It’s the Little Things
To start our work week, Debasis Tripathy provides us with poetry about little things a mother does, a little bit of food, and a little search for happiness! Come take a look!
My Mother’s Short-Lived Celebration
Sunlight is busy sanitizing the morning’s cold
and my mother is engaged in hanging her saree,
fresh, out of semi-automatic washing machine,
cleaned, rinsed, starched, half-dried—
on a nylon rope stretched between pillars,
when a gust of wind comes whizzing past
and her garment slips down, sails away.
hops on the grass with an unruly wilderness,
till she catches it tight, like how she gripped me once
at the end of a taxing chase, back in my tender age
and like how she firmly caught my tender ears,
she secures the saree with a plastic clothespin.
Just then from nowhere comes rain washing her robe
cleaner, spoiling her short-lived celebration.
Yesterday summer afternoon, I made
salt-n-sugar shikanji, chilled,
for both of us. To the lemonade
mint leaves, cumin powder I added.
And ginger juice (an afterthought). Unsure
I was how it’d turn out, to be candid
So, I sipped a spoon of the drink,
I could not take a risk, especially
when you are so fussy, I think.
When it comes to taste, for perfection
you strive and I hate this about you.
Not you, just the trait. Correction.
Attentively I arranged all this, while
you were taking your siesta, in some style.
I didn’t want you to find out what
was happening. A surprise, I know
it’s been a decade, or thereabout.
Luckily for me, the final outcome
was a cool blend of sweet, sour and spicy,
just like how our life has become.
There was a season I was plagued
by a curse of causeless fears,
even while I was not thinking anything
I was afraid of the next moment
and one morning I was so scared
I couldn’t leave the bed, unmade and messy
resembling the man I had turned myself into.
Happiness, when scarce, you keep searching
for it like a mad man seeking the elusive god,
even though people say he is everywhere
you don’t see him and turn into a severe agnostic—
who goes about exhorting all men to deny & doubt.
And by the same evening, I received a letter
which promised me redemption and more.
Then followed an ovation and celebration.
The next morning, I woke up as a believer –
the first thing I did was to make the bed
with a white sheet, smelling of a fresh future
with a pattern of violet flowers and green leaves.
Happiness, when aplenty, is a vast ocean
filled with tall creatures that float around
with tentacles, trailing you like shadow;
each armed with thousands of stinging cells
a single cell can kill the part of you that
remembers what you were and who you really are-
eventually, all that remains is scaly husk
of the difficult past, that didn’t last.
Debasis Tripathy does a regular desk job for an IT Company in Bangalore. Sometimes he writes – poems and short fiction.
He tweets at @d_basis