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The Fishmonger
The fishmonger was washing the vessel
In the running water of the tiny stream.
The screw pines did not see him.

There is a motor workshop, where the stream
Heading down straight, takes a sharp turn.
He didn’t see its laterite wall either

Parallel to the stream
To the south and north
The MC road* raced away.
It’s we the children who saw
In the water not even half a foot high
The body of the fishmonger
Lying facedown
The vessel, the scale and weights
Epilepsy having twirled him down
Water playing about his hair
In the water, the screw pine leaf playing about
Stabbing down and raising itself.
In the still corner of the stream
Water-bugs roaming.

What one sees reaching that same spot now:
A chicken shop
The workshop with plastered walls
The paddy-field in the earth.
There is no sign of the fishmonger.

Translator's Note: * The MC road: the main central road, the highway of Travancore, built during the reign of the Maharaja, connecting Trivandram in the south with Angamali, at the northernmost boarder of the erstwhile state.