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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



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 (1562 reads)

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