N  a  p a  l  m     H  e  a  l  t  h     S  p  a  :     R  e  p  o  r  t     2  0  0  8






Barrio Cultural


There is no rush,

no words to lose,

not a mediocre moment

in the Barrio Cultural.


We are waiting for the dance to begin,

for the poem to flow,

the story to be written,

the monkey portrait to be done.


The guardian angels

are children

running around

the domain of dogs,

no shoes or socks.


The visit to the dog house

is just a diversion

from paradise scrapers

for fallen angels.


The man in white

with the handle bar moustache

on the black motorbike

is a dancer

who speaks many languages,

he is learning the alphabets

of ancient, classical Tamil,

waiting for the drums to begin.


How rich is this dish

of green papaya

that grew by the public well

where the dirty linen is washed?


The clothes are on the line,

they hang without pegs

and wait for the sun

after yesterday’s rain.


The body count is just a number,

forget the dead, the dying and the wounded,

do not put the TV on

to get the bad news.


The war is always there


far away.


Here in the Barrio Cultural

is the clash of cymbals

and meeting of civilizations.


Life is a fusion

of ancient memories

and the present moment

when dreams take flight

to the light.


The 4 ‘O’ Clock flower

and the Forget Me Not

are not as fragrant and alluring

as Jasmine at night.



Thiruvannamalai, December 7, 2007