Poems by Dr. Santosh Bakaya

Poems by Dr. Santosh Bakaya
I hear it is snowing in Kashmir, ah!
The memories of my first snowfall assault me.
The snow- capped mountains and the snow sheathed Dal Lake.
“Hey, hey snowflake, my pretty little snowflake”
In my mind, Jim Reeves suddenly starts singing with gusto
“You’ve got me warm as fire
with the burning desire for you.”
Frank Sinatra too chipped in, “Let it snow, let it snow.”
“Snow! “The kids took up the cry in different keys.
Two songs merged in one, enveloping the pine trees
Sprinkled with childish notes of mirth, on the pristine earth.
My mind was a snowy chaos; on the notes of those songs drugged.
The snowman sheathed in a petulant innocence, looked on, bugged.
Those unspoiled memories at my heart strings tugged.
The warmth of the kangri suddenly wafted from the past
Hugging me like a mother, making me feel so snug at last.
My cold heart broke into a sozzled dance and I had a blast!
Hear that?
It is the polyglot silence whispering in different keys.
Cowering, I put my palms to my ears
blocking its ear- callousing eloquence.
But, it roars in my head, so unkind
As though the sounds of an orchestra are going full blast
Shh- A wild hubbub!
Someone hammering the iron hull of a boat?
Silence throws back its head and guffaws.
Diabolic laughter batters against my ears
the sounds of the orchestra pierce the darkness.
And silence reigns.
But no, again it goes off on a tangentially different course
filling all crevices, all crannies and all pores.
Now there is the accusing silence of guilt,
“why did you not speak, when the poor kid was being thrashed?
When injustice was being perpetrated,
you just wrung your hands and grated
your teeth?” I fell silent; now silent faced silence
Only the guilt of silence remained.
Silent and sullen.
She walked on, helter –skelter, tumbling
Stumbling; it was cold; the bold wind whipped her viciously.
Relentlessly. Maliciously.
Tenaciously, she wrapped the hand- me down shawl
around her; remembering her arthritic mother back home.
She must be feeling cold too, replenishing the pots with water.
She, a useless daughter, unable to help,
while her paralytic father whelped his helplessness
lying on the string cot, frayed. She sighed.
“Oh you are again late!” Yelled the mistress of the mansion
as she made a mouse-like entry into the centrally- heated house.
It’s cold madam, I got up late. “She stammered.
“Oh forget it, lazybones”, she hammered in a belligerent tone.
To the maid; ‘Rani’ to her arthritic mother and her paralytic father.
“I am getting late for office, you shirker, just give me a cup of tea”.
The mistress ordered, getting into her mink coat.
Rani brewed tea, with rattling bones, chattering teeth and unheard moans
Plugging her ears, imagined herself setting off on a voyage in a boat
Under a gentian- blue sky , pulling on the oars , surging towards home
Rushing into the house to snuggle into the warmth of her parents’ love .
The blisters on her hands suddenly lost their pain.
The cold lost its sting, as her boat swayed to love’s refrain.

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