The Garden of Eden / Arathi Devandran

The Serpent in the Bible warns us of the forbidden.

The First Man, Adam, is created by God. From his rib, Eve, the First Woman is borne. Together, they live in the Garden of Eden, blissful and ignorant, surrounded by beauty and softness. The story goes then that Eve, tempted by the Serpent to eat the one fruit that was forbidden, leads Adam astray. Upon eating the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve are awash with Wisdom and Knowledge, Shame and Shyness. God banishes Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden; he subjects the Man to a lifetime of hard labour that will culminate in death and the Woman to the pain of childbirth and subordination to Man. The Serpent is forevermore forced to live his life slithering, suffering the enmity of Man and Woman alike.

The Serpent, the forebearer of the forbidden, is a symbol of the exiled and tainted.

But there is another, half-forgotten story that reveres the Serpent as the Ouroboros. He who slays himself and brings himself to life, fertilizes himself and gives birth to himself, the One, the Neverending. Ouroboros, that symbolizes the eternity and the soul of the world, and more – the forbiddenness of immortality.

Are you the Serpent or the Ouroboros? The pain of knowledge, or the eternity of living?

I look at you, my love, and I do not know. I do not know who you are. I do not know who I am. I observe the shape of your spine, curved like a snake’s, and memories of Eden return to me.

Sometimes your voice is a constant pleasurable drum in my ear and I see your mouth forming shapes and all I can think about is how much I feel for you, how much, how deeply, but there are no words, or the words that I have are never enough and there is so much to tell and I open my mouth to begin somewhere, anywhere, and you are still talking and I am nodding my head and I reach out to lace my fingers with yours because touch makes up for where words fail, and you instinctively cover my hands with yours and you don’t notice how my breath hitches and I want to tell you how this is all so different and what it means and in all this time my heart beats beats beats beats




You are the Serpent and the Ouroboros.

 Love, my love, is satan and god.

Lines from my favourite song:
சின்னஞ்சிறு சின்னஞ்சிறு ரகசியமே
சின்னஞ்சிறு சின்னஞ்சிறு ரகசியமே
சின்னஞ்சிறு சின்னஞ்சிறு அதிசயமே
சின்னஞ்சிறு விரல் கொடு

சின்னஞ்சிறு சின்னஞ்சிறு
இடம் கொடு
சின்னஞ்சிறு ஆசைக்கு போய் சொல்ல
Even the smallest of desires…has no room for lies.

Arathi Devandran curates personal experiences, snapshots of the world and the stories people are willing to share with her through prose and poetry

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