Where?

The eyes that once blazed
With anger, outrage,
With fierce intent, now
Lifeless, dull, listless
Expressionless, but
Kill.

The voice that rang with
Conviction, with
Passion, with
Clear tones and meaning, now
Silenced, no echo of
The former sounds
The former tones
The former strength.

The lithe body, the erect gait,
The speed, boundless in
Energy, strength and power, now
Slouch and shuffle
The human crutches that hold
The same body.

Nor time, nor age worked
On her,
A quiet fall, a stroke
of fate, of sheer
Bad luck
Laid her down
Changed her from substance
To a shell.

Where oh where,
Has she gone,
Where is the voice, the blazing eyes
The erect gait, the fierce
Demeanour
This is not
The mother I knew.
A complete stranger
Occupies
Her body.
Bhabi please come back!

 

HARD TO SAY GOODBYE

Some nine and a half years back, I had to say goodbye forever to my father. He was 90 years old, an intellectual, a scholar, ex-civil servant, ex-diplomat. It was then that I realized that watching a parent age, and eventually die in front of your eyes is one of the hardest things to go through. Having been a care-giver, and having gone through the stresses and strains of caring for someone, compelled me to seek professional counseling from a psychologist. I saw her for 2 years and ended the engagement well after he passed on.

Now, nine and a half years later, I am going through all this again with my 94 year old mother. Ninety four, you say? Well, that is a long life and a ripe old age to have lived, so why stress and why feel sad? Right?

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ON LOVE AND MARRIAGE

I have recently read, with interest, articles both by Scribblemarks (aka Mira Saraf), as well as Maggie, a fellow blogger, on the skewed facets of the institution of marriage in the context of today’s world. I have often wanted to write on this subject, but actually would like to start with the subject of what we blithely call love.

A caveat at first. I have been married to the same woman for 43 years. Although we have had our ups and downs, like all married couples do, I could never have wished for anyone else to have married, given that ours was a so called “Love Marriage”. In the Indian context that phrase itself implies something illicit and not normal. But then, who gives a rat’s ass. If it had not worked out between my wife and I, I would have only myself to blame for it.

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The Social Contract

The relationship between society, the state and the individual has been the subject of countless essays for centuries. Rousseau tried to set some rules to the subject of the relationship between State and Man over 250 years ago. His book caused great upheaval in Europe and first brought the concept of rights and responsibilities of a citizen. It was written however in the backdrop of an oppressive monarchy a few decades before the French Revolution, as well as the fact that women enjoyed no political and social rights.

Although the world has seen a sea change since Rousseau’s book created a furore in France, much of what he says is still true now. His iconic lines hold true even today:

“Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains.”

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On Writing Blogs

As part of my 2018 birthday (I refuse to say which one), my daughter created this space for me to write about issues and subjects I feel strongly about. Twice before today I opened this very screen and stared at it un-inspired, and somewhat shame-facedly closed the page. Why? Because my mind was blank. All the issues I feel strongly about? All the injustices in this world? All the love I have to give? Could I not write even a single word about any of these?

To put it succinctly, the only feeling I had was a total lack of inspiration. My favorite subjects, like the plight of the girl child in India, the lack of civic sense amongst us, the saffron-isation of our country, and so on and so forth, all went dry. Not a word could I write as I looked at the screen.

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