MA (March 27,1951 / India)

& Homage To The Common Man

Step aside,
Kings and princes-
Hamlet, Lear and Othello,
Fictional tragic heroes,
For long
You have kept us

Here comes the common man,
Who watches in stupor
As his family is burnt alive.
The last time
He heard his
Dear wife’s voice
Was on the mobile,
Cinema hall is on fire,
There is no way
we can survive.

So this is goodbye.
He wondered,
Is it first April?
No she wouldn’t play
Such a practical joke,
He realised with shock
He maniacally charged,
And helplessly watched

Flames leaping in the sky,
Panic struck, people
Jumping, just to die.
Later, in the mortuary,
He couldn’t find
His son or wife

Burnt beyond recognition,
He walked out
Like an apparition,
Saying to no one,
They are gone
And I live
Am overcome with guilt…

Tragedy peeping
Out of his eyes
Those windows to the soul-
Having aged overnight
Unabashedly crying
I couldn’t even
Perform their last rites...

Who wrote
Their infernal destiny?
Piteously he cried.

He is the common man
He survives.
He doesn't have the luxury
Of indulging in existential
To be or not to be
Like Hamlet,

And rises like a proverbial
Phoenix, and finds
A reason to live,
And smile through his tears.

This poem is dedicated to all those who lost their families to a cruel fate, in a fire that engulfed a cinema hall in Delhi, almost a decade ago
and all everyday heroes who have lost loved ones in man made and natural disasters. They are the real heroes who reconstruct their lives, and stoically move on, even smile and rediscover laughter and joy.


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Comments (11)

Mam', you write the poem overcast with the sorrow of the bereaved and not just him, but all who have suffered loss of loved hearts. You think of the pain they endured and your tortured soul poured forth this song a soothing soulful empathy bringing out the glory of the soul which triumps undaunted and walks even sometimes alone till the end of worldly journey. Please read my 'Bereaved' inspired by you, again. Angel
marvellous marvellous the way you open the piece it gives the reader a great appetite for what is to come.the tragedy and the emotions of the protagonist are so acutely delineated that you can taste his shock then his guilt and finally his helpless acceptence.marvellous.
an excellent write. sorry to read about the sorrowful and dreadful incident.i hope people realize the consequences of this.
A tragedy what it was, but the grieving and sorrows will last till you smile like never before.My heartfelt sorry for those victims! May God bless their souls.
pain...this is the only sublime reality in the universe my eyes are so dry that tears are also scarce..
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