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Durable Link to this BlogFriday, May 23, 2008

Ode to a Grinder!

Artist Mukta Venkatesh

My friend Ms Mukta Venkatesh (1902-2003) was a versatile person. We spent several evenings in her quiet Mysore house discussing literature, art and other things. Besides painting-specially flowers, she excelled in designing, sewing, embroidery and at times writing as well. She had read Shakespeare extensively and used to quote lengthy dialogues, out of sheer memory. She lost her grinder tooth at the age of 88 and she bid it a farewell in this ode.

It is from a letter she wrote me.

Quote Begin

When I was ill, I used to amuse myself by composing different forms of verses, couplets, limericks, sonnets and so on I had a grinder that had been trowing me for a long time and no dentist could extract it because of my fibrosis. When it fell of its own accord, I made up a sonnet about it, just for a good laugh.

Sonnet - Lines to a Fallen Grinder

Tyrant, who deep entrenched within my jaw,
Delighted in devising modes of pain,
Some sharp, some dull, all purposed to maintain
Your sovereign power, you whom I never saw
Till now, when Nemesis, in the form of one
Frail fibre of the Amaranthus leaf
Twined itself round your base and brought to grief
Your evil reign, tumbling you from your throne.
Now, I have freedom from your tyranny.
The days when you could torture me are past.
The end has come to all your infamy
And I can lead a carefree life at last.
With what relief! I give a joyous shout!
With what triumphant force I spit yon out!

Well, I hope that makes you laugh also.

Affectionately Yours,

Mukta Venkatesh.

Quote End

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Jyotsna Kamat

Jyotsna Kamat Ph.D. lives in Bangalore.


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