Athirapally Falls

Athirapally, Falls, Painting
Image: 7MB
In India, waterfalls are seldom allowed to rumble along without at least one Bollywood tune in the background.

Treading with city feet
Along the rough hewn stones
Of a pathway
Made for others like me,
I watch my step
More than I do what I came looking for.

Busloads of tourists
Speaking in a language I understand
Only too well
Trip alongside
Mothers and sons in uncommon harmony
While fathers stride ahead.

At the path’s end
We come upon the rapids
Teeming with rocks
And people
Splashing, shouting, lounging, lazing.

Smooth-chested poster boys
Engagingly adolescent
And others
Unmindful of their ugliness
Occupy the high flat spaces
Between the rushing waters

And finally, the falls,
Their mild roar
Drowned by the chatter and squeals
Of those who come here seeking nature
Having encountered it set to the tune
Of a Bollywood movie.


Madras Courier originally ran as a broadsheet with a poetry section. It was a time when readers felt comfortable sharing glimpses of their lives through verse. If you too have a poem you’d like to submit, do mail us at


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