The Final Voyage

[As the blessed son of Maha Saraswati, Sri Manoj Das, leaves for his heavenly abode, here is a small tribute to his departed soul! #SriManojDas]

Orphan words now
Pine for their lost father!
Pen and paper long for
Touch of that familiar finger!
The drawing room chair
Misses its silent thinker!
And the silence around
Yearns for the benign scholar,
Transformed now into a star afar!

The light that has gone
Has but left much to ignite
All those thinking brain
That can shed its ego,
Take instead the selfless lane!

As the soul of the sage
Takes the final voyage,
Come, let’s take a pledge
To emulate his ways
In our remnant days –
To pay him the best homage!

Copyright © Arun Dash. All rights reserved.


Original (Odia): K. Biplab
Translation: Arun Dash

This mask 
That you see covering my face
Got its rightful place
Back in my schooldays
To shield me from
My teacher’s cane lashes.

The older and shabbier it gets,
The sturdier it becomes, 
The shinier sparkles 
My character certificates.

This mask 
Makes my life easy, 
Holding my head high
In all decks,
Like those free ducks 
Swimming in the lakes.

This mask alone
Gets me all respect,
So much so, that
Seeing my ageing parents 
Rot in old-age homes,
Pushing them into 
A sea of sorrow,
I still can earn
Praises galore.

Truth is, 
This mask –
Even with a heart so deceitful –
Has kept my life so blissful!

Copyright © Arun Dash. All rights reserved.

The Wailing Patriarch

Shall smother his inner voice,
Suffer the silent pain,
Yet not let the world know
How frail he is!

Shall tender unjust apology
Mostly when it isn’t due
To show them all
How happy he is!

Shall oblige lifelong 
Bereft of a love-laden return, 
To retell his inner self
How hapless he is!

Copyright © Arun Dash. All rights reserved.

Decaying Days

There’s pleasure
In decaying,
Day by day!

The worries of living,
Living peacefully
Amidst the strife –
Often inevitable,
Unsettle you.

The fears of failure
To return the favours –
Sought or earned,
Before you decease,
Burden you.

But, the fond dream
Of liberating your soul
From all earthy things,
After last morsel of YOU decays,
Thrills you, and
Leads you to your final rest.

Copyright © Arun Dash. All rights reserved.

The Forgotten Rhythm

The rhythm isn’t lost –
Forgotten, maybe.
The music plays still.
The air around has magic still.
The audience waits in trance.

All that I must do –
Close my eyes.
Invoke my Muse.
Cherry-pick words of fine worth.
And begin singing,
Finding the rhythm back,
And savouring the cadence,
Until the last ounce of air around.

Copyright © Arun Dash. All rights reserved.

A Weird Wish

O God,
Let me be a tsunami
So I sweep and haul
These erudite vermin away
Far into a deserted hell
Thus shielding the fate
Of my people and country!

O God,
Let me be a bomb
So I blast the bastions
Of hate and hypocrisy
Thus ensuring good health
Of my functioning democracy!

O God,
Let me be a lethal potion
So I can let them sleep forever
Post their last sumptuous dinner
Thus saving the innocent commoner
From their illicit thought chamber!

O God
Let me be an alien virus
So I pick these selfish traitors
And feast on their blood
Thus quarantining the whole society
For once and all,
Thus restoring our inherent unity.

Copyright © Arun Dash. All rights reserved.

Mayhem of Your Making

You know very well,
The mayhem that’s come
Is of your own making;
Yet, your audacious self
Ascribes that to Me!
Why’d I even bother to heed?

The rank forces
You’ve unleashed
From Pandora’s box
May even devour you!
But didn’t I warn you
To touch it not?

Those brazen invocations
You offer now as prayers
To beseech Me
Head only Satan-ward.
Why’d I meddle
To solve a riddle
That I didn’t even inspire?

For, when you are lost,
And come begging before me,
With a hung head
And ample remorse,
Would I have this clue –
‘Your instant Karma alone can
Affirm your faith in Me,
And thus efface this mayhem’.

Copyright © Arun Dash. All rights reserved.