Friday, July 29, 2005

A Requiem - Dedicated to Jyotsna


It was a rather unusual evening. Heard the news of your sudden demise or the gradual self effacement with a shudder. It is bearable to get estranged with one’s dear ones as long as we do not lose them to death. The fact that they are doing well without us, that they no longer will worry on us will be consoling enough to live with the loneliness that so often cramps our being.

But then, I have not even seen you and the first time I heard about you was when two people who really mattered to you (Deepak and Shobana) told me about your hospitalization. It was a brief conversation so interlaced with sighs and silence, infused with prayers too. Surely they must have expected a miraculous recovery when they remarked that “She is a brave girl…she is fighting it out…”

That evening, after a long time I had something to pray for.

The little I heard about you left a deep imprint for, such intense was passion to learn here, such deep was your longing to be here in this cradle in the misty foothills, such was your abiding sense of belonging to be with the people who really cared for you…and so you came back after a long break, perhaps despite the impending risks of another bout of illness.

You fell sick again and was rushed to the hospital

You continued to fly
like a bird shot on her wings
…the dusk grew more reddened
as you flew past
and the dawn retained the redness
while the day remained frozen
in anxious anticipation
like a creeper in the corridor
reaching for sunshine.

Shobana called up this afternoon and told “ she passed away ! “

A single bird fallen, shot dead
makes the sky so incomplete…
while the moon and a handful of stars
fill up the entire sky,
with us sandwiched
in between desolate emptiness
and teeming immensity
suspended in blissful oblivion
of the thought that
you are now free from
all the pain and agony.

The moment I set out for a walk I could feel that I am heading towards a different kind of experience because the evening had an eerie yet ethereal mystique about it. It was bright though the sky was completely overcast. It was as if that single large , immaculate white cloud passing by brightened up the glow all the more. The cloud eventually thinned down, spreading out to embrace the whole mountain ranges and this valley – the place that was your home away from home once.

For a few moments the bright white cloud appeared like your departing soul and the whole valley your soulscape.

Many of us bothered
only to hear the first twitters
of your morning song…
and the closing notes
of your swansong.

You looked radiant at dawn,
silenced and subdued at dusk
and what transpired during the day
must have been an unspoken saga
of silent pain and self effacing ways
like the silk worm’s mute agony and distress
while turning
the mulberry leaves it is fed with
into dazzling silk.

You came and went
like a kindered soul
who wandered into our lives
to remind us of the woes
of transient existence
and the joys of belonging,
to teach us more
on aspirations, revolt
rebellion, acceptance and submission…
of life, death and regeneration
and finally

It drizzled for a while as I walked down the path you traversed just few days back…I stretched my arms ,a handful of shimmering droplets filled up my palm, while a handful of stars filled up the vastness above . I tilted my palm , the stars trickled out as tears from above on the path you walked by the last time.

Soon perhaps I will spot you flitting
across the skies homeward bound;
Many might rustle- a comet is falling
and gaze at it awestruck, assuming
some terrible event is fore shadowed
whereas there traversing galaxies
that will be your winged soul
longing to join us again
like a bright streak of hope, grit and grace
through the veiling dust of the bygone
gyrating in the aftermath’s gravitating swirl
of recurring fears here on earth,
to lead us through
yet another transformation !

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A wish List

Vison free from illusion

Mind free from impurity

Senses free from fetters of habit...

...back to a kid's world!