Nakul Vāc

The Puntastic Mews – Nakul Vac

“Kow dow r2 bull retoinis
wus de woids uf lil Oinis”

With Bells pounding, பாப்பா crooning, two ஈs coming, one எலி going & joys abounding….

From the stage Directions for அmuse, A Tanglish Mewmiambus.

In the beginning was the beginning?
Pounds of flesh tons of words make?
Yes, yes, yes and yes.
Did you unwittingly stumble on those sibilant
Ssss’s, you sneaky snake.

Had a man caned ably
(அடி உதவற மாதிரி) Would
அண்ணன் தம்பி have spilt the old bubbly?
Kinch the knife blade strook
blood and ouns?
That’s some hairy stuff in the Good Book.

Mulling an Irish stew
for a buck and twenty
For our jejune jesuit here?

Perhaps no fears of
us all dead here
if Adam and Eve
did daughters leave?

But crazy shrine maiden
Kannagi இடமுலை கையால் திருகி
burnt Mad annotations?
Titless Kannagi cooling off
lopping hot headed silver hair
with his Hayagami.

Lately and plump
Who’ll hump this frump?
Pater said to Mater.
They fuck you up
Your mum and dad.

So, Tommy you rhyming Kat
When you rubbed your muzzle on window panes
Did you dare to part your hair behind?
Or eat an effinineffable peach?

Catch Possum Rhymes last night?
That sad dark pussy was wider than the sea.
Cat show’s Murugan TAM scores are sick

Jesus! Don’t be so cross and
get off your high arse.

No exercise only sexercise!
said the Mallu to the newly wed Tamilian.

The moving hand writes vey unmoving lines.

If I need to ride to my rude red health
Must I keep the bottoms of my trousers rolled?
Just grow a pair Donald
Prude in a frock!

Breeder of brinners
Get thee to a punnery!

Every force evolves a form.
To cum by the sea only to get conquered
on a bicycle?

Relax or if you prefer ReJoyce!
Lounge tea in the Chamber and
Sound of Music!
Do! Re and…
Oh no! that was wild
Your picture went grey on you.

Heart twist eh?
Will Irich folk Dubbu
lining their pockets
admire your portrait
at your wake.

Did old Rum and Jam
rise in the sap of trees
weave of Weaver birds
in his hair?

Bracelet of bright hair about the bone
gave him orgasms of sensibility.
Hey Tom just leave the
old Don alone.

மைத்தகு மாமலர்க் குழலாய்
இருண்ட நீலச் சுருளோடும் வந்து
Shaking, air alight with the goddess
fanning their hair in the dark.

Hugh Selwyn Mauberly
For your image of accelerated grimace
Perhaps a soupçon of Indic spice
sprinkled on your attic grace?

Sita’s tresses enmeshed with Circe’s hair
Or is that hair-splitting too unfair?

What movie was that
You and Bob laughed about?
Something about Mary
got old Jo to marry.

Also (Cum) banns read by Pound?

Stately and plump
Did Bhima say that to Hidimbi
at that Bald pot’s birth?

Grow or shrink at will
No crummy exercise.
As you rise to the skies
still no hair I espy.

Bookish puns
don’t a poem make.

Will this be published by Slade(?)
Ayyo! These பண்s!
That hair-raising eh!
Do I at least get a mulligan?

போடா மயிரு!
And you Sir, can take a hike.

Ending with a male wimp’s hair?
Ah men!

  • Nakul Vāc, August 2018

Let Down Hair – A translation by Nakul Vāc

It frightened him that so many women let their hair down. Women sat, stood and walked with their hair let down. Quite a few had their clothes drenched. The waterfall loomed large and appeared immense. Swarming beneath it were some twenty-odd males, clinging to the rock as if they made up some kind of beehive. Underneath the narrowest stream of water(so narrow that it could accommodate only one person at a time) women stood in a queue to drench their hair and bodies. Water which fell on each and every woman who stood there coursed its way down their faces and bodies. Faces shimmered, cleansed by the falling water. A woman, her long hair flowing down to her buttocks, walked past his line of vision. Since arriving at this place he had been been telling his friend, both in ways that he could and could not make sense of, about all the trouble caused him by let down hair.

With their hair let down four women alongside their husbands went past him. A leper across the road made noise, clanking change in his tin can. A Monkey sat on a rock, licking something. He was telling his friend that let down hair chased him as if it were a symbol. “It all comes down to what you make of it”, his friend said. They walked towards a densely shadowed area beneath a tree and sat on a rock.

His friend asked him if he met her often now.  He replied that he hardly, if ever, got a chance to see her. “You don’t know about her married life, it is quite tough. She is stubborn like this rock and has complicated her marriage because of that. Her stubbornness should have pushed her husband towards certain limits but it didn’t. It brought out her anger in several ways and ended up toughening his stubbornness even more, I think” he said. They continued to sit without talking anymore.

Her fingers, legs, neck and her face in profile were all very beautiful. He noticed that she had gotten lean and got an opportunity to tell it to her as well. Subsequently she told him that for the first time she was getting to know what married life was about. On that night, she told him that it was the day she felt married for the first time. Her married life with her husband was what it was because of her stubbornness.

“Why do you think let down hair follows you?”, his friend asked. He didn’t reply. Even though his friend could, at times, make some sort of coherent sense of what was related, there was much he couldn’t understand and often he felt he were being dragged into a world of suppositions.

