“What do you do?” She asked.
I withdrew myself
From my thoughts.
It was perhaps the most serious one,
Just a simple question,
But an enquiry into my existence.
An apple had fallen on Newton’s head.
I tried to feel my body,
It was there, with me.
That’s why the question was raised.
‘What do I do?’ I mumbled.
Should I tell her about my…?
Oh no no…. not at all.
She just announced she doesn’t like such people.
Oh God! Then,
She repeated the question.
There was a fraught silence.
I started biting my nails,
And observed my feet.
I wondered how selfless my feet are,
They carry my burden all the time,
And I don’t wear shoes. But
They never ask why.
Here we are, meeting for the first time
And she is asking what do I do?
Nail biting is like a part time job,
I do it whenever I am free.
Should I tell her I bite my nails?
I pondered as I chopped my nails.
But she looked so intent,
I stopped biting nails.
A stray dog came running
I gained some courage and said
I love animals. She rebuffed.
It’s not a job.
Isn’t Love a verb? I muttered.
I called all my intellect,
Just to make an answer to
The least thought about question.
I apprised her about everything,
Everything I could think of I do.
From ‘aimless’ wandering to reading,
From long walk to cycling,
From solitary sessions to late night meets with friends,
From silence to ‘being-with-oneself’
From animals and trees to rains and fields,
From my madness about mountains
To my desire to explore beyond my sight,
From my passion for life to my wish
To make it more lively. But
I was unmindful of the answer.
The answer she was seeking.
“What is your position?” She emphasized
“I am the first child of my parents.” I replied for the first time.
Do you feel a momentary pain
When the rain stops,
And the last raindrops trickle down the window pane,
Like it’s the end of a formula one race.
There are incomplete conversations between you and the lightning,
As the thunder eavesdrops and lurks in the background.
You aren’t ready for sunshine yet,
Not ready for it to dry up your eyes while your heart is drenched.
The scarecrow in the farm does not want it to stop too,
Cause he hasn’t bathed in months,
And the stench on his clothes reminds him of his farmer,
Who died in wait of the rain.
The 5 year old who is playing with the paper boat doesn’t want it to stop either,
Or his mission to rescue his dead father from the puddles will be aborted.
The teenage girl walking down the pavement wants the rain to continue,
As it washes the stains of rape from her clothes,
Her tears merge in the rain drops
and cries are silenced by thunder.
Do you feel a momentary pain when the rain stops?
Or when the drops trickling down your window pane hit the bottom,
And all that is left
is dry stains on the glass.
About the Poet:
Ravinder Bishnoi (Guest Poet, PU Mirror)