Between Stars & Blades of Grass


Many times waking up
on a sable midnight
I have kept watching crystal clear dark.
This melt light of numerous stars
reposing on the Earth’s back
evokes as essence, conscious existence.
It flutter like a vast fabric
between the sky and the Earth’s crust.
Its silken flapping touches
brushes against me.
I have often sensed this darkness on the Earth
gently murmuring like an air current
at the core of dense forest rapture.

This dark is but a fabric
woven from the sky’s star threads
and the Earth’s needle sharp grass blades.
often I have seen at the dead of night
that stars stoop down to the Earth.
Oh ! so many drop and get pierced
by the pointed grass blades
and turn into threaded pearls to quaff solar light
that others at morn call the dew of dawn.

And I have seen the grass-blades
shoot upwards and take root
on the sky’s back
(Earthly plants in the sky!)
to turn into star-fields
and ripen.
I have seen many
a ripening ear of stars-
and I have seen forming
within me a horizon
of soil and light
tinged green and luminous.

I have seen
myself bodiless in the dark
only transparent
a subtle, sensitive medium –
a transmission tower
up at the outskirts perhaps?
Then deep inside
I have sensed something:
the sky and the Earth somewhere
I am a planet of grass and stars
as if I reside right in the midst
of grass and stars
I am stuffed full
of grass and stars!

-Original poem in Gujarati by ‘Ushanas’
(c) Translated by Pradip Khandwalla


2 Responses to “Between Stars & Blades of Grass”

  1. September 28, 2007 at 10:46 pm


    This is marvelous. Not only the poem and the brilliant translation, but the fact that the poet is Ushanas -who studied at the same school as I did, Rosary High School at Baroda (Vadodara), and one of my dearest friends Dr. Pradip Khandwalla -the ex-director of IIM-A.

    In 1991-1995 I discovered Dr. Khandwalla as a fellow member of the Indian Poetry Society and visited him. Thus followed a chain of meetings at his cozy little cottage amidst unimaginably green campus of IIM-A. He would invite other poets and we would read out our new creations, and he would be kind enough to make constructive and at times incisive comments. He was very influential in teaching me the beauty of minimalism.

    I have rarely been impressed so deeply by the finesse of a personality as he commanded. He was also prophetic in analyzing my mental/emotional make-up with a casual remark that changed my life :
    he said I had very good ‘holistic’ understanding. Sadly this facet of my personality has been useless to me all along.

    Thanks for introducing two geniuses in one stroke.



  2. 2 Entropy
    September 29, 2007 at 7:30 am


    Thanks & Gratitude for your enlightening comments and kind words..

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