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my haiku story

Updated: May 3, 2023


my scars eclipsed

for a night

(Featured in The Haiku Foundation, haiku dialogue, Sept 2020)

I had been writing micro-poems in Hindi for over a decade. When I stumbled upon the haikai literature, I at once was charmed by its aesthetics. One of the elements that enchanted me was ma. This Japanese word has an ambience to it. It can have a spatial meaning, as in empty space, a temporal meaning as in silence or a psychological meaning as in void. This element of haikai aesthetics is much more eloquent than words.

Confinement to my private space during this pandemic has made me a tad more sensitive. I now view the things around me in a new light. Writing has evolved as a ritual that cleanses me as I find solace in penning my heart down. One of the verses I wrote during this pandemic is a glimpse of my way of interpreting the New Moon.

The word ama in Sanskrit means together and vasya means to dwell or cohabit. Amavasya

also means na ma asya, meaning - no moon there, the moon is not visible.

Writing this haiku verse during the lockdown, I attempt to translate the emptiness that I have been feeling over all these months into words. I identify with the moon – the only eternalness in this phase of complete lockdown – my only companion. It is on a new moon night, the darkness engulfs. Even the moon leaves.

I further embrace its leaving and glorify its absence through amavasya by subtly implying a sense of freedom when I state that the darkness conceals my scars. Here I feel myself identical to moon in carrying the blemishes. The dark night eclipsing the blemishes of both — moon and me.

I could have used the word — the new moon. Amavasya somehow heightens the emotion and incorporates a sense of void to the whole verse. Besides, its usage in the haiku verse brings it out of the realm of mainstream Indian poetry to the world of haikai!

Featured in Café Haiku

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