A Life Beyond Art

Images of joy
sneak out rather apologetically
from the drawings
of dancing squirrels
and singing birds
done up with drying up sketch pens
producing faint colours
like the voice of the mother
requiring to join the chorus
singing songs of marriage or birth
in the neighbour’s house
with her mind preoccupied with the thoughts
of her ailing son lying on bed back home.

While the painter replaces his sketch pens
as the violinist gets the discordant chords removed
for new ones,
the mother like a dancer injured in her legs
sits before the ailing son
with the songs from the neighbour’s house
jumping through the window
and settling hesitantly in the corners of the room
like a rich guest not able to enjoy
the hospitality served
in a poor man’s home,
always thinking
should he have come there at all?

First Published in 'Indian Literature', March-April 2005, New Delhi

by Kumar Vikram

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