The Poetic Meanders

The Poetic Meanders
The Teesta River - captured by Parth Adhikari

Saturday, 20 July 2013

The Native Call

The Native Call

To the land that will always be my homeland.

My dying grandfather calls me now and again,
Asking me to visit my native village.
He wishes to talk to me before his death
Knowing about his slowly declining age.

My paternal grounds call me now and again,
Asking me to shed my sweat and my blood,
To grow gold on my fertile inheritance
By soiling my shirts with a priceless mud.

Those forgotten hills call me now and again,
Asking me to travel on their turns once more,
Which lead to my roots - my village,
With numerous milestones lying before.

My native soil calls me now and again,
Asking me to kiss it with my forehead –
A peace much greater than a mother’s lap
Our forefathers, our ancestors have said.

Those noisy children call me now and again,
Asking me to play with marbles pure green,
Reminding me of the times I skipped school
To play some championships - away, unseen.

The local juggler calls me now and again,
Asking me to watch his evening street show
Where he tossed some stones and balls together
And we all gaped at his surprising flow.

The soft cool breeze calls me now and again,
Asking me to feel the pleasure it fetched
When I stood in the swaying mustard fields,
With my body loose and arms outstretched.

Those open grounds call me now and again,
Asking me to follow the falling kites
Which glided in the boundary less space
With their strings floating high above our heights.

My home Ranikhet calls me now and again,
Asking me to return its son to its earth.
I am indebted to my village – my soil
Which many years ago gave me birth.

Return to your soil you will.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

To Father

To Father

To my father. On his 51st birthday. 

You gave her butter chicken at the time
she was pregnant with me, you understood
Her desires, her needs, her mood swings and yes! 
Her palate's cravings like no on else would.
Thus I, second in line, was born, you raised
Me up; and with mother, looked after me,
You gave me ablutions, changed my soiled clothes,
Cradled me; long after that I turned three
And you started filling up forms for schools,
Stood there in queues long and competitive,
Yet remained patient even when I failed
To intone the alphabet or to give
Proper answers (that you had taught) to prying
Teachers who sat there to judge whether I
Was good enough for their reputed school.
My failures made mother worry and cry
(And I know I must have been unperturbed),
But you were there for me, uncomplaining.
You made me learn cursive calligraphy
And made me give up my lefty writing.
I grew up, I rose and many times did fall,
You drew me out of dilemmas I thought
Were impossible to deal with; failures
Came; but it was you who I always sought
For counsel on what decisions to make.
School ended, my life of freedom should have
Started, but my freedom you did control,
Asking I come back from college in time,
Asking I refrain from the Rock and Roll.
Then one year after, I went far away
To build my future. I walked one year back
To build my future. I went far away,
But you and mother never left me slack.
A little time has passed since I moved places,
It dawns on me that you were always right,
You were possessive, but importantly,
Wished that I scale an independent height.
Your austerity, care and philosophy
Have paved my road ahead. I will follow
Milestones you have dreamt, on my chosen path,
I'll try to keep the count of mistakes low,
But I will learn, as you always advise,
From the few I make. I'll make some for sure.
Your teachings will be there in steps I walk,
And truth and righteousness I will ensure.
If, God asked would I want to change my life?
I'd say, "Nah! I would have the same rather."
For you some-fifty-odd-years-old, good man,
I'm lucky to have you as my father.