MS (25-11-1960 / Pakistan)

The Real Game

Uninvited frequent gluttonous guest,
Visited and picked up one by one,
The elder and younger of the family,
Making each time the house desolate.

When I was hardly three years old,
And nothing about painful death was told,
Played carefree with half dressed friends,
And ran around the big tree of acacia,

Staining with dust, mud and water dirty,
Made filthy my legs and arms, feet and face,
My grandmother would then give me a bath,
And I did weep, cryingly protested against,
The act of washing, making me neat.

She then mopped my body, wiped my eyes,
Doting upon me, she caressed my cheeks,
Embracing me she would often warm,
Titillate with the fingers frail and old,
Made me laugh to forget the cold,
She hid behind the door, under the cots,
Played hide and seek to make me please.

Ah! One morning she lay stiff, could not rise,
Then was dressed with the suit of cotton white,
As she would go on the journey long,
Gathered men, women, young and old,
Some wailed, some sniffed, some silent sat.
But played I with the friends of my age,
And ate yellow rice with the belly fill.

In the evening they shouldered the cot,
The procession advanced leaving me depressed,
Turned the corner, with the sacred chorus.
I stood stunned in the middle of the yard,
Staring to the street, questioning the walls,
“Why had they not taken me along? ”

At night I cried aloud when I found,
An empty bed laid in the deserted corner,
I sought under the cots, behind the doors,
Where she did hide, but could not find.
A pair of shoes, the clothes on cord,
Consoled me well, told me the truth,
Ah! The real game at last she had played.

by Muhammad Shanazar

Comments (1)

This is really a heart rendering poem. I can not help my tears.There is much pain in it. It really seems something near to the soul. Uzma.