Monday, December 14, 2009


For months I have watched women drawing kolam. On my last day in Chennai they sprouted from every gateway, they were small and quick, elaborate and delicate, ambitious and wonderful. I have seen multi-coloured ones but on this day they were all white - with one tiny visible exception.

kolam dp300

where they are drawn and when
is all important

early morning is auspicious
it sets the shape of the day

I watch as a watered driveway
scrubbed clean
has a few points of white grain sprinkled

the woman works quickly
she knows her design for the day
runs the powdered grain
from point to point

it is a mandala
a yantra
a sign

so that the forces of the universe
align themselves

with her intentions

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