A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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December 2005, vol 1 no 3

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Kala Ramesh


she smiles
as the baby turns
in her womb

the first two being daughters, my parents had only the names of boys ready—i was born a third girl

some suggested that I be named savitri—then the next would be a boy, they said. my aunt suggested lavanya latha—to add to the confusion.

dr. raman [my father’s college mate] who attended to my delivery, was invited for the naming ceremony—the name not yet chosen

the bee
buzzing in and out
unaware of me

she came and suggested that i be named kala, the day being saraswathi pooja, the 9th day of navarathri— a nine-day festival celebrated throughout india. now, i have all three names—from no name to too many?

a sparrow
on the ledge answers
to my whistle


anamika – in Sanskrit means "one without a name".

Hindus believe that boys alone carry the lineage ahead, as girls get married into another family—so a male child becomes imperative

Kala meaning "art" in Sanskrit, is another name for Goddess Saraswathi who is worshipped as the goddess of learning.

The ninth day of Navarathi is celebrated as the day of Saraswathi Pooja.

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