Wanting to see a waterfall situated at the top of the mountain, they got up and walked. They both lit their cigarettes. They had to head towards the road and take the path that forked into the mountain. As they progressed along the road they saw a young girl with disheveled clothes sitting beside a ruined temple chariot. In-lieu of flowers she had inserted bits of colored paper in her hair. He felt as if her image was trying to secure a place in his mind. As he repeatedly tried to shake it off, the image without any signs of faltering casually entered it.  He didn’t know if his friend had also noticed that girl. He felt that asking him now might make him notice and hence kept walking without saying anything. On both sides of that mountain path there were tall trees in strange shapes. As the terrain was uneven they had grown beautifully any which way, as they wished. He thought it would be nice if a girl who had hidden herself amongst the trees suddenly revealed herself.  He also had a doubt whether the lives of other men would also be like his. Looking back, he remembered how he got trapped in the net two other girls had cast for him. She too, out of her own volition had once remarked “You are now trapped by me.”  But their present platonic relationship has grown way too serious for them to take heed of such things. He now recounted how during his teen years he had never had a physical relationship with the girl he instinctively yearned for. Evenas he told himself that the relationship he had with that girl was pristinely pure he also simultaneously realized his own naive innocence. If only that girl’s face would appear amidst the trees, he would be really happy, he thought. No sooner he had this thought than the face of that girl he saw besides the temple chariot briefly appeared amidst the trees and vanished.

A family approached them and as they crossed each other he heard the words “TV Mahabharata”. “Is this when they screen Mahabharata on the TV?” he asked his friend. His friend took a look at his watch and said “Yes”. At that he suddenly thought of something. It felt new and was something he had not thought of before ever since coming there. It was surprising to him that he had not thought of it before.  He felt he could now sort of understand why let down hair bothered him. The memory of Draupadi’s let down hair was the reason for his newfound clarity. He realized that for an Australian or an American, let down hair would not have made such an impact. Perhaps let down hair troubles our unconscious mind only if it had Indian tradition for a background, he thought.

It felt now as if his mind had gotten light. He lit a cigarette joyfully and walked alongside his friend. Chatting freely on several topics they reached the waterfall. Water cascaded from the top of a large rock surrounded by tall trees, only to become a rivulet coursing its way through other rocks. Men and women of three or four families were bathing. He casually watched the let down hair of the women. Shortly after his friend had bathed and dressed they felt hungry and descended.

On their way down they went past the let down hair of two women. The mountain path ended and they reached the road. As they were walking along the road they could hear the music of Nadaswaram piping from the Wedding Hall opposite the temple chariot. He now turned his eyes towards the chariot.  The girl was no longer to be found at the earlier place beside it. As he peered carefully he spotted her sitting between the huge wheels, wearing a dried-out garland, one leg folded and the other upright in the traditional posture of a bride. The let down hair of the women encountered on the road frightened him now.

(A translation of the Tamil Short story, ‘Virittha Koonthal’ (விரித்த கூந்தல்), by Sureshkumara Indirajith)

Two Poems by Karikalan – Translated into English by Nakul Vāc

That lizard dishing out omens
in the northeast corner of Selli Amman Temple
won’t know.

That Brahmin who kindled the fire
and recited the Vedas
won’t know either.

the friends and relatives who gathered around
to bless and wish us well.

None of them know of
our Love.

Preempting idle gossip in our town,
you left me, your lifeless body
a mere shell

whose hymen your husband must have torn
to end his wedding night
in consummate peace.

Did memories of me get washed away with soap-water?
I did wonder despairingly.

Pretty much the same turn of events
at my end as well.

Meeting unexpectedly, our lips
that once used to kiss
now introduce us to our kids as
Aunt and Uncle.

Shorn of intimacy-
my wife and your husband,
might be a bit problematic for them-
this Brother Sister relation of ours?




Aroused by the caresses on ample bosoms
dark eyes bristle and drowse with pleasure
spread out on the black stone wall the body loosens
yanking its feet the statue follows.
The last ritualistic midnight tolls
awaken, tighten and petrify
in that moment when
the statuesque presence bestows on the house
an antique feel
yearning for the scent of stone
I turn into a bat and
hang upside down
from the rafters of the temple’s interior.


தமிழில் – கரிகாலன்


Colossal Death (of a tree)- A Poem by Ramesh Prem – Nakul Vāc Translation

The fallen tree on the road
the village gathers and tows-
Who knows its age?

Written with a quill
fashioned from the sharpened shaft
Of a molted feather of
A bird, that sat and fluffed
on its branch in a day of time,
That poem-
Will it know the bird’s age?

To fall as seed, shake off mud
and wake as a bud with green eyelids
between which
fell and shattered
That first drop-
Would it have known the tree’s age?

Wonder of the seed burgeoning into a forest
That dense tree-
The town gathers and tows
on the tar road.

From its long line of descendants
who have nested there for ages,
If it were to come and see the vacant space
and be disappointed,
That present day heir-
With what shall it find its bearings
and make sense of its history?

Wandering all over through the bird’s memory,
Pouring its inner being into space
through its wings,
Growing self sufficient unto itself-
This tree, now a self-decorated bier
the village gathers and tows.