Attipate Krishnaswami Ramakrishnan

Was he a Kannadiga
Born in Mysore
Or a Tamil,
Who was he,
Say,
Say you?

Who his father
A Tamilian
In Mysore
Mathematical
And astronomical
Khagilshastri
Or…?

Who his mother,
The wife of
An Iyengar Brahmin,
A Tamil or a Kannadiga
Speaking which language?

Whatever be that, he knew it well
Kannada, Tamil, Telugu,
English and Sanskrit,
A South Indian polyglot he
Settled in America.

An expatriate academic
Used to teach
In the department of
South Asian languages
Interpreting Indian thought and culture.

Having grown up
In an orthodox Brahmin family
Astrological and astronomical,
He fell short of
Turning into a magic man.

And it added to his poetry,
The so many rituals and rites
Mind-boggling and confronting
Coming in between
Convention and modernity.

Surely would have laughed at
The Brahminical excesses,
Letting them believe,
But he taking to jocularly,
If god is everywhere, where to live it,
Step on?

Attipate was a folklorist,
But we do not know it
Whether a folk dancer,
Singer, musician
Or painter?

Ramanujan was but a joke man
Poking fun at,
A laugh man
Laughing to burst the balloon,
Humoring and polishing,
Polishing and putting ironically.

Double speak had been his job,
To say it doubly
With dual meanings,
A poker and a blazer was he
In his poetic statement.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Topic(s) of this poem: art
READ THIS POEM IN OTHER LANGUAGES
COMMENTS OF THE POEM