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Srivalli is a contemporary Tamil poet who has published three critically acclaimed collections of her poems in 2018, 2019 and 2020.


We are going to meet soon. It will happen, as if by accident, on a golden morning. By a rivulet that bestows pebbles on its banks, we will sit close to each other on a rock, holding our fishing rods. While we wait as if we are waiting for fish we will reminisce, without our voices breaking, about our first meeting, about the second and the third, carefully avoiding the last. At that moment your voice will not swerve from me. At that moment my heart will not ask you to explain. Imagining the gurgling rivulet as our intimate friend, we will pour out our accounts of many years to her. We will pretend as if fish were caught in our hooks at the same time and will release them at the same time. As we walk back later to our vehicles, when a ray of the evening sun strikes, as if it were our destiny, and bounces off the back of our hands, and our eyes, which had not met until then on that day, meet, it is as if a squirrel dashing between two adjacent houses in ruins, communicates that they are still within themselves.

Some things can never be set right

Suddenly one day the sun, moon and the stars disappear. After a day like that the sun sprouts again, the moon swells anew, and the stars display their teeth. But this is not the sky we are used to. It is a huge tarpaulin overhead. Beneath it one cannot even hang oneself from a tree.

Separation is always but one person’s decision

Of the two one decides. They set fire to the bridge. In a minute the blaze reaches the sky. The canal that flows between them turns into a river, then a sea. The stranded banks become separate lands. Their present inhabitants are not those who lived there before. They start speaking different languages, languages unrelated to each other, languages that will sing the scars of the folly into epics. In a minute, one person’s decision has made orphans of both.

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