By Sambhu Nath Banerjee
A HAPPY FAMILY During the busy hours, I see them Sitting in the crowded street. She is holding her sari by the hem Stretched in front, covering her bare feet. He is busy with their little child Playing with his dishevelled head, People move about their jobs, No time to spare a glance. They sit fearless, with no masks, Not bothered by the deadly disease, They struggle from morning to dusk To try to survive in the mad race. Passing by the street, the other day, I saw a man in casual dress give A fifty rupee note with grace, An honest effort no doubt to lessen their stress. The aid seemed to be insignificant But enough to bring a smile on the face of the child. I saw their tears start to fall And left them alone for a while. A new dawn begins, the same old story Again the search for money and food, Nothing new for the family that sits And waits for its future to unfold. THE FINAL MOMENTS I got a strip of a letter, you wrote Two years before you breathed your last. Having survived the ventilation scare You used to sit all the day on the sofa, Eyes often closed, rarely open in despair. 'Loneliness so painful,' You wrote, 'But we all have to go.' You had been surrounded by us, Still you were so lonely! Does loneliness come with age? You often recalled Tagore's lines, 'Life, Youth and Wealth run off In the flowing tide.' Alone in space and time You seemed to live and mix With old memories, Everlasting Childhood, and thereafter, Some events which were Hard to forget. Your mind didn't want to leave The caring milieu- But you did know the truth, And quoted the famous lines Of Michael Dutt in the letter, 'Life always ends in death– Nobody is immortal Water of a running stream Can never be short of breath!' I can now feel What was going on in your mind. Can imagine how my final moments Will unwind!
Dr. S N Banerjee has a great passion for travelling, photography and writing. His articles have featured in Cafe Dissensus, Muse India, and Briefly Zine.
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