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Dear Vimalathasan Anna


Photo courtesy of Chathuranga Pradeep

I don’t have any

kind of greedy idea

that you will get this letter.

And yet,

I cannot leave off from

writing this letter to you.

The mind

flutters like the wings of a butterfly.

Do you remember when we last met?

On that day,

you did not have the cloth shoulder bag

you usually carry

We had so much to discuss

And yet,

in that hurried moment,

We couldn’t.

You said that I had

lost a lot of weight

(well, that everyone says!)

But who can

say that to whom?

The situation is bad here.

The chances for our survival

have become thin.

At night,


everyone dreams:

terrible nightmares

where  helicopters

fly upside down

and tanks drive over children

Our children

make toy paper guns.

At times

when all the shops in town

 are shuttered,

only the coffin maker

stays open in hope.

I don’t know,

if you knew already,

but how do I tell you of

the many dear friends

we have lost?

But you do know

that nature abhors a vacuum.

Until the end, then,

Let’s follow our path.

Translated from Tamil by Anushiya Ramaswamy

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