The Big House at Mambalam

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SivaRamanathan
Posts: 1169
Joined: 14 May 2011, 20:30

The Big House at Mambalam

#1 Post by SivaRamanathan » 26 Oct 2019, 05:40

Edit 2

The Big House At Mambalam

I

The cattle left Pondicherry in four wheelers
and came to T-Nagar in Mambalam,

straight to their sheds behind the house
where partitions were made for cows and buffaloes.
They settled down, they wagged off flies.

The dung used to make gobar gas
reached the kitchen through PVC pipes.

The clay pot soon filled up with kitchen waste—
the uncooked, the peels, and rice-washed water,
all for the fodder trough.

Daughter-in-law number one did puja;
she took Aarti with camphor and incense
and worshipped the behind, where the tail started,

the dung place—goddess Lakshmi resides there—
she loved to circumambulate,
feed it hummingbird-tree leaves.

The harvest Pongal was celebrated
for the worshipping of cows, buffaloes and goats.

Before the celebration, the courtyard was prepared
for the festivities, topography marked
with pointers in strategic places,

cow dung was lumped as Pillayars
every dawn at the front doorsteps
and crowned with yellow flowers.

The hierarchy of daughters-in-law vied with the daughter
of the house to draw the kolam, a rice flour artwork
with dots and loops, depicting the Sun Lord’s chariot.

Cattle with newly-painted horns in vibrant colours,
wearing huge Hare Krishna beads and mock-silver anklets,
were made to circumambulate the wood-fired brick stove.

Freshly-harvested rice boiled in jaggery, garnished
with cashew nuts and ghee brimmed over as prasad.

Respected and pampered, the cows
received the first offering.

II

Grandma and little uncle had four chicken coops
for raising broiler chickens. When floods came,
the chickens drowned,

but the cattle were led to higher plains.
Servants and vendors only dared use the side gate.
The long queue was for buying thick buttermilk.

Drumstick trees, mangoes, giant limes, guavas,
sapota, were grown at the back of the compound.

Night jasmines, ixora, wax flower, oleander,
were planted for the gods.
We did not have to purchase flowers.

A few furlongs away, Grandma had a farm
where the well was always full. Beans and gourds
intertwined and every two or three days,

we plucked greens and vegetables.
I tagged along with her to the family farm.

Inside the house’s inner courtyard, uncles sat
with hand-woven towels wrapped around their waists,
while their wives rubbed gingelly oil on their bodies

for the ritual oil bath. I vowed never to get married
if this was one of a wife’s duties,
little realizing they enjoyed it.

Now the big house is demolished, the family farm levelled,
concrete flats tower, and the well is full no more.
























Edit 1

The Big House At Mambalam
I

The cattle left Pondicherry in four wheelers
and came to T-Nagar in Mambalam,

straight to their sheds behind the house
where partitions were made for cows and buffaloes.
They settled down, they wagged off flies.

The dung used to make gobar gas
reached the kitchen through PVC pipes.

The clay pot soon filled up with kitchen waste—
the uncooked, the peels, and rice-washed water,
all for the fodder trough.

Daughter-in-law number one did puja;
she took Aarti with camphor and incense
and worshipped the behind, where the tail started,

the dung place—goddess Lakshmi resides there—
she loved to circumambulate,
feed it hummingbird-tree leaves.

The harvest Pongal was celebrated
for the worshipping of cows, buffaloes and goats.

Before the celebration, the courtyard was prepared
for the festivities, topography marked
with pointers in strategic places,

cow dung was lumped as Pillayars
every dawn at the front doorsteps
and crowned with yellow flowers.

The hierarchy of daughters-in-law vied with the daughter
of the house to draw the kolam, a rice flour artwork
with dots and loops, depicting the Sun Lord’s chariot.

Cattle with newly-painted horns in vibrant colours
wearing huge Hare Krishna beads and mock-silver anklets
were made to circumambulate the wood-fired brick stove.

Freshly-harvested rice boiled in jaggery, garnished
with cashew nuts and ghee brimmed over as prasad.

Respected and pampered, the cows
received the first offering.

II

Grandma and little uncle had four chicken coops
for raising broiler chickens. When floods came,
the chickens drowned,

but the cattle were led to higher plains.
Servants and vendors only dared use the side gate.
The long queue was for buying thick buttermilk.

Drumstick trees, mangoes, giant limes, guavas,
sapota, were grown at the back of the compound.

Night jasmines, ixora, wax flower, oleander,
were planted for the gods.
We did not have to purchase flowers.

A few furlongs away, Grandma had a farm
where the well was always full. Beans and gourds
intertwined and every two or three days,

we plucked greens and vegetables.
I tagged along with her to the family farm.

Inside the house’s inner courtyard, uncles sat
with hand-woven towels wrapped around their waists
while their wives rubbed gingelly oil on their bodies

for the ritual oil bath. I vowed never to get married
if this was one of a wife’s duties,
little realizing they enjoyed it.

