THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A rough translation of the last few lines of Rakendu’s poem ‘Ente jeevitham’ would read thus: ‘’Mother and her two kids, stranded in the sea of sorrow/ Only the sea hears their cries and nobody else /Where would the waves take them, nobody knows...’’
Rakendu is only ten, a student at Fort Government UP School (‘Sathram school’). She began scribbling one and two-liners when she was just six. In class III, when she finally let her teacher, Jasmine, into her secret book, a poet was already born. The school brought out a small compilation of her poems which was released in December 2010. Though not as a book, but a printed manuscript.
Now that her poems have gone up in numbers again, her teachers are getting ready to bring out her next compilation of poems. Hopefully, as a book this time.
But today, the grief hidden in her little poems have left the teachers poignant. They are at a loss of words to cheer her up.
Hailing from Shinkarathoppu colony and from a broken family, the young poet is battling many odds, all the while making sure that she remains eligible for the scholarship granted by the school for her studies.
‘’At such a young age, she knows the art of hiding emotions well behind her words. Maybe, she is just putting her pain into words. These days, she, along with her sister and mother, is wandering here and there looking for a shelter. They were thrown out of their house by her father,’’ says headmistress S Pushkala Kumari.
Rakendu’s mother Kavitha was a Kudumbashree Cleanwell worker. The rotten garbage crisis threw her out of job a couple of months ago. By then, her husband, a drunkard, had already left her. ‘’His family also abandoned me and one night, I was thrown out with the two kids,’’ Kavitha says. Her other daughter, Krishnendu, class six student, also studies in the same school.
When Kavitha could not find shelter in her own house too, she found refuge in a friend’s house at Beemapally. ‘’They are seemingly finding us a burden; who won’t? Nobody is willing to let us a house in the colony fearing my drunken husband, who could cause trouble. I think it is all the pain that the little one transfers into her poems. Though I encourage her in writing more, it is also a painful read,’’ the mother says.
Kavitha had discontinued her studies after class XII. She is now a bedside aide for a patient.
The school had adapted one of Rakendu’s poems, ‘Ente maram’, into a play which won an A-grade in the district-level Kalotsav for the school. A poem ‘Poombate va va...’ was turned into a musical by the child herself which she had sung many times in the school.
‘’We wonder if the girl would see some happy times soon so that her poems look more her age. At least a roof over their heads would make her happy,’’ says Sulekha, her class teacher.
The school has been contacting many good souls to find a shelter for their little poet. With no success so far.