KV (05-12-1973 / Muzaffarpur)

A Man Inside The Tent

There is a man inside the tent
erected some distance away
from where we live.
He lives there
we are told
has never ventured out.
Only his silhouetted shadow
intimidating and unusually magnified
appearing on the curtains of the tent
has been seen.
No one has conversed with him
till now,
only his voice as if coming from
a microphone
has been heard.

till recently
no body knew
no body had noticed
the man inside the tent.
We all thought
tent was the man,
as in childhood
the circus jokers
walking on pairs of bamboo
seemed real to us.
Only recently,
a ferocious wind
blew away for some moments
a part of the curtain
and revealed
a man sitting inside the tent.

Now wise men insist,
after the blowing away episode
the man would not live inside the tent.
He would himself demolish the bamboos
holding the tent aloft.

As we sometimes overhear
some disturbing sounds
emanating from inside the tent
as if some facade getting dismantled
rather reluctantly
and laboriously,
we all await suspiciously
for the man inside the tent
to appear
through the dent.

First Published in 'The Asian Age', Poetry Section,2002, New Delhi

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Comments (1)

An interesting and subtle treatment of 'ego' and the mask it carries with itself.