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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Do stars shiver in cold blue sky?

Arindam Roy

I ask again:
Do stars shiver in cold blue sky?

You smile…

You hold me tight on your breasts
Afraid that I like my twin would leave and go…

With drops of milk,
I suckled my brother’s life from you

A hurt lily dwelled in your eyes.
You hid the gnarled beauty of your roots
To bloom in my fractured dreams, but

I sought my revenge, dear Mummy.

Perhaps I shivered
And wailed, when you slapped me hard –
To arrive in countless fears, hopes and dreams
When miles lay between us

You wept –
My pain returned through your tears
When you heard, a youth
Was slain, by a bullet in Bombay
Like a fool, you made my
Stern father nervous that night.

But, now I let all your
Joys and fears evaporate
Like mists of swirling cloud
From my sweet, child-like mouth

With soft flap of wings
You burst forth like a bird on flight,
You gushed with the strength of a newborn river:
Free, spreading your wings
In the slight flutter of your raucous breath;
And, your listless eyes lay still.

I am mad, a howling lunatic
I say that I cannot live without you

Perhaps the silly doctors would never know
The little game that we two played:

The silly doctors pronounced you dead –
From when have they become judges, O Mummy?

I laugh and play…
I am mad, a howling lunatic.

No, don’t be sad:
You did not go!

It was my command that you leave, and
You left –
You obeyed me, like I did as a child

The wheel moved full circle
I took my revenge, dear Mummy.

The revenge of your selfless love
I hurt you and fought with you:
Madly in love with you,
I even bade you goodbye!

You suffered in silent coma,
Tormented by fever
Spaced across four days and nights
As your brain swam within your skull
In a pool of blood,
It clotted all over your organ
The way I soiled
My crisp clothes as a child…

Amidst fears and hope,
Unmindful of loud crackers
And starry sparklers
You lay still,
With me watching you, helplessly –
As you had watched my twin brother
Die in baby gasps – until
His listless body was snatched from your youthful lap.

You told me that you had wailed and cried
But, they took his frail, still body from you!

My prayers were his curse,
His prayers, my curse:
Did he conspire with daddy?
Did he also call him ‘Bapi’?

Together, they were waiting for you…

You warmed a cold October night
With agonizing fever,

I ordered you to leave…

And I told you
That perhaps we will meet in another life!

Go, go away Mummy,
I am mad, for I love you madly.
And if you don’t go now
I will never be able to leave you.

No, you did not leave me, Mummy
I cast you, away:
Like a broken toy,
Like a love letter that lost its meaning.

Your framed picture, garlands and all,
Hangs like a shrunken, empty net
Against a white wall,
Flanked by pictures of
My father and uncle, on either side;

I hold you in my thoughts –
You held me too, tight, in your countless worries and joys!

You once told me that you would die
If something were to happen to me.
Though nothing happened to me,
I let you die…
It’s morning, now –

You look at me with a smile
From your frame on the wall

Let me confess,
I no longer feel the sadness
That I felt, when I lovingly smeared
‘Ghee’ on your still, sweet face and breasts
And washed your forehead with salty tears –
As you once oiled and bathed me

I no longer feel the pain,
That I did, when I
Torched your howling pyre
Beside the cold, grey Ganga

My pain has gone,
It’s a huge void, now

Vacant like the cold blue sky –
Without a bird,
Silent like a tomb,
Lost in deep slumber
For centuries, stellar years;
Older, perhaps, than the wrinkled earth!

You, now, sleep sound amongst the stars –
As I, a child, slept quietly
In the circle of your arms crushed on your soft kind breasts.

(I lost my mother on October 26, 2003, to brain hemorrhage. She was in deep coma for four days, battling with life)


  1. Dada ,
    Minblowing. Every professional would love to read your blog ,read and learn many things from the rich content.
    We are just a drop in ocean.
    Look forward to read many more interesting thing from treasure writing.
    My best wishes.

  2. It was soul stirring and felt like a cool breeze in the face.... which must blow on and on. Everytime you yourself will read it... will live that life again and again... going through the same rest, tiredness, love and pain. Your mother is made immortal by you in these lines... she will remain forever.

  3. Dear Reporter,

    Many thanks for your kind comments. You are a dynamic journalist, though very modest.

  4. Dear Rajul,

    I fully agree with you. This is my most humble gratitude to my mother, who though not with me, physically, is always around. Splendid expressions you have. Thanks a bunch!

  5. Some feelings have colors and some have texture, few have both. In this poem, you brought that special hue and feel with every word with such passion that had to wipe my eyes number of times. You immortalized your mother and all mothers of the world with this exquisite woven tapestry of mixed feelings . Mothers are special breeds and that I learnt once I became a mother myself.

    1. I - or any man - is not a man enough if he hasn't had a deep bond with mother. We fight and quarrel with her. But sans her love can anyone bloom! All my bad qualities are mine, the few good ones come from my parents - mostly mother, Anumita.

  6. chief .. this is RONJABOTI ... i read this at one go.. did not breathe deeply till i finished . . remembered so many ripples from my past .. ached for so many unsaid things .. thank you for sharing this gem !

  7. Your comment means a world to me, Ronjaboti...Happy that I have been able to connect and strike a cord :)

  8. Replies
    1. Many thanks, Kaberi ...yes I wept while penning it :)

  9. Arindam da , This is Prodipta . God couldn't be everywhere that's why He made Mothers . From the celebration of love for her , to the unholy fascination of dread of her being taken away , your poem is replete with varied emotions . Wonderfully rich in images ,what comes across at the end is the persisting love of a boy for his mother now lost . Loved it .

    1. Yes, mother is anchor. Indeed it's a love that cannot ever be replaced. Many thanks, Prodipta :)

    2. So much of love, so much of pain.
      touched a deep core somewhere...

  10. Moved. Reminded me of Buddhadeva Bose's 'Shondhilawgno'.

    1. Many many thanks, Sumana...feeling top of the world! What a comparison! :)

  11. This is so touching, so poignant, I am in tears. So beautifully expressed, the love and the pain of loss.

  12. Madhumita, it's great to hear such nice and kind words. Yes, mothers are mothers, no one or nothing can ever change that. Thank you :)

  13. H R Bachhan is not the only great poet that Allahadbad has produced - now I know!
    A sacred dip, that is what these words offered. Thanks AR.

    1. You have put it beautifully, Buddy - Rijula. Am overwhelmed. Thanks :)

  14. Replies
    1. Yes, I should...thanks, Maitreyee :)

  15. sir ji too good.....very touching poem....

  16. U still have such poignant feelings for it mother. Amazing! U managed to make run to my own ma and Bali. Thanks!

  17. Thanks a lot for the lovely comment. Please identify yourself, my friend

  18. You made me cry, with the spell of your words thrown simply, expressing your deep felt anguish at the saddest cruel joke of the almighty, the experience called "death". take care!

  19. In catharsis, in sharing our grief, we emerge stronger perhaps. It's like holding hands and supporting a friend in such times. It purifies us, I feel. Thanks a lot.