の内から...

 

 

CREDITS:

love (Nov 2009 Simply Haiku)
surfing through(Nov 2009 Simply Haiku)
she lights (Nov 2009 Simply Haiku)
a hundred lies (Fall issue of Ribbons, 2009)
my family wept (Nov 2009 Simply Haiku)
draped in fragrance (Eucalypt  May 07)
autumn fields  (Magnapoets July 09)
worn out sandals (Loch Raven Review Fall 05)
rain in the city (Streetlights: Poetry of Urban Life in MET. summer 09)
laughing (Notes From the Gean – Sep 09)
for eons, waves(Simply HaikuSpring 07)
it is possible (Tanka Online Jan 2010)

 

 

The next posting ‘Haiku by Michael Dylan Welch (2)’ appears on August 14

.

― Hidenori Hiruta

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One Response to “Tanka by Kala Ramesh in India”

  1. P K Padhy Says:

    Madam Kals’s Tanka is rich in poetic expression and human values. It reflects the feeling of simplicity.

    rain showers
    the shadow of beauty
    my reflection
    discovers the sparkle of moon
    behind the veil of innocent cloud

    P K Padhy

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