Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Face

A poem close to my heart.The incident and the 'protagonist' are REAL.
I am grateful to The Face for disturbing the slumber of feelings that I fear,would have otherwise died,completely.


A busy Kolkata street
The mad hustle of a Monday morn,
The scurrying of a thousand feet
In a city of concrete
Automobiles conduct a cacophony of horns.
With deadlines to meet,
Jobs to keep,
No one notices,a face so forlorn.

‘Comfortably numb’ in the cocoon of my car
Cut from the world by the darkened glass,
I was in some land afar.
A tap on the window interrupted my reverie,
“Didi, would you buy some candy?” was the ardent plea.
I dismissed it, with an indifferent waft of my hand.
The city of joy steels our heart to sorrow,
(Or was it the pericardium I wonder?)
Protecting it from the prick of conscience.
The struggle and sorrow Man faces
Seems to us as mundane.
So it was with him,with his face so forlorn.

He implored, again.
It was more a disgusted appeal of desperation than a plea,
“Didi, take one, PLEASE.”
Something within me stirred
Something that had been rendered dormant by my hedonism.
Was it conscience, or was it humanity??
I looked up, rolled down my window
And came face to face with conscience,
It was his face, a face so forlorn.

He was just a kid,
Not more than three quarters of a score,
His eyes so innocent,
Unable to hide the torment,
Fate had so cruelly inflicted on him.
“How much are they?”I asked
“Fifty paisa each Didi?”,he said,
Much with relief, than enthusiasm.
And I couldn’t help noticing,
The abuse of innocence,
Reflected in the face ,the face so forlorn.

I asked for six , handed him a ten rupee bill,
Asked him to keep the change.
The impassive face lit up,
Like a sudden volcanic outburst,
Not with joy, but indignation.
“Why should I take the change?”,he retorted
I was jolted.
Dignity existed,even in a face so forlorn.

And then, the dam broke .
His face contracted,he broke down.
“My parents are dead,
I have my sisters to take care of,
How many days can we survive with an empty stomach?
I can’t take it anymore.”, he said
Tears streaming down his face.
The face so forlorn.

The light at the signal turned green,
Impatient commuters started honking and cursing.
I sat still, dewy eyed, guilty and ashamed
It is by humans after all that humanity has been maimed.
He took the money I had offered and was gone
But not before slipping in two more candy
Soon, I had left the road and was homeward bound
Yet it was alive in my memory,a face so forlorn.

The city of joy,
Its people boasting of their sensitivity,
Where every person claims to be a proletarian at heart .
Yet, it is here we see the rape of innocence,
Abuse of youth, murder of potential.
And all we do is shake our heads at the hopelessness
Blame it on the system, the establishment, the world
And seeing , yet unseeing carry on with our lives.
Yet everywhere lurks such a face, a face so forlorn.

He owed me six rupees
I owed him much more.
My conscience, or was it my humanity?
From now on, each time I’m deluded by selfishness,
Too blind to see the rampant suffering all around,
His face shall be my beacon of light.
The truth envisaged in his face, a face so forlorn.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Beginning

The whole darned idea of blogging..! Rather a la mode..! However I don’t understand where the whole point lies, typing away, one’s deepest ,darkest ,brightest, thoughts,honest expressions(supposedly) for people to dissect, judge(how I hate that!),criticize.. and worst of all, to know..! That baffles me..! What’s with the desire to make the personal, impersonal.. I wonder? What’s with the objective of writing ,either hoping for appreciation, or dreading a nasty comment…I wonder? Why would people type away poetic words with almost astute perfection, when the whole act of typing is half as romantic as writing, I wonder?? I fail to see the point. But life, as we know it, would have been rather bland, had it solely been based on geometry. I guess it is the “point-less” trivials that matter..! So while I wouldn’t be sharing my secret desires with all and sundry, my intimate thoughts with all who care to read my blog(I thank them for doing so, though),I will be honest, at least will try to be so, in my own limited way. Comments will be welcomed,(yes, I have a modicum of narcissism within me, nominal in quantum but does exist),however they shall not influence what I write(rather, type.)
With these words, I start my journey, devoid of all geometry, on the ultimate day of my being a teen, being nineteen…hoping to find some meaning, in this whole maze of pointless nothings