What had he done
to crush glass in his fist
one middle-aged morning, known
only as morning by clocks without the sun?
At seven, his slingshot had not hit
the frosted childhood’s streetlight:
he was no looting horseback Hun
out of his history books. On
evenings full of bats’ wings
he had scarcely seen a sister raped by dead father’s sin
but only shaped by a mother’s word. In
the swirl of his teens he had perhaps thrilled
to raisin-thefts and one kiss under the stairs. Once he ran
from a body-house without windows
looking for the wombs of faceless women
he never filled
with sons. But now he has glass in his fist
and several rows
of futures that could not reach a past.
(A.K. Ramanujan: The Striders, 1966)
An excellent article published on the 10th death anniversary of A.K Ramanujan in The Telegraph India can be read here.