Aditya Shankar


Aditya Shankar (b.1981, Thrissur, Kerala, India) is a bi-lingual writer and short film-maker. He writes in English and Malayalam, and  publishes poetry and articles in leading journals, including the The Little Magazine, The Word Plus, Indian Literature, The Literary X Magazine, Munyori, The Pyramid, Poetry Chain, Mastodon Dentist, The Wild Goose Poetry Review, Bayou Review, Words-Myth, Chandrabhaga, Miler’s poetry, Message in a bottle, Aireings among others. His poetry is forthcoming in Hudson View, Snakeskin and fiction in The Caledonia Review. His First Book 'After Seeing', a series of poems based on cinema (2006, IFFT), is currently being translated into a couple of regional Indian languages. His short films have participated at International Film Festivals and gained nomination for Animation Awards. Currently, he lives and works in Cochin as the Creative Director of D3V Games, a game and animation development studio, after completing his B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering.


Two Poems (December 20, 2009. Issue 12.)

City of Books
A huge fraud has been revealed.
Authors are gaoled inside a city of books,
where hungry street dogs at the corner
prefer the bone of extinct words
The city is confirmed to be inside the bookshelf
of the god of languages –
Banished perhaps,
from his realm of comprehensible wisdom
to this far away land of alexithymia
God always sits amused at a chair afar
and watches us –
Bumblers, trumpeters, jokers
with single syllable tambourines
hanging from our necks
We meander clueless through his landscape,
an unending vineyard between word and meaning
W, V, U, M –are nothing but birds
Z, C, I, O – all snakes
B is a mocking bird
G is a crocodile lost in thought
Let’s no more call them words.
They are the wild –
animals and birds, wind and trees
migrating to safer places from our speech,
our epics.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote 432 pages
of nothingness in One Hundred Years of Solitude.
As he throngs the bars of the prison,
his book collapses at the city centre
like a an old building


Mom loved to travel. She was somewhat like the biggest tree in the densest part of a forest bearing the silent flower – a flower without the noise of colours, a flower that grew only on the tallest branches once every year and which could not be seen from anywhere else except the sky.

Actually, she was a forest of such trees within –
On top of the tallest rock on the Edakkal cave*,
knee deep in the virgin under currents of river Kunthi*,
in the rain shadow area of Attapady hills*.

While we were travelling back then, I have felt ever so slightly the scent of the innermost flowers that blooms within her.

In fact, she has always been travelling – restricting the exteriors to silence and liberating the interiors to boundless options of joy. Long back in her village, along with the ants through the canals into the fields; along with the trees into the wind; along with the bamboos into intricacies; along with the hills into the hill top temples and the white beard of saints who stayed within cave like cuts on rocks found on hill tops. The ponds took her to the fish, the evenings into fears, the fears into old grandmothers, the grandmothers into ghosts, and ghosts into their human incarnations later in life.

Now she sits on a rock idle and confused. Does she see me? I do not know. But there she is, right next to my eyes. Beneath the rock that she sits, a silent mountain flows as a reflection in the stream. Is that what you call the time that passed?

Note: * - Places of attraction in Kerala, India.