Read on

Yes, I do have a head full of posts but I’m trying to stick with my resolution of not really blogging (alright so this is a post and I am cheating, but it’s a teeny one!). And this is what I am doing instead – reading, reading, reading.

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Oh – that is other than spending time with the kids, attending concerts, shows, taking walks in the park when my knee allows it, swimming when I have time, meeting new interesting people, hosting family and friends … and still getting that sinking feeling that time is flying and my babies are just rushing by without giving me enough time to drink them up…

I am reading this book called The Hour Past Midnight by a Tamil author called Salma (English tranlsation of course!) and she’s the first Muslim woman to write in Tamil, I am told.  Be it purdah or the right to write, she’s taken everything on and from her small village beyond Trichy come thoughts and words so powerful that you can’t help but be affected. The book opens with this poem and I smiled as I read it because it brought back memories of this post. I am sure plenty of mothers out there will relate to it. Me, I’m just glad the OA isn’t turned off by the lacy silver patterns that cover me from navel to thigh. I honestly wouldn’t think much of a husband and father who was…

I haven’t got in to the book yet. Am still soaking up her poetry. Zubaan publications, incase you are interested.

Here’s the poem

The Hour Past Midnight


These nights

following the children’s birth

you seek, dissatisfied,

within the nakedness you know so well,

my once unblemished beauty.


You are much repelled,

you say,

by a thickened body

and a belly criss-crossed with birthmarks,

my body though,

is unchanging

you say

today, hereafter and forevermore.


My voice, deep-buried

in the valley of silence,

mutters to itself:


True indeed,

your body is not like mine:

it proclaims itself,

it stands manifest.


Before this too,

your children, perhaps, were born

in many places, to many others;

you may be proud

you bear no traces of their birth.


And what must I do?

These birthmarks cannot be

repaired, any more than my own decline –

this body isn’t paper

to cut and paste together, or restore.


Nature has been more perfidious to me

than even you;

but from you began

the first stage of my downfall.


More bizarre

than the early hours of night

is the hour past midnight

where dreams teem.


It is now, at this midnight hour

the tiger which sat quietly

within the picture on the wall

takes its place at my head

and stares

and stares


29 thoughts on “Read on

  1. That is such a beautiful poem! I see that ‘Amen’ by Sister Jesme is in your reading list. She was my English teacher in college and whatever the truth may be I admire her courage. I am planning to get the Malayalam version when I go home.

  2. The Zoya factor is such a fun read. Dhoni kept appearing in my head when I was reading it …Had me in splits.

  3. how do u find time?? all i have is a job and gym to do and at the end of the day i m too exhausted to even breath! kudos to you managing time so well!

  4. Write woman, we don’t want the headful of posts bursting now, do we? 🙂
    Well, on the other hand, go read some more, sleep, play with the kids and OA, we will wait.

  5. delurking to ask: not really blogging?

    you have been blogging every other day!

    i thought you would take some rest till the time you mentioned in your post a while ago. you deserve rest, lady. you should completely stay off blogging as you intended to.

  6. You should have read the Tamil version.. Normally when something is expressed in his/her mother tongue has a much deeper effect. Isn’t it?

    Me: but i dont read Tamil Uma!

  7. Hay MM, I had read about the author Salma. Her picture seems like her intellect and feelings are not the product of being erudite or an intellectual background. She looks very rooted, grounded and everyday, like most of us.

  8. Beautiful poem. I’m sure going to buy that one. And looking at those books piled up, I’m ashamed to say I haven’t read even one of them. And I call myself a book addict! sheeeesh.

  9. Havent seen any of those books in Hyd. How about that? I’ve started using flipkart to start ordering books which I normally dont get in the bookstores. You started working again? Sad to hear of savitabhabhi esp since I was introduced to it on your blog..lascivious..

  10. So, tell me. Do you actually go out and buy these new books all the time? If so, how do you decide what to pick, if it is a new author? And where is your gold mine ;)?

    Or are you one of those lucky ones with a vast library close by?

    Quite a powerful poem.

  11. m sowi but the moment i saw those books i dint read much of the post after that….m yearning for books these days sigh…

    though finalli mngd to read the poem…now i want that book..sigh again

  12. hey great mind thinks alike. i’ve actually read 2 serious novels in the last week. it’s the most i’ve read since the twins arrived almost 5 years ago. i’m loving summer school. lol

  13. lovely set of books and lovely poem too 🙂

    i began reading your blog recently, and i absolutely love it. i love the way you present your opinion about the various things that matter to you, and talk about ur hubby and kids. i catch up with each and every post of yours. 🙂

    have a little something for you at my blog. would love it if you could pls come over and accept it! 🙂

  14. “You may be proud you bear no traces of their birth”

    Hell no! While I certainly cannot claim to love my saggy bits or my stretch marks, I am certainly proud to “bear the traces” of my children’s birth. Just like tattoos!

  15. Hey, that is quite a variety you read. From the last list I remember I picked up a michael connelly and almost single (currently reading) and I liked what I read. Off this list, zoya factor is an easy read but I have no clue of the author or the other books. So let me start googling for my next read from your list. Thanks for the lust

  16. Yeah. I remember.. i just meant the tamil version is very powerful…

    Also, if you happen to get books of SuRa – Sundara Ramasamy, you might enjoy his works as well. His is available in English.

  17. I have read Zoya too. Loved it for its humour but it has Mills and Boons undertones which put me off. As for Faking It, I am in the first few chapters.

    Thanks for the poetry. I will see if her book is available in my library. 🙂

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