Poetry: U Atreya Sarma

I am an autochthonous edifice

U Atreya Sarma

I am a huge edifice
But I don’t need a contractor
Or an engineer or a mason.
None needs to dig up the soil and level it for me,
Nor anyone needs to transport the building material
And dump it in heaps and unduly block the roads.

I raise my own main pillar first,
Cast the plinth beams all around
And then raise a ceiling
With heat-reducing material – all by myself.

Other buildings have wear and tear
But I am always spick and span.
Once I build myself, my vastness increases on its own.
No one need take the trouble of raising any extension.

To ensure my stability
I cast the supporting columns;
They don’t rise up from the ground
But branch off and hang down from my girders above.
They develop downright – slow and steady
Like, what you know... the stalactites!

To study and apply this technology
I haven’t gone abroad
For I am self-sapient;
Nor have I imported it from any alien shore.
I know not of any atlas or foreign clime;
I know only my native land and soil.
I keep staying where I am born,
And I keep growing where I stay.

I keep expanding my structure limitless,
Unless the greedy come in my way,
Encroach my habitat, and hack me
In the name of setback, FSI
Or other town planning ruses.

Just learn and weave your life through me,
Without trying to alter my native architecture
And you will enjoy a heavenly bliss
At almost no cost.
I am autochthonous and immortal.

Who am I? Haven’t you identified me yet?
I am just your next door neighbour;
But since you have been mangling or neglecting me,
Your thinking and memory has got befuddled.

Still if you can’t figure me out,
I will sign off with a clue.
Just read out the cryptic lines from right to left
And you will easily decode me.
Well, I am...


  1. It is a brilliant poem,that preaches the message of togetherness,of understanding ourselves properly.I am an admirer of Atreyaji's oiems and works of fiction, I love this poem as well.

  2. Banyan tree binds us together,since around,and we are bound "each to each by natural piety",to quote Wordsworth!I loved the spirit of the puem.

  3. Thank you, dear Ketaki. I value your compliments, coming as they do from an accomplished & multi-talented writer like you. The banyans in Bengaluru inspired me to pen this poem; they have simply sucked me into the tangle of their prop/aerial roots for good. What a wonderful creation is this behemoth tree!

  4. Bold and beautiful that only I can say dear acclaimed poet. And I love the frequent use of pronoun I and the emphasis you put on it to give a shape to the overall theme and design of the poem. Autochthonous you are and your poem too.
    Kudos sir.

  5. Thank you so much dear friend, Abu Siddik, for your kind compliments. I am humbled.

  6. It was a wonderful experience and a novel method of narration. thanks SETU for a delightful read and Mr Sarma for a charming composition.

    1. Thank you dear Hemant for peeping in and for your kind accolades.


We welcome your comments related to the article and the topic being discussed. We expect the comments to be courteous, and respectful of the author and other commenters. Setu reserves the right to moderate, remove or reject comments that contain foul language, insult, hatred, personal information or indicate bad intention. The views expressed in comments reflect those of the commenter, not the official views of the Setu editorial board. प्रकाशित रचना से सम्बंधित शालीन सम्वाद का स्वागत है।