I Am My Grandfather

The life of a Salesman ain’t easy. Should you be one you will certainly know what it is to be a Salesman. You will know how difficult it is to earn and make ends meet. After a hard day’s labour, and having been abused by my boss for not meeting my sales target, I decided to leave the job once and for all.

By the time I reached home, everyone in my house, except my father who was not home yet, were asleep. It was quite late in the night. I did not have the appetite to eat anything, so I skipped dinner, which my mother laid on a plate in the table.

I lay in my bed, trying to catch some sleep, but sleep seemed quite a foreign thing to me. I shifted a little to the right, and a little to the left. I did everything I could but by no means could I fall asleep. Then I curled and squeezed myself under my blanket, and lay in the bed absolutely motionless, pretending to have fallen asleep.

I heard some noise. The source of the noise was my father. He was in a drunken state, and was blabbering something, as he entered the house. “All sleeping!” he yelled. “Have you all nothing to do but sleep, sleep and sleep?”

I thought his question would fall on deaf ears, but I was wrong. My mother was not asleep, after all. Or perhaps it was the noise that woke her up. “Oh, yes,” said my mother, and sighed a sigh of exasperation. “Yes,” she resumed, “we have nothing to do but sleep, sleep and sleep, and you have nothing better to do than drink, drink, and drink.” An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is the policy between my mom and dad.

My father came to my room; he wanted to wake me up. He pulled the blanket from me and instead of saying Rohan, – which, by the way, is my name – he said Pop, which is the name by which my grandfather was known in the family, who passed away some years ago. “My God! My God!” my father cried, “Pop, it is you. Where have you been, Pop? And where is my son, Rohan?”

I know what it is when a person is fully drunk, so to cut the whole damn thing short, I said, “Dad, I have no time for all this nonsense. Go back to your room and sleep, and leave me alone if you will.” I had a bad day. I was worried about what was going to become of me. The prospect of finding a job was pretty dim; it concerned me a great deal, now that I don’t have a job.

“But Pop,” said my father, “why are you calling me Dad?” I acted as if I did not hear what he had said. Had I made any interaction with him at that point of time, he could have gone on speaking till the morning and he would have tried to find some point in all pointless things. He mumbled something for a few minutes, and then he went back to his room.

My restlessness was gone, and somehow, I slept. I have the habit of rising with the sun, no matter how late I sleep in the night. I went to the bathroom and washed my face. Then I looked in the mirror, and – oh my god! – what an unsettling sight presented itself before my eyes.  It was not my face any longer; my grandfather was staring at me. “Hey Rohan, it’s me, Pop,” he said, and then and there I fainted.

 

Copyright © 2014 RAMU DAS

Tonight I Can Write The Saddest Lines

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example, ‘The night is starry
and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.’

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is starry and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tries to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another’s. She will be another’s. As she was before my kisses.
Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

 

Poem by Pablo Neruda. Translated by WS Merwin

When Words Make Me Angry

There are words that are too disturbing for the senses, obscene words for example, though some people may not use them at all. And there are other words which may not seem censorial, yet to some, like me, such words may seem too offensive.

Below are some words worth mentioning that pisses me off:

  • K: Yes that is it. The letter k, which in other words means OK or okay. You will come across this letter when you receive text messages from friends and your near and dear ones. You make some jolly good statement such as:

“After a long time I’m hearing from you and it feels really good.”

Or:

“I’ll be away for a few weeks. I know we would miss each other like crazy, but I’m sure you do understand that this trip is very important. I will bring you some gift, and don’t you be sad, I will be with you shortly. I will miss you.”

To all these jolly good statement what reply do you get? You think k. Yes, k, indeed.

 

  • Awesome: What can I do – can I wave a magic wand or something – so that people can forget this awesome word once and for all. Every time I access the internet and try reading stuff, the word awesome is the most prominent one.  For anything and everything people say awesome.
  • Ma: This is a very stupid way of writing my. Some people think – perhaps inspired by Rap music – that it’s cool to write ma instead of my.

 

The list of such words can go on. I am sure you must have come across words that you dislike with all your heart. So, may I be so bold as to ask you what words you hate the most.

 

Copyright © 2014 RAMU DAS

The Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

 

Poem by William Butler Yeats

Being Betrayed

Fools have many a man been,

Not to a soul did I any harm mean,

Yet, like all others, I, too, was made a fool.

I am enraged; I refuse to be such a droll!

 

Let me declare: I shall be none to you, as you to me!

Perhaps sometime in the future I shall a better land see,

And meet some genuine human beings of kind disposition;

And much do I hope: deceiving me shan’t be their mission.

 

Although betrayed by your treacherous tricks,

But I still think well of you; live till you die

And wed a man who can your mind and habits fix.

Let me go, farewell; let me go, good-bye!

 

Copyright © 2014 RAMU DAS

Take, Oh Take Those Lips Away

Take, oh take those lips away

That so sweetly were forsworn,

And those eyes, like break of day,

Lights that do mislead the morn,

But my kisses bring again,

Seals of love, though seal’d in vain.

 

Hide, oh hide those hills of snow

Which thy frozen bosom bears,

On whose tops the pinks that grow

Are of those that April wears,

But first set my poor heart free,

Bound in those icy chains by thee.

 

Poem by John Fletcher

From The Salutation by Thomas Traherne

From Dust I rise

And out of Nothing now awake;

These brighter regions which salute mine Eys

A Gift from God I take:

The Earth, the Seas, The Light, the lofty Skies,

The Sun and Stars are mine; if these I prize.

 

A stranger here,

Strange things doth meet, strange Glory see,

Strange Treasures lodg’d in this fair World appear

Strange all and New to me:

But that they mine should be who Nothing was,

That Strangest is of all: yet brought to pass.