Now the big house is demolished, the family farm levelled,
concrete flats tower, and the well is full no more.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bob, you are very good with punctuation, so can you please give it more than a glance and make it fit to enter the IBPC ? Please.
When I request Bob, I do not mean to leave out all my fellow poets.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
First draft

The cattle left in four wheelers from Pondicherry,

and came to T-Nagar in Mambalam



straight to their sheds behind the house

where partitions were made for cows and buffaloes

They settled down, their tails wagged off flies.



The clay pot soon filled up with kitchen waste;

the uncooked, the peels and rice-washed water,

all for the fodder trough.



Daughter-in-law number one did puja;

she took Arthi with camphor and incense

and worshipped the behind where the tail started


the dung place—goddess Lakshmi resides there

she loved to circumambulate, feed it humming bird-tree leaves.



The dung used to make gobar gas

reached the kitchen through PVC pipes.



The harvest festival Pongal

celebrated for worshipping cows, buffaloes and goats;



cattle with newly-painted horns in vibrant colours

wearing huge Hare Krishna beads and mock-silver anklets





were made to circumambulate the wood-fired brick stove

freshly-harvested rice boiled in jaggery garnished

with cashew nuts and ghee brimmed-over as prasad. (Italics)



Respected and pampered, the first offering

was for the cows.



Before the festival, cow dung was lumped as Pillayars

every dawn at the front doorsteps

and crowned with yellow flowers.



The courtyard was prepared for the festival,

topography marked with pointers in strategic places,



the hierarchy of daughters-in-law vied with the daughter

of the house to draw the kolam, a rice flour artwork

with dots and loops, depicting the Sun Lord’s chariot.





Grandma and little uncle had four chicken coops

for raising broiler chickens. When floods came,

the chickens drowned


but the cattle were led to a higher plain.

Servants and vendors dared walk in only through the side gate.

The long queue was for buying thick buttermilk.



Drumstick trees, mangoes, giant limes, guavas,

sapota, were grown at the back of the compound.



Night jasmines, Ixora, wax flower, oleander, were planted

for the gods. We did not have to purchase flowers.



A few furlongs away, Grandma had a farm

where the well was always full. Beans and gourds



intertwined and every two or three days, we plucked greens

and vegetables. I tagged along with her to the family farm.



Inside the house was an inner courtyard where uncles sat

with hand-woven thread towels wrapped around their waists

while their wives rubbed gingelly oil on their bodies



for the ritual oil bath. I vowed never to get married

if this was one of a wife’s duties, little realizing they enjoyed it.



Now the big house is demolished, the family farm levelled.

Concrete flats tower, and the well is full no more.

Kenneth2816
Posts: 1181
Joined: 01 Jun 2008, 09:17

Re: The Big House at Mambalam

#2 Post by Kenneth2816 » 26 Oct 2019, 06:02

Yes

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1559
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: The Big House at Mambalam

#3 Post by BobBradshaw » 26 Oct 2019, 08:24

Great details...I could quote from anywhere... one of your finest

FranktheFrank
Posts: 1534
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Re: The Big House at Mambalam

#4 Post by FranktheFrank » 26 Oct 2019, 17:10

Difficult to read with all the unnecessary spaces.
Some work to do yet.

As I understand it Hindus do not worship cows but hold them in high esteem,
clarity with word use is essential for good writing. Glad you dropped
'worship of the shit-hole', when you meant to say circulated the rear-end
of the cow to give thanks for the provision of dung to cook our meals.

The cattle left in four wheelers [wagons] from Pondicherry,
and came to T-Nagar in Mambalam

straight to their sheds behind the house
where partitions [stalls] were made for [provided] cows and buffaloes
They settled down, their tails wagged [swatting] off the flies.

The clay pot soon filled up with kitchen waste;
the uncooked, the peels and rice-washed water,
all for the fodder trough.

Daughter-in-law number one did puja;
she took Arthi with camphor and incense
and worshipped [paid reverence or reverenced] the behind [rear] where the tail started [for the dung it supplied for our heating and cooking]

the dung place—goddess Lakshmi resides there
she loved to circumambulate [circulate],
feed it humming bird tree-leaves.

The dung used to make gobar gas
reached the kitchen through pipes.

The harvest festival Pongal
celebrated for worshipping [honouring] cows, buffaloes and goats;

cattle with newly-painted horns in vibrant colours
wearing huge Hare Krishna beads and mock-silver anklets

were made to circumambulate [circulate] the wood-fired brick stove
freshly-harvested rice boiled in jaggery garnished [jaggery garnished what?]
with cashew nuts and ghee brimmed-over as prasad.

Respected and pampered, the first offering
was for the cows.

Before the festival, cow dung was lumped as Pillayars [no capital unless a proper noun]
every dawn at the front doorsteps
and crowned with yellow flowers.

