Sudden Death of a Friend & Other Poetry by Debasis Tripathy

To What We Lost – Debasis Tripathy

A look into honest feelings, Debasis Tripathy writes about losing loved ones. His expression puts words to the emptiness, bringing some structure to the chaos.

Sudden Death of a Friend

My good friend had
a name and he also
had a unique identity,
which was well known.
One name and one identity
existed in a good spot
even while walking
the tightrope of propriety
of prominence, of power,
of rapport with the world.
Through his identity he
influenced many. One day
he disappeared, leaving
his name & identity behind.
Just like that;
no notice, to nowhere.
Everyone was shocked
because no one was
willing to accept
the velocity of truth.
One day his body reappeared,
his name resurfaced,
his identity was restored.
There was a lot of noise
and the world slowly came
back on but my friend
refuses to come back
and reclaim his spot.

Condolence Meeting

This evening, for the first time, we sit
in the laconic living room
of an elderly couple, our neighbors.
It resembles a lifeless island of white coral.

They always smiled warmly at us when we met
on the corridors & the common spaces,
we always wanted to spend some time with them.
We could never find the right time.

Now finally, we are at their place,
but like strangers, we don’t know
how to start the conversation.
So unusual, unfamiliar is the set-up.

The toughest thing for any parent must be
to carry on living after their child’s demise.
Can our awkward silence console them?
Maybe we should have avoided this visit.

Hornbills of Dandeli

No fruits this season, wild mango tree
that also holds a treehouse,
nested on the fork of big branches
of this ancient tree. The disquiet
of the jungle creeps in, I wake up
at six, the air anguished and quiet.

A fig tree stands like a brother
not far, but few have been lucky,
many others have been felled & fed
to the paper mills of Dandeli
and gluttony of man. A hornbill pair―
the female inside, the male outside,
busy closing a crevice in the trunk,
building their own Taj of mud & grass.

Of late, the weathers have been erratic,
I am one, unsure of whether it’s a tomb
under construction for Mumtaz Mahal
or she’ll somehow survive the summer;
know this Shah Jahan is monogamous.


Debasis Tripathy works for an IT Company in Bangalore. He also writes – poems and short fiction.  His recent work has been featured in Squawk Back, Collidescope, Turnpike, Adelaide Magazine, Kitaab , Punch Magazine & elsewhere.  Occasionally, he tweets at @d_basis

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