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Translated from the Malayalam by Nadha Rashada S V

Home: I

They all got home.

after all the blabbering along the streets and the city,

talking about movies

and random stuff from the neighbourhood.

A sudden silence boomed as they reached the doorstep.

They became strangers to each other.

Afraid of one another,


A wild darkness spread all over the home.

Even during the day,

We kindle the lights.

Home: II

The household grew.

And the rivals too.

They put the home for auction.

Only four people came.

“A horrifying house without a single door or window”

Quit the first one.

Second one too abandoned, saying

The roof will soon collapse.

Third one said: I can’t buy an expensive boat

to reach this home 

in the middle of the sea.

I can’t,

said the fourth one leaving:

Ghosts used to live here.

Home: III

An architect came 

to my bed yesterday.

Hey, you are here, I said.

I want a home.

With no walls

but windows.

With a roof 

But I want to see the sky.

A stove 

without a kitchen,


but the lamps shouldn’t be put out

with God 

without a priest;

table with a drawer 

without a lock.

with a garden 

no fences.

The hawk must eat the crumbs,

Vulture should drink the gruel

Chickens should fly.

Everyone should see each other

from everywhere, all the time.

Home: IV

On a July day in the constellation of Cancer

When snakes came swarming,

We decided to ask Gopalan to repair the house.

The first brick changed to flesh as he put it down

Second brick changed to ribs soaked in blood.

Before he could move the third brick

Gopalan fainted.

This house is a vampire

That sucked the blood from all its residents.

The house moves in anger.

Without knowing this,

Gopalan shouldn’t have come to work.

Without telling him this

He should not have been invited.

Home: V

Rooms multiplied in the house,

As the years went by. 

The house gave birth to rooms,

continuously, like a pig.

Rooms made 

without money

without cement

cramped and crowded

as they grew in number.

Self and selfishness 




in the room.

In the end.

while a room was laboring to give birth

its walls crushed the doors.

After a while, 

a wayfarer said to his partner:

Look at this graveyard.

It was a desert once.

Shihabuddin Poythumkadavu is one of the renowned Indian writers in Malayalam. He is a poet, journalist, screenwriter, orator and television personality. He was born at pothumkadavu in Kannur District, Kerala. After graduation he completely devoted himself to literature. He received many awards for his excellent style of crafting, among them the most prominent are Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 2007, Abu Dhabi Shakthi Award, and Abu Dhabi Malayalee Samajam Award. He has published 4 poetry collections, 5 novels, and 12 short stories.

Nadha Rashada S V is a social science student from IIT Madras. She has showcased her potential in leadership and literary work since her secondary school. She got the best volunteer award from Kannur district in Souhrida club activities. She was selected to participate in state level school Kalolsavam Kerala in Kathaprasangam and won A Grade in the competition. She was selected to present a paper in State level Shastra Patham. She started her literary engagement at age 12. She has been selected as a member of the students’ legislative council in IIT Madras as an appreciation of her initiative in the literary and social activities on the campus.

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