I get inspiration looking back and it consists in the distance I've covered, the learning I've derived, the failures I've endured...and looking back isn't an indication of stagnation, not at all. This is the poem I wrote on 21-11-1998 and included in my poetry collection "In Harness" that was published in 2004. Since then I've not published my second poetry book but gone over to short stories from English and then to Hindi. Now I'm struggling to complete my novel in English "The Roadshow". Despite the development when I revisited this particular poem of mine, I found remarkable similarities between the character I'm currently exploring in the novel and the one I had in mind while composing this poem long sixteen years ago. Really! Inspirations have remarkable ability to linger on: poets slip into regression, sometimes so very sweet they are! And so very creative they turn out!
Her present contrasts her past;
She hated and escaped the distress
in search of a meaningful
She dreamt and craved the very modest
from her life of struggle and protest.
She aspired just a few bowlful
of steaming rice
There was no dearth of these in this world of plenty
True, she got them in abundance,
when she chanced upon them by accident
She was overwhelmed, as the events unfolded.
She has now the means to acquire
the pleasure of existence
sauntering down the narrow bylanes
of the slippery world,
And people turn lavish for curious pleas
to compete and reach for her graceful nod.
The devil called destiny that taunted for years
has started to smile jovial,
Lady luck, the darling with her impetus bizarre
has extended her friendship,
And everything now looks perfect
No explanation is sought, no apology offered.
She now pines for taking the revenge
Starting with her careless parents
Or the mocking neighbourhood,
Or the avaricious kin
Or all those pretentious souls...
They all would be her victims,
if she really means it,
She can inflict the revenge
sour and caustic in their contents,
And her victims would not understand
the lethal blow would be perpetrated on them
in silence behind her gossamer veil.
How would she forget…?
And the present…
How would she forsake…?
And the future…
How would she ignore…?
She would live with malice
taking her existence
so painfully for granted,
Mingling with her dislikes
in their baffling sequence.
First composed at Vizag on 21/11/1998
A. N. Nanda