(16.03.1950 / Madurai District, Tamil Nadu, India.)

A Raconteur's Buried Past

" An adept in telling stories
on the spot in touching words",
the students spoke often, admiring
their English teacher, who wants not
to be showered with praises or flowers
and so the question of dejection
in his life of ups and downs never arises.

If compelled to sing, he'd chant
some two-three sweet lines of film songs
which made his students shed tears
or clap their hands to make the hall,
a happy place to sit in!

Reading the headlines in a newspaper,
he would weave a tale of mystery
with a plot looming with abiding doubts.
He regaled the students with stories,
new and old, with crises hard to resolve.

When a daughter-like-student asked him
If he ever fell in love with a girl,
he got stunned for a while
but said at once an instant tale:
" Yes, I lost this middle stump to a star
who had already heisted the hearts
of thousands of her fans!
So I gave a decent burial to my love! ".
- the raconteur reeled off a myth and smiled.
But behind his hilarious smiles lies a vale
of thrills and spills, and a lone tomb of sorrow.

by Rajendran Muthiah

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