The courtyard was prepared for the festival,
topography marked with pointers in strategic places,

the hierarchy of daughters-in-law vied with the daughter
of the house to draw the kolam, a rice flour artwork
with dots and loops, depicting the Sun Lord’s chariot.

Grandma and little uncle had four chicken coops
for raising broiler chickens. When floods came,
the chickens drowned

but the cattle were led to a higher plane [place].
Servants and vendors dared walk in only through the side gate. [drop dared, used the side gate]
The long queue was for buying thick buttermilk. [drop thick]

Drumstick trees, mangoes, giant limes, guavas,
sapota, were grown at the back of the compound.

Night jasmines, Ixora, wax flower, oleander, were planted
for the gods. We did not have to purchase flowers.

A few furlongs away, Grandma had a farm [good to see the old Imperial units of length]
where the well was always full.

Beans and gourds intertwined and every two or three days,
we plucked greens and vegetables. I tagged along
with her to the family farm.

Inside the house was an inner courtyard where [the] uncles sat
with hand-woven thread towels wrapped around their waists
while their wives rubbed gingelly oil on their [husband's] bodies

for the ritual oil bath. I vowed never to get married
if this was one of a wife’s duties, little [not] realizing they enjoyed it. [why wouldn't the wives enjoy rubbing their fat husband's bodies with oil, don't all good wives long to do just that?]

Now the big house is demolished, the family farm levelled. [perhaps a reason for the demise of the farm, a short reason i.e. because of urban growth]
Concrete flats tower, and the well is full no more [dry].

Still work to do, needs cutting further of extraneous words.
I love these detailed descriptions of a past India, so evocative.
I really feel you should stick to 'worship' if you truly mean 'worship',
but use 'revere' if you mean 'revere', there is a difference.
Use the suggestions if you like or discard at your leisure.

Kenneth2816
Posts: 1181
Joined: 01 Jun 2008, 09:17

Re: The Big House at Mambalam

#5 Post by Kenneth2816 » 27 Oct 2019, 02:45

Nominated Siva.

SivaRamanathan
Posts: 1169
Joined: 14 May 2011, 20:30

Re: The Big House at Mambalam

#6 Post by SivaRamanathan » 27 Oct 2019, 06:27

Frank
You have done a lot of work. It will take me two days Tuesday ,Wednesday to set right all your edits. I thank you for partaking in the writing of this poem.
Siva

SivaRamanathan
Posts: 1169
Joined: 14 May 2011, 20:30

Re: The Big House at Mambalam

#7 Post by SivaRamanathan » 27 Oct 2019, 06:28

Kenneth
We will Keep the nomination for November.I thought it was ready,but Frank has shown me there is much more work to be done.
Siva

FranktheFrank
Posts: 1534
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Re: The Big House at Mambalam

#8 Post by FranktheFrank » 27 Oct 2019, 22:49

Circumambulate is a valid word just it is so unwieldly in my opinion
other might prefer it
I would say circle around the cow
or circle around
even use parade around.
Your choice, sorry if I have confused matters.

Kenneth2816
Posts: 1181
Joined: 01 Jun 2008, 09:17

Re: The Big House at Mambalam

#9 Post by Kenneth2816 » 27 Oct 2019, 23:26

Siva it's your poem. There is such a thing as good enough

SivaRamanathan
Posts: 1169
Joined: 14 May 2011, 20:30

Re: The Big House at Mambalam

#10 Post by SivaRamanathan » 28 Oct 2019, 13:36

Frank and Kenneth

I corrected the spelling from 'plane' to plain.

--I cannot drop 'thick', because 'thick' denotes the rich quality of the buttermilk. (this would be diluted and sold outside on the street--remember the long queue--it was not a short queue--all for thick buttermilk )

----I like 'full no more'; 'dry' is too dry.

-- four wheelers because wagons can be made of wood and open on back

Thank you

Siva

Kenneth2816
Posts: 1181
Joined: 01 Jun 2008, 09:17

Re: The Big House at Mambalam

#11 Post by Kenneth2816 » 28 Oct 2019, 13:45

Go ahead and call it done. We need it for IBPC this month

SivaRamanathan
Posts: 1169
Joined: 14 May 2011, 20:30

Re: The Big House at Mambalam

#12 Post by SivaRamanathan » 28 Oct 2019, 14:05

"The Big House at Mambalam' is finished and ready, in case you intend sending it to the IBPC; if not this month then maybe next month.

Thanks to all who deep read this poem.

Siva

Kenneth2816
Posts: 1181
Joined: 01 Jun 2008, 09:17

Re: The Big House at Mambalam

#13 Post by Kenneth2816 » 28 Oct 2019, 15:28

Yay I'll nominate it

SivaRamanathan
Posts: 1169
Joined: 14 May 2011, 20:30

Re: The Big House at Mambalam

#14 Post by SivaRamanathan » 28 Oct 2019, 17:37

Thank you.

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