25 December 2010

Plain Truths by Arun Kumar

Plain truths by Arun Kumar

If you’re in Bombay on Tuesday 4 January 2011, don’t miss the launch of this book at Crossword Kemps Corner at 7 pm.
Here are three poems from the book to give you an idea what to expect:

Generational Journeys
Driving before daybreak to San Francisco airport,
I am reminded of childhood journeys in Kerala.
The taxi would arrive in pitch darkness from all of a mile away
To take us to the railway station just two miles away.

Panicker’s Taxi Service is always punctual,
My father would say. On the dot, he will arrive at 5 am.
The driver, a wisp of a man, still half asleep,
Would sit seemingly stuck to the steering wheel.

On this scenic highway, I hear my father’s words,
Recall the trips I made with him
To the railway station, and then on the train,
Slow journeys, a hundred miles in eight hours.

Then, I settle into a plane to New York city,
Just five hours across a continent, to see my son.
I am offered a chilled bellini and a plate of cheese
But I think of tender coconut water

And the slow train, and my father’s sweat-cooled arm.

When you leave
(For Vikram)
The porch light will no longer fight the darkness,
The night latch will, once again,
Secure the door,
And the house
Will shrink
A little
When you leave.

Parting
At work he was aloof.
An automaton of an executive,
A reputation for ice cold veins.
Then, I saw him at the funeral.
They had been high school sweethearts
Playing footsie in the library.
The panels of pictures at the entry traced the arc
Of a lifetime from rural Pano to Palo Alto.
Boyish farm lad and smiling girl friend,
Wedding, children, holiday journeys.
As he stood beside the black coffin,
Chin up, gray hair resisting the cold breeze,
A slight mist formed by his deep exhalations,
For a moment, that arc moved backwards.

The author, Arun Kumar, holds a management degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management.
When he’s not writing poetry, Arun Kumar works as partner and member of the board of directors of KPMG, one of the ‘Big Four' accounting, tax and advisory firms in the world, where he leads the United States (U.S.)-India practice for the organization and heads its business performance services division for western U.S.

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