Poesy is in full bloom at the Kozhikode District Jail. With his talent for creative writing, C.J. Sreeni, a remand prisoner here, has become the centre of attention of his friends and the jail authorities.

*Rathrimazha' is the latest poem penned by this 48-year-old prisoner. In the poem, he expresses concern for the poor children who roam the streets from dawn to dusk to earn a living. “Rain is my favourite theme. It washes away my anguish after each verse, and makes me a new man,” he says.

Sreeni, a native of Wayanad, has been in the Kozhikode District Jail for the past five months.

Jail authorities say he has been exhibiting his creativity in every activity conducted for the prisoners. “It was the staging of a skit named *Maveli Keralathil' that first unveiled the skill of this man before us. He directed the play portraying the deteriorating social scenario in the State,” Jail Welfare Officer O.J. Thomas says.

When Sreeni arrived at the jail, he was addicted to alcohol and pan masala, but now he is completely free of the habit and concentrates on creative expression, he says. Sreeni always carries a personal notebook with him to give life to his thoughts and feelings in verse.

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He takes great pride in showing his anthology to those who want to know about him and appreciate his work. He also contributes to Prison Voice, a newsletter circulated by a non-governmental organisation named Prison Fellowship Kerala for prisoners' welfare.

In one of his latest poems on the theme of rain, Sreeni expresses his feelings in a melancholic vein: Mazha Nanayanam… Kanneer Mazhayayi Iniyum Peithozhiyatha Mazha, Karalin Nombara Choodil Mazhamukilanu Peyyum Orma Mazha.

”Jail Superintendent Ashokan Aripa says the Jail department will try to publish some of Sreeni's select works with the support of the Kannur District Library Council. “We will send the works for the consideration of the library council as they are now engaged in an effort to bring out a compilation of the creative pieces done by prisoners across the State.”

The jail authorities have sent two selected poems and stories by some former prisoners for the consideration of the library council.

The poems and stories penned by A.M. Abdul Sathar and Riyaz Babu centre on the theme *rain and dream.'

Mithosh Joseph

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