Small Is Beautiful
It's time to come back with a new post. And what should it be like? Oh yeah, I was talking about "In Harness", my first published work. I've already given two poems. I think one more post will do.
Okay, I'll post one more poem from that book. This I've chosen because my readers have all along liked it. Let me cite just one instance. I was once invited to a function to sit on the dais with other dignitaries. It was a function in an engineering college to inaugurate their internet centre. In time the gentleman who conducted the meeting called one professor to introduce the guests. He was a professor in English; so what better way would he have adopted to introduce me than reciting a stanza from my poem? I think he had got the copy of my book and read it for selecting a suitable stanza. And the poem I'm going to post here was his selection.
Besides, I have posted this one in my other blog and received a few comments. All my comments there have vanished during the last maintenance of that blog, but fortunately for me I have their e-mails. This is another reason why I thought I should also post this poem in this blog before moving on to other topics.
1 . FROM THE TOMB OF A HAWAI CHAPPAL*
I’m a discarded hawai chappal
Floating in the Bay of Bengal
Long forgotten and drifting in silence.
I’m an unsung hero,
No farewell arranged for me–and who bothers?
After a selfless sequence of tireless chores
Now I’m tired and hence retired
It’s about the time I go, perhaps.
I gave constant company
To my master in all his journey
To the seashore, to his bath
To the jungle on the uncharted path
He made me go, so I went along.
When in queue for his cooking gas
In a scorching sun waiting for hours
Or before an officer bribe-loving
Frightened, fold handed, ignominiously bowing
He kept me afoot, a confidence kit.
Among the less equals while browbeating them
Or in deep embrace of his beauty, the undressed
Searching his lost coin crawling under the cot
Or kicking the dung-heap on his enemy’s face
I was his strength, a willing friend.
Alas! It was my love unrequited
I was denied this little privilege
To enter a temple with him,
Left at the gate sobbing and silent
For those gasping moments of a life wasted.
The God in temple, the God in heart
The God of the sky or the God on the earth
The God at bar or the God with whore
The God in garbage or the God at slaughter
Isn’t He the one and the same!
Then why did he hide his God esteemed
So stealthily away from me?
Why, then, was this punishment for me?
Am I not a soul innocent?
And should he not repent that?
Gracefully—maybe by mistake
He has chosen to bury me in the ocean
Where priceless jewels dwell and mermaids flock around,
Where dragons scare the devils to frightfully abandon
Their buccaneering plots and unholy missions.
For years million the multicoloured corals here
Make the rocks smile in self-fulfilment,
Where in days of yore in the tug-of-war
The gods duped the demons in a game unfair
Just for a few drops of godlike nectar.
Now I have no regret;
Rest of my days will pass this way
Beneath the starlit sky, amidst the mermaids;
The dragons and vampires will lull me to sleep
When I am tired beyond my fatigue.
While sleeping for good not to wake up again
I’ll chant the psalm of a meaningful existence
Into the depth of cosmos, unto the sublime vacuum.
*Chappal=one out of a pair of rubber slippers
Labels: In Harness: my old poems