He Is Honey, Salt and the Most Perfect Grammar
Murugan – the younger son of Shiva and Parvathy, the younger brother of Ganesha – is a tricky and temperamental god, but he is beloved of the poets. Fittingly then, Kala Krishnan Ramesh’s contemporary bhakti poems speak in the voices of many poets. We don’t always know who they are, but as the poems unfold, one voice emerges above those of the rest. She is the god’s favourite poet, a woman whose whole life revolves around him. ‘Kala Krishnan Ramesh offers a breathtakingly brazen collection of contemporary bhakti poems to the ancient god of the Tamils, Muruga, capricious “patron of poets”. Adopting the argot of sacred passion in a fervent colloquial idiom, she rhapsodises hymns that are as adventurous as they are formally rigorous, intimate and exuberant in the elastic inscape of devotion. The enchantment of creativity and its sometimes twin, religious fervour, is rarely better sung than in this aching arc of ire and intoxication, despair and defiance that wrests tropes of weight and overheard whisper from Sangam poetics in voices single and choric.’ -Priya Sarukkai Chhabria ‘In their depth of feeling and poetic brilliance, these modern bhakti poems can only be compared to the best ever sung by poet-saints of yore. Kala Ramesh is an astonishingly creative poet who recreates a poetic tradition that is effortlessly infused with modern sensibility.’ -Sudhir Kakar
About the Author
Kala lives and works in Bangalore, where all but five years of her life have been spent; she loves the city and thinks it allows her to be the poet she is. She teaches in an undergraduate course, has three children and this is her first book.