From Vault of Memories Past

I wrote this poem over a span of one month. As the poem is long , I shall post it in parts every Friday. It’s a poem about love but some may find the content semi-erotic. Lest their finer senses be disturbed, be aware and proceed at your own risk

Introduction

Thirty six years back, on a hot summer night I left my home and boarded a train to my alma mater in Varanasi, India on my way to a land and future unknown. With lots of dream in my eyes and a nearly empty pocket, with a passport and visa on hand, I left the comfort of a secure job for an uncertain future.

That I will write something, that too poetry, was furthest from my mind on that day. Fast forward thirty years, I was writing poems, had a blog going and before I knew it six years have passed. However I was restless. I just couldn’t sit still for hours on and keep on writing. So my poems were short, some really short. I was even afraid to attempt to write short stories. Then the pandemic happened and the world turned on its head. Who thought that people would be stuck in their homes for months with nowhere to go, basically grounded by a microscopic virus.

Through all the sufferings and loss, people coped with the situation in their own way. At the end of November of 2020, I sat down to attempt writing a long poem with a consistent theme. I kept at it for nearly four weeks, writing atleast a stanza every day. The result was a poem in six parts with fifty three stanzas and nearly five thousand five hundred words with a prologue and an epilogue.

Now came the hard part. I was sure that this long poem would need editing before being published. Editing was not my forte. So first I requested my daughter, who had a knack for writing, to read and edit the poem, but when I discussed with her the theme of the poem she refused. Maybe she felt that I lost my nuts. I then approached my eldest son to review and edit. After much hemming and hawing, he did few stanzas and then he stopped. There it languished for more than six months till I decided today to post it in parts, couple of stanzas every week on Fridays for next few weeks.

So, here it is. I start with the prologue and from next Friday will start with the first two stanzas of part I. Appreciate my readers constructive criticism.

Prologue

The voice was mellifluous;
The magic was still there;
Maybe age had softened it a little;
A little tired, little sad,
But the first “Hello, Love”,
Lit the fiery passion in my heart,
A fire that was kept well hidden,
Dormant for so long;
Blood rushed to my head,
I wanted to shout with joy,
Words rushing choked my throat,
Wanted to hug her hard,
And smother her with warm kisses,
But before I could say a word,
The voice from the past
Whispered in my ears,
Love of mine, keeper of my
Heart and soul,
Did you guard my youth well;
Because today I have come
To ask it back,
To recreate the magic of eons ago,
When on a meadow far away
As the sun set, and
Under a moonlit sky,
Inhibitions were shed,
Lust vanquished,
Passion calmed,
Love reigned,
I gave myself to you,
Carried you in me always,
A flower blossomed,
And we became one.
[December 17, 2020]

© Pranabendra Sarma 2021

Extravagant

O thou extravagant,

with the luxury of time to waste

to indulge in nostalgia of

a bygone past,

spare some of it

to explore the beauty

of the present,

and nurture it well.

reach out and embrace

what is,

lest the future passes you by,

and you are left with

the luxury of time,

to waste and rue,

what could have been,

what could have been!

Life – A Unique Feeling

I was sitting on the breakfast table with my first cup of coffee in hand. My wife was on the phone with her sister, visiting my eighty plus mother-in-law. Physically they were some ten thousand miles apart but modern technology had made it easier to stay connected. They were discussing how to make it easier for my fiercely independent but increasingly feisty mother-in-law navigate the impending two weeks long lock down to be implemented in a couple of days to combat increasing cases of COVID -19. Bits and pieces of their conversation that I overheard resulted in my mind digress from the cup of coffee in my hand. Result, a cup of cold coffee and the random thoughts below.  I wrote the poem in my mother tongue Axomiya (Assamese) first and then translated to English now. Here the order is in reverse.

Life -A Unique Feeling

Because no straight lines in nature,
Life to tread a tortuous path?
Does it make any sense?
 
*****
Day I learnt to measure life
In terms of material wealth,
Life became worthless.
 
*****
To make one understand my desire, not my responsibility. 
Expecting everyone to understand me,
Foolishness or  my audacity?
 
*****
Past and future unknown mystery, in between treads life,
Tomorrow everyone will go their own way,
For the ephemeral moment, why the illusory attachment?

জীৱন – এটা অনুভূতি

প্ৰকৃতিত  হেনো সৰল ৰেখা নাই,
সেয়ে জীৱনৰ পথ হ’ব ঘূৰণীয়া, জটিল,
কিনো মানে হয়?
 
*****
যিদিনাই শিকিলো টকা পইচাৰ তুলাচনিত
জুখিব জীৱনৰ মূল্যবোধ,
জীৱন হ’ল মূল্যহীন।
 
*****
মই কি বিচাৰো বুজাব ৰাইজক নহয় মোৰ কৰ্তব্য,
সকলোৱে বুজিব মোক আশা কৰাটো
মোৰ মূৰ্খতা নে ধৃষ্টতা?
 
****
আগলৈও নাই, পিচলৈও নাই, মাজত সীমিত জীৱন,
কালি সকলোৱে আকৌ আপোন পথত,
দুঘড়ীৰ বাবে কিয় এই মায়াৰ বান্ধোন?
 

Don’t ask me about past bygone

I wrote this poem a few days back in my mother tongue , অসমীয়া  (pronounced Axomiya, also known as Assamese) and translated to Bengali and shared with my friends and family. After a couple of days I translated the poem to Hindi and English in that order.  Among the four, Hindi is my weak point. Sharing all four version with English first and the others in the order written.

Ask me not what pain is hidden

Behind the smile

Past is buried today

Long forgotten Continue reading “Don’t ask me about past bygone”

Bridge of Love

The air was heavy with palpable anticipation

As we stepped gingerly into a journey unknown

Smooth sailing it was not, tumultuous and choppy

As we launched life’s catamaran on a rough sea

Two unique souls bound by a bridge of love

We set our own course of travel, far and wide

Today when the air is heavy with worries of a future unknown

My darling, with love as our light, will vanquish apprehension