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Literature/Poems/Kalyana Mittata: Beautiful Friendship

Yet another incident in July 1983



Burying the dead


being an art well developed in our times


(Our psychoanalysts having helped us much


to keep balanced minds—whatever


that may mean)


there is no reason really


for this matter to remain so vivid


as if some rare occurrence. I assure you


I am not sentimental, never having


had a ‘break down’, as they say.


I am as shy of my emotions


as you are. And I attend to my daily


tasks in a very matter-of-fact way.


Being prudent, too, when a government says:


"Forget!" I act accordingly.


My ability to forget


has never been doubted. I’ve never


had any adverse comments


On that score either. Yet I remember


the way they stopped that car,


the mob. There were four


in that car: a girl, a boy


(between four and five it seemed) and their


parents, I guessed, the man and the woman.


It was in the same way they stopped other cars.


I did not notice any marked


 


Difference. A few questions


in a gay mood, not to make a mistake


I suppose. Then they proceeded to


action. By then a routine. Pouring


petrol and all that stuff.


Then someone, noticing something odd


as it were, opened the two left side


doors; took away the two children,


crying and resisting as they were moved


away from their parents.


Children’s emotions have sometimes


to be ignored for their own good, he must have


thought. Someone practical


was quick, lighting a match


efficiently. An instant


fire followed, adding one more


to many around. Around


the fire they chattered


of some new adventure. A few


Scattered. What the two inside


felt or thought was no matter.


Peace-loving people were hurrying


towards homes as in a procession¼


Then, suddenly, the man inside,


breaking open the door, was


out, his shirt already on


fire and hair, too. Then, bending,


Took his two children. Not even


looking around, as if executing a calculated


decision, he resolutely


re-entered the car.


Once inside, he closed the door


himself—I heard the noise


distinctly.


 


Still the ruined car


is there, by the roadside


with other such things. Maybe


the Municipality will remove it


One of these days


to the capital’s


garbage pit. The cleanliness of the capital


receives Authority’s top priority.












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Published on: 2002-10-23 (1499 reads)

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