Ministry of Deceit


Was it a Sunday evening
When you left a window carelessly open
You rang first that gong of betrayal?

Was it one high noon
When you thoughtlessly fed her bones of the lamb
You sang first that litany of duplicity?

Was it under a moonlit sky
When your face flowered in surreptitious joy
You knew first that triumph of transgression?

Was it under a kitchen light
As you lay bare fish bones of guilt
You exorcised first imprudent trust?

A Saturday, a Monday,
Pearly light, yellow light, in the dark
Eighty-six thousand four hundred ways exist.

To baptize the fool
Smug in the knowledge
She will never be deceived.



Anita Nair was born in Shoranur, Kerala, in 1966. She grew up in Chennai and later moved to Kerala, where she did her BA in English language and literature. She worked as an advertising writer before opting to write full-time in 2001. Nair is the author of several works of fiction and nonfiction:Satyr of the Subway and Eleven Other Stories, The Better Man, Ladies CoupéMistress, and Goodnight and God Bless. Her new novel is Lessons in Forgetting. She has also published a collection of poems, Malabar Mind, and has edited Where the Rain Is Born: Writings about Kerala. Her books have been translated into thirty languages worldwide. She lives in Bangalore.