S E L F ( Swam) / K. Satchidanandan
My mother didn’t believe
when, in 1945 I appeared to her
in a dream and told her
I would be born to her the following year.
My father recognized me
As soon as he saw
the mole below my left thumb.
But mother believed to the very end
that someone else had been born to her
masquerading as me.
Father and I pleaded with her;
but dreams are not reliable witnesses.
She went on waiting for that
promised son till she died
Only when she was reborn as my daughter
did she admit it had really been me.
But by then I had begun to doubt
it was someone else’s heart
that was beating within my body.
One day I will retrieve my heart;
my language too.
( Translated from Malayalam by the poet )