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The words are by Kamala Das who was born in southern Malabar in 1934 and is one of Indias most distinguished poets. She has written, “From every city I have lived I have remembered the noons in Malabar with an ache growing inside me, a homesickness”.

This setting, for soprano and piano trio, employs additive rhythm and instrumental doubling to capture something of the suppleness and richness of Indian music. It was first performed by Patrizia Rosario and Chamber Music Company at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival on 14 October 1997.

This is a noon for beggars with whining
Voices, a noon for men who come from hills
With parrots in a cage and fortune cards,
All stained with time, for brown kurava girls
With old eyes, who read palms in light singsong
Voices, for bangle-sellers who spread
On the cool black floor those red and green and blue
Bangles, all covered with the dust of roads,
For all of them, whose feet, devouring rough
Miles, grow cracks on the heels, so that when they
Clambered up our porch, the noise was grating,
Strange.This is a noon for strangers who part
The window-drapes and peer in, their hot eyes
Brimming with the sun, not seeing a thing in
Shadowy rooms, and turn away and look
So yearningly at the brick-ledged well. This
is a noon for strangers with mistrust in
Their eyes, dark, silent ones who rarely speak
At all, so that when they speak, their voices
Run wild, like jungle-voices. Yes, this is
A noon for wild men, wild thoughts, wild love. To
Be here, far away, is torture. Wild feet
Stirring up the dust, this hot noon, at my

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Wild Men And Window-Drapes. (April 3, 2021). Retrieved from