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Poetry

Black Beauty

By Dr Santosh Bakaya

THE BLACK BEAUTY\ Dr.Santosh Bakaya 

It was just a small thing.
Come to think of it, not actually small,
but pretty big.
Huge and black. A Black Beauty.
A figure stood silhouetted near the window,
watching the beauty in black.
It shimmered and glowed in the noonday sun,
waiting for that touch which would galvanize it into action.
Dreams rippled in the figure’s eyes
Body taut, in an agony of apprehension.
He craved no luxury.
But that car, he did crave,
albeit , a second hand one.
I don’t know whether it was the Hillman minx,
the Hillman Avenger, Hillman Super Minx
or the Hillman Husky.
But it was Hillman, just a car.
A second hand one
standing outside our University quarters,
waiting to be claimed for a paltry sum.
“No , I cannot afford to buy it” , the figure said , casting one last ,
lingering look at the black beauty , and hastened out ,
pinned up his trousers , pulled a hat over his head
and pedaled away towards his department .
From the sun- dappled lawn,
his much loved menagerie of cats and
dogs looked on. Unspeakably sad.
The devoted friends of this hatted, handsome professor.
My dad.
Nissim Ezekiel was to be the guest speaker that day
and he couldn’t afford to be late.
I watched him from the balcony
as he became a speck in the distance.
Yes, a speck. That dream too was a speck,
which remained quiescent in his heart till his last breath.
“It is just a small thing, and this craving for a car,
is so embarrassing, but I don’t know why ,
it keeps coming back.” He would often say.
That towering figure suddenly travelled far
sans car, and became a distant star,
the shards of his broken dream,
well- hidden,
bidding us goodbye,
all of a sudden,
leaving me with this overwhelming feeling of guilt.
This devastatingly destructive guilt.
Many a night, when the clock on the mantelpiece
goes tick tock tick tock and the house resounds with lost echoes,
tiny pigeons venture out of pigeon holes of memories, it is then that
the fossilized monster of guilt also yanks away its shackles
and hurls accusations at me.
I hear the cacophony of the clash of priorities,
our school and College fees, summer holidays clanging against
his dreams and tiny cravings.
I submit to the night’s scrutiny, and ask myself,
if his dream had been bigger,
would my guilt have been bigger, too?
Suddenly, piercing the night, that Black Beauty resurfaces.
Nostalgia gushes through my ruptured wounds,
and I am red all over.

Dr. Santosh Bakaya is an academician, poet, essayist, novelist, biographer, Ted Speaker and creative writing mentor. She has been critically acclaimed for her poetic biography of Mahatma Gandhi
[Ballad of Bapu]. Her Ted Talk on the myth of Writers’ Block is very popular in creative writing Circles . She has more than ten books to her credit , her latest books are a biography of Martin Luther King Jr. (Only in Darkness can you see the Stars) and Songs of Belligerence (poetry). She runs a very popular column Morning meanderings in Learning And Creativity.com.

2 replies on “Black Beauty”

Feel honoured and humbled to find myself rubbing shoulders with some wonderful writers . Thanks a ton for accepting my submission ,and all the best for all future endeavours.

Liked by 1 person

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