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July 04, 2022

From Here to Eternity

By Ketaki Datta

From Here to Eternity

I


The woman slipped on her big toe,
Pirouetted, came to an abrupt halt,
Looked in front and yelled in joy,
"Heigh ho, you know,
I dance to facilitate
The gliding of Time
Into the smooth tiptoe,
Down to Eternity!"
Perhaps, the wheel-barrow
of diurnal hours
Finds a harmony
in her rhythmic steps
and lissom rounds!

She drops dead all of a sudden
Sailing from Being into Nada!


II


The little girl with two plaits
Danced around the fountain
In fleet steps, with words
Slurring on her tongue,
With the rainbow smiling
Down at her.
She opened her arms wide
To stand tall and touch
The seven-coloured
Arc that stood above!
She failed, she twigged
she would need long legs,
She even dreamt of walking
On a pair of stilts!


III


She grew up into a nubile girl,
With her body breaking in curves,
At the waist, near her back,
Her bosom -- firm and round,
Her legs, well-shaped
her calves, dumb-bell-like
and fleshy!
She danced in her room,
Scaled the stairs to reach
Rooftop and jig her knees
to a popular number
And unleashed the mirth
of youth, she held within.


IV


Father gasped for breath,
had a mild cardiac arrest!
Though he had a narrow shave,
and stepping down from bed,
coming round,
He went scouring the metropolis
for a suitable groom for his
Grown-up daughter!
A daughter to a father
is a gem to be stashed away
in the iron-safe!
But she has to have a family
of her own,
Mothering her kids,
Tasting the purest nectar
of a woman's existence!


V


She loved to have her children
All around her,
Like the cat, caressing her kittens,
Like the bitch, licking the ticks off
Her newborns' body!
She loved to hold their forefingers
Taking them along to the
Kindergarten, they were
just put into.
She loved to see them grow,
As though they were
Poppies or roses
of her garden!
They grew up with
their wings,
Growing restive in turn!
They grew up,
Freeing themselves of
mother's apron-strings
Like the grown-up cubs
They kept gamboling around,
Bounding by,
And one sunny morning,
They left their mother
To set sail elsewhere
Either on a job
Or in a bid to
Make the long-cherished dreams
come true!


VI


Her hubby held her hand,
As she felt giddy,
As her fragility got the
Better of her,
Mere medicines would not
Be of much help,
She knew.
They went to the seas,
to the mountains,
on pilgrimages,
To stay happy,
Being reassured
Of togetherness.
The gloaming cocooned
them in,
The night zeroed in on
to lull them to sleep.


VII


One night, the sleep
Came to draw a curtain
on her hubby.
He did not get up
To greet the dawn,
To hail the nascent
Sunrays through the
Chinks and fissures
Of his study.
He slipped off into
A deep oblivion,
Journeying on to another
Terrain, to another ambience,
Where regular laws of life
would not hold much water.


VIII


She was left alone,
To greet the sun
At its waking hour;
She was left alone,
To roam round the
Park all by herself;

She was left alone,
To ask after the
Health and well-being
Of her children;

She was left alone,
To croon the song
Blaring on her recorder;

She was not alone
With the drooping sun,
Aslant on the western horizon!
The scalding tea and cream-crackers
Kept her company!


IX


The daily dance classes
Kept her on her toes,
She had again got back
Her long-lost sprightliness!
She grew feisty to
Make her steps
As perfect as the lady
On the screen!

She danced with perfect elan
Singing, "I could have
Danced all night!"
And she truly did.


X


The woman slipped on her big toe
Pirouetted, came to an abrupt halt
Looked in front and yelled in joy,
"Heigh ho, you know,
I dance to facilitate
The gliding of Time
Into the smooth tiptoe,
Down to Eternity !"
Perhaps, the wheel-barrow
of diurnal chaos
Finds a harmony
in her rhythmic steps
and lissom rounds!

She drops dead all of a sudden,
Sailing from Being into Nada!






Article © Ketaki Datta. All rights reserved.
Published on 2021-12-27
Image(s) are public domain.
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