“Goddess” — A Navratri poem opening at Poetry Couture’s Poetic Adda Poetry Couture invited me to a feature performer at their Poetic Adda event yesterday. I’d been working on a special piece around Navratri so I chose to open it here.

I had originally planned for this to be accompanied by music but my collaborator changed his plans at the last minute. I didn’t really have much time to change the piece but I decided to go with it to see how it fared. Here it is, ‘Goddess‘ in it’s first ever telling. The lyrics are given below.

Rush hour horns honking

The pounding is getting louder, louder, louder
An artist brushes his last stroke of charred black across her eyes
While living red starts to seep down my insides
She is coming home tonight
I fidget uneasily in my chair
Fighting the battle of the sore back
I remember too late, I’m wearing white
I will stay in late so no one sees the stains
Red must only appear on her clothes tonight
I burst forth into a night of burning light and colour
While inside me is an implosion of almost, not quite life
I carry it all within, walking tender, concentrated steps
My stomach clenches harder than my heart
Then I’m swept into a crowd that makes way
for a plaster and plastic Goddess
A hand drunk on religion and womanpower and bhakti, touches my breast
And all across my skin, are fire-tipped arrows
Shooting pain, warmth, shame, fear, chills and anger
A rollercoaster mix of chemical feeling
I’m recognized as WOMAN
The female form is in celebration this week
I soothe my panicked breaths under hot water
And silence my inner screams with chocolate
Outside the drums are beating out an ode to womanhood
No room for me in the Goddess’ procession tonight
Because my sweat and my tears are but salt and water
But nobody wants to know that a Goddess bleeds too
— Goddess by Ramya Pandyan

I started my performance with ‘Paper Plane’, for a change making it the first and not the last piece in my set. It was an interesting experience staying on, on the stage after sending a paper plane into the audience. I added some things to my original piece too. Take a look.

The organisers offered me a chance to do one more piece. I had originally thought I’d bring out ‘The Dating Thing’, being that it has been awhile since I did that. But the mood felt like the right one for a love story to Mumbai. So I let ‘Flamingos’ fly.

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