Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Haibun : Optical Illusion--By Angelee Deodhar--India

Haibun : Optical Illusion

My paternal grandmother, a generous, large hearted lady and the mother of many sons was well regarded in our village. Since she died when I was only two years old I never knew her. Her philanthropic sons decided to give the village its first school, its first hospital, a temple and also a community centre which had electricity.

Several decades later, my uncles decided to get their mother’s portrait painted. so that it could be duly hung in the school building.

In Gran’s days there were no photographs, so nobody really knew what she looked like. Somehow a tiny, sepia print of her was found, and a famous local artist commissioned to paint the portrait. He took almost a year to complete it and finally, amidst much fanfare, the beautiful portrait was unveiled, garlanded, and placed reverently on the credenza of the principal’s office. My uncles, were pleased and I got several pats on the back until a dissident voice from the back of the crowd called out, “Who is that woman?” and when my uncles replied, “Why, that is our venerable mother, the benefactress who has given you all this school.”

There was a slight pause before the old man, a contemporary of gran’s came forward to peer closely at the portrait and said, “That looks nothing like her. Your grandmother had a terrible squint!”

pinhole camera-
a blur from the past
transforms the present

Angelee Deodhar, an eye surgeon by profession is a haiku poet, translator, and artist. She lives and works in Chandigarh, India. Her haiku/haibun/haiga have been published internationally in various books and journals, and her work can be viewed on many websites. To promote haiku in India, she has translated six books of haiku from English to Hindi, which she distributed for free. These bilingual books include: If Someone Asks: Masaoka Shiki's Life and Haiku (2005), Classic Haiku: A Master's Selection, edited by Miura Yuzuru (2006), Ogura Hyakunin Isshu: 100 Poems by 100 Poets (2007), Children’s Haiku from Around the World–A Haiku Primer (2007), Indian Haiku (2008), and The Distant Mountain: The Life and Haiku of Kobayashi Issa (2009).


  1. Lovely piece, thank you for sharing it with us!

  2. Thanks Peggy dear true incident love angelee

  3. Full of humanity. A beautiful piece. Thank you for sharing, Ralph.

  4. The haiku is golden to cap such excellent write.. =`) ~oLive Eloisa

  5. a lovely heartwarming write - with a chuckle at the end

  6. Angelee, thank you for the splendid poem. Wonderful story. Continued blessings!

    -MJ (

    1. Well, it was good that someone remembered her but that was only his memory and point of view..LOL>.Sara