Original Haiku by Sneh Rashmi
English translation Guide: Malvika Tewari
Special thanks to Kruti Sarvaiya


Visual Haiku

Visual Haiku is based on a collection of 19 haiku written in the 1970s by Zinabhai Desai aka "Sneh Rashmi".It is my attempt to represent Gujarati literature and script through experimental typography in modern contemporary design form. It is an effort to preserve include, exchangeand celebrate.


Photo Courtsey: Erik Brand, Part of the Ficciones Typografika

It all started with a desire to do something with the Gujarati Script, which I felt had not been experimented with and explored much. I’ve always seen Gujarati literature in body copy size, this is what initially motivated me to express and present the script in a fun and interesting way.

A Storm brews in the sea, under the calm glare of the sky
The key I hold no longer turns the lock on my door. Where do I turn next, leaving my threshold behind?
As the boat hides along the river bends, it contemplates it's journey along the strongly carved current

The haikus were translated into English keeping the charm of the original poems but losing the format of the haiku, this had to be done in order to bring about the whole meaning of the original.

The doors to the unknown have opened, let’s crown death and welcome him
As the game unfolds, we shall all witness them surface - The Ace, The King and The Queen

His haikus remain as relevant to the current era as they were three decades ago, they are a delightful reflection on human behaviour – some portraying death as an honourable event, others a reminder of finding content in what one has; still, others are instances of daily life served with a dose of sarcasm.

As a bird perishes on the electric cable, the bees hover low on the flowers
Deep mountain caves inviting everything into their darkness, surrounding skies remain locked outside
The heavy paperweight sits on my desk, watching the nimble papers flutter away
As I spot mother, masked with innocent schoolbooks, love letters hidden away
In my solitude, I hang memories in photographs and then learn to look away
Behold this woeful sight! The nagging river disturbs the flow of the sewer
O Mosquito, turn your drone into a prayer for my sleep, so deep in my slumber, you may feast
Each day, as soon as the clock strikes five, the party on the railway station is in full swing

Credits : Original Haiku by Sneh Rashmi / English translation help: Malvika Tewari / Special thanks to Kruti Sarvaiya

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