Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Aide-memoire ( in the memory of my late father)


from the cold,hard
deathbed in a hospital
he uttered a monosyllable
into the phone
I knew it was
the last fragment
of his voice for me.
No I was not
hoping against hope
as the kilometres lessened
I knew the distance
between papa and me
had extended
to a fixed forever
that would never change
The sunset that day
was special
he had not waited
long enough for it
and it was the first
of the many for me
without him
I walked in
he lay there
a corpse for the world
for me my dad still
I was thinking about
was mom's medicine
and phone calls to be made
I didn't stop my tears
there weren't any
I was aware he was gone
but all I felt
was a deep hollow
inside me
emptiness and calm
His body was being bathed
ritual after ritual
tie the toes
fold the hands
the smile gone
the eyes closed
I ran my fingers through his hair
one last time
I am sure he liked it
so did I
My child touched his forehead
kissed his cheek
she had been told
he will always love her
I know she will
always know
Karmic connections
the van was shaky
I had put my hand on his chest
the chanting
was the only rhythm
my heart was
as still as his.
He was placed on the pyre
He had once told me
about the five elements
I knew what I had to do
fire was the final test.
Most people had left
two more pyres were afire
I kept looking at the flames
long and close enough
to feel the ash
on my skin
in my breath
peace, peace, peace
I knew much later
I was chanting.
The beauty of the moment
of letting go
is the clarity
about who I am
and what I want
I had read somewhere
nothing ever goes away
until it has taught us
what we need to know
I washed a few pieces of bone
and put them in a pot
I learnt the meaning of life
thunder and lightening
a journey within a journey
darkness and flickers of light
every one travelling
none of them know
all that remained
of his eight decades
was a mud pot
and a handful of remains
I was not listening to the priest
the stairs on the Ghat were cold
with my freezing hands
inside the water
He and I touched freedom
The house was the same
the world wasn't
I lay in his bed
I packed his medicines
touched his papers
his clothes
life had to go on
I kept asking why
Yes I was smiling
laughing aloud
because he liked me that way
and I wanted him
to know
I was fine
some fond memory
and mummy would smile
for a few seconds
before she broke down again
he knew I was trying
rituals, visitors
cheque books, bills
lawyers, offices
papers, decisions
only in the pauses
I closed my eyes
and we met
finally me and mom
nothing to tell each other
she made me some tea
I combed her hair
my little one plays
a death is a litmus test
so many real faces revealed
grief is a long lonely road
I look for Rumi, Buddha
they were right
the wound is where
the light enters
the journey is
actually the destination
one journey has ended
another lonely one continues
in a sacred fire
all my fears melted
memories cling
like a fragrance
now I know
everything is temporary
so why worry

Orange Flower Awards



To Kill a Mockingbird
The Catcher in the Rye
Animal Farm
The Alchemist
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Romeo and Juliet
The Odyssey
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Count of Monte Cristo
Eat, Pray, Love
The Da Vinci Code
The Kite Runner
The Silence of the Lambs
The Diary of a Young Girl
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Notebook
Gone With the Wind


The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario

The Human Bean Cafe, Ontario
my work on display there !!!!!