The Voice Of A Mail Bag

Poem By Ravi Panamanna

(I have seen mail bags lying in dirt and filth at the Palakkad Railway platform. The following composition relates to a sort of autobiographical sketch of a mail bag. Those who handle the bags handle them very roughly and the following poem was born out of a feeling for the mail bags. They too have a voice as distinct as ours. Date of composition 13th July 2003.)


Here, in dirt and dust
I lay waiting for a man.
Here, among the railway tracks
I lay waiting to reach my destination.

Within me are covers and letters-
Dreams woven by pen.
Within me are valuables-
Promises to reach distant addressees.

I was on a long travel,
I was among a pile.
Pressed and shaken,
I was already done.

And from the train
I was mercilessly thrown.
And I was thrown among the tracks
As if I was a bag of junks.

And I swallowed plentiful dirt
I was breathless within a huge pile.
My comrades were breathing their last
We were victims of an indifferent heart.

The treasure inside me
Is a treasure not of mine.
Life on wheels and winds
Is indeed a life lived for the world.

From the remoteness of post office rooms
A message is carried unto you.
For a world noisy and violent
All the way it is a stoic smile.

Oh! Mankind, where is thy heart,
Mercy and springs of life?
I too have a voice and life
I too have an echo of your voice.

Here, in filth and dirt
I lay waiting for my dispatch.
Here, among the winding course of tracks
I lay waiting for springs.

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