Monday, April 14, 2008

Shut the door

The door was shut
As I faced it, looking up
Clenching my fist
I hit on the wood – knocking many times
The raw surface, nicked at my flesh
My palm hurt and so did my being
How long I stood
Not hungry, no food
Not thirsty, no water

The door was shut
As I faced it, looking up
There was no roof
And to the side
There was no window
Just a vast expanse
Can someone hear me?
Or maybe see me?
Waiting still, knocking some more

The door was shut
As I faced it, looking up
The pounding on the door
Echoed my beating heart
Yet I heard nothing
Just straining my ear
For a response from
The other side
Breathing the still, dark air

The door was shut
As I faced it, looking down
My shoes are not buckled
No sticks to pick up
No chore, no hen but I hear the crows
The sun yawns
The door looks luminous
As the light washes us both
The door and I are one

The door was shut
As I faced it, looking down
Soaking the morning sun
Changed in demeanor
The door and I – severed from trees
No roots, nor branch
No life in the door as I breathe
And stand still with time
It is my door and I grant it life.
-Rajashree Ghosh, April 14, 2008

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Just needed that laugh, a lighter moment and a little space to breathe. I realize that the last year was a bit too heavy for us and altered our lives. We lost another parent. Another person who would say "it is going to be okay" at the sight of a mundane set of knitted brows or warn the onset of an asthma attack at the slightest cough and even worry at the stubborn pimple appearing on my face!
I more or less stopped writing as is apparent from the blog posts or the lack of it! I don't want to talk about the mourning and the grief and the rituals - well... maybe some day but not today.

I want to celebrate the life that was and talk about the blossoms (Gulmohar) that made him and us smile. They are brightest as summer sets in Delhi and reminds of the times that the little sapling was stolen and promptly planted in front of the house. It grew quietly to watch the changes around it and never for once came in the way. On the other hand it continued to bloom and grow year after year - did what was expected - provide shade in the sweltering months, shed a bit in the dry winter months and yet was steady, and provided the only spec of color in the very dull onset of extreme Delhi summer.

While we come up for a bit of air, I think of the tree that is always there providing us with nourishing sustenance, nurturing hope and a calmness that it just might be alright. There is an end to suffering, relief in freedom and great happiness in release.

I seem to draw some solace through the following shloka from the Hindu texts:

Nainam chhindanti shastrani nainam dahati pavakah nachainam kladayanti aapo na shoshayati marutah

Very simplistically speaking this means that, weapons cannot destroy the soul, nor can fires burn it. Water cannot make it wet and air cannot dry it. It implies the immortality of the “soul” and for me the strength of memory and the brightness of Gulmohar that lives on guiding life and end of life around it.

I just need to laugh!