“First Language” – Two Videos


Here are two videos of me reading my  poem “First Language”, which appeared in Witchcraft (and before that in the journals Ego Magazine and Istanbul Literary Review).

At How Pedestrian, a website that brings poetry to random places, a simple single-shot video of me reading the poem while sitting inside a cycle-rickshaw, early one morning in Chintadripet, Chennai.

And here, a longer companion piece of me reading the same poem — this time from within both a cycle-rickshaw and an autorickshaw — which captures more of the sights and sounds of the city, and includes one of my other favourite things to do here: buying flowers from the curbside.

Both videos were directed by R. Rathindran Prasad.

One response »

  1. It’s amazing what I just experienced… Visually, the camera kept you front and center (in both clips) but aurally, what I felt/heard were the sounds of Chennai… It’s as if your voice obediently receded to the background once it sensed the vibrant city sounds swooping in to assume center stage… LOVED everything this effect evoked!

    In the YT clip was a moment where the camera sights a “Sticker Shop” (in front of it is parked that moonu chakkara vandi, with wheels whose spokes are painted red and green) and for a second, I thought it might be the same shop from which Kandan(?) purchased that single sticker, with Ganesha flanked by Christ and Mosque (recounted in your auto-centric story earlier?).

    Funny how “First” Language was first published in “Ego” magazine. It surely seems to color our identity somehow. “I breathe in one language and exhale in another” is so true for me too (as is the fact that I live in one city, while another city lives in me)!

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