Thursday, February 12, 2009
Do stars shiver in cold blue sky?
I ask again:
Do stars shiver in cold blue sky?
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)