A.K. Ramanujan’s poem is a love poem that isn’t from the traditional school for he does not plainly declare his love for his wife. Instead his means are all the more subtle as he through his love for her picks up quaint little images and weaves it within his search for what she was before she married him. He deals with her past life in Kerala and maternal home and ends the poem with a union of the two sexes where they are both part of one being.
The poem begins in an informal style where the reader comes to learn of a quarrel that has lasted for days but the treatment is so light that one is reassured that it is merely a lover’s tiff and nothing more serious. His wife has Syrian blood in her veins and so we are aware subtly of the fact that their marriage is the intermingling of two religions and cultures. The lady is pouting like a difficult child while the poet moves on further to describe the scenery of Kerala and her home there that made her the woman that she is.The imagery is rural with rubber plants, print dresses and a white clad grandmother filling memory lane. Her home is a colourful place that has replaced the native home she has lost in Aden when her ancestors were forced out by the Arabs and had to take refuge in Kerala. Thus, the land they live in is borrowed land but to him it is all the more dear for she has lived there.
He then shifts to a more intimate level where he speaks of a dream he once had where they both were one-faced there was no union of two as they both formed one being. His own past life, his own individuality, his own face and hers did not exist as his face was hers and hers was his.As he watches her in her sleep he sees happiness lying there on her serene brow. She is content to be a part of him and loose her identity in his thus, making him think of the nature of the gods that are made up of both the male and the female. He can no longer be happy as just a man or a half being. To be together is to be complete and whole.
In the morning’s realism he is aware that though they may share a wholeness yet he is also himself but as he watches her sleep he feels that she has been blessed by her past even as she has been blessed by his love as tender as that of a grandmother for her children. He also feels a slight possessiveness for her and is conscious that he is jealous of anyone loving her though his love may be unselfish in all other ways.