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by Divya Venkat Sridhar (Switzerland)

May 2023

Write the World Review

Audio: “Thaathaa,” read by Divya Venkat Sridhar

My papa’s papa used to run after the wooden cart of prasadam
Young feet bleeding over the rough road. I like to imagine his eyes:
bright like a brown beetle, fresh like monsoon soil,
his chest burning like metal on metal as he gulps dusty air.
He’s wearing sandbag shorts, mottled with flecks of dirt.
He’s hurdling red rock and plastic bottles, blooming like a wild indigo,
Stomach roaring in his lame body.
His small hands are cupped and trembling, so empty they could hold
a Ganges of riches, a Yamuna of flooding wealth—
only a thin paper cup of rice lands in his fingers.

I like to imagine the summer when we go to Hyderabad now:
He holds my hair, and I feel the lines in his palms
Like parted sediment along a freshwater river.
He likes to laugh until his beetle eyes fly off into the clouds
and his face goes wrinkly like pottery on an unmanned wheel.
And when he cooks, he lays out food and food and colours
Rushing around the big table to fill our hearts
With cardamom and cinnamon and cloves—his love language,
Grown from a tongue once parched in poverty.
I like to imagine he’s waited for this his whole life, and this pride
takes root in me like the eternal warmth of a sunlit sky.
His feet carry me over rough road, rock and rubble,
Until river, liquid gold breaks out from under his toes
like a lullaby.

Divya Venkat Sridhar, age 16, is a poet who lives in Switzerland. She loves to write about who she is, the people she loves, and the experiences she’s enjoyed. When she’s not writing, Divya loves playing the saxophone, making pasta, or singing the La La Land soundtrack at the top of her lungs.

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9/17/23, 8:43 AM

Powerful. Spreading the truth some don't think about, some don't have to worry about. A great and strong piece.

9/16/23, 2:41 AM

9/16/23, 2:41 AM

9/16/23, 2:41 AM

Aisha Yaakub

8/25/23, 10:35 PM

Excellent and amazing

8/17/23, 7:00 AM

Absolutely beautiful poem! The words were picked meaningfully and used it a descriptive way. Very relatable.


8/11/23, 4:59 AM

Beautiful, moving and thought provoking. Keep up the amazing work!

8/11/23, 4:48 AM

Absolutely beautiful work! Relatable for some and eye-opening for others.


6/19/23, 6:26 PM

It is really great, I'm impressed!

Eunice N Kitchener

6/11/23, 5:13 PM

Quite amazing and interesting story. It's also a challenge to others. Develop your skills through hard work.


6/8/23, 7:21 AM

Beautiful. A wonderful portrait of the identity crisis caused by colonialism.


5/26/23, 6:23 AM

Congratulations Claire - this is a powerful piece - this feeling of a yearning for a home that may not even exist anymore will be something that everyone who lives outside of their original homeland will resonate with. Well done.

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