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Translated from the Malayalam by Mereena Eappen 

Nightly downpour vainly sobs, smiles, cries,

with never-ending murmurs, 

blending its long hair, 

kneeling down like a young lunatic lady.

Nightly downpour flows serenely 

like a long wail into the hospital 

stretching its cold arms through the lattice, 

the musing daughter of the dark night 

touches me. 

Nightly downpour, painful 

groans and tremors, ardent voices, 

abrupt groan voices of a mother, 

shocked and shuddered I closed my ears,

remained rolling and desperate in my sick bed,

there you approached in the darkness like 

the consoling words of dear ones.

Someone told it’s possible to 

amputate a diseased organ, 

but what about that deeply affected, destitute mind? 

Nightly downpour 

is the witness of my love in those days, 

which lulled me to sleep more than the moon

that thrilled and chilled 

made me giggle during my propitious nights.

Nightly downpour, 

now in my scorching sick bed, 

in the darks of sleepless nights 

I overlook even to sigh in the dusky dark days

you endure like a stone, a witness to my grief.

Let me talk to you, nightly downpour, 

I overhear that desperate melody, I know 

your empathy and beating rage, 

your arrival in the dark, 

your lonely sob, wiping your face, 

compelling a smile, hurry in the dawn, 

your stagecraft. 

How do I know all this? 

My bosom friend, I am like you, 

like you, a nightly downpour.

Sugathakumari (1934-2010) was the renowned Malayalam poet, environmental, feminist, social activist. She inherited a rich legacy in poetry and bagged numerous literary awards. Known for her unique poems that jam-packed with empathy, human kindliness and philosophical pursuit, Sugathakumari was one of the most celebrated poets of Malayalam. Her handful of poetry collections include Pathirapookkal, Krishna Kavithakal, Ratrimazha, Ambalamani, Radha Evide, Thulavarshapacha.

Mereena Eappen is a doctoral candidate in the English department of St. Thomas College, Palai. She lives in the mountain ranges of Kerala. Her poems have appeared in Poets Choice, The Alipore Post, Madras Courier and in Borderless Journal January Issue.

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