⋅ 31 August 2011

On the banks of a river

On the banks of a river


Some marigold flowers,
Incense sticks, a match box;
And an earthen diya with wick
In a bowl made of dry leaves
Held together by twigs;

I stood at the banks
Of mother Ganges in Haridwar,
After paying change
To the young boy
Who put it together for me
At that morning hour.

I lit the wick and incense stick,
And holding it in both hands
Walked towards the river bank
And put it in the lap
Of the river, watching it
Join other such offerings,
Made by devotees and kin
Of loved ones gone
A long time or just
The night before.

It was a trip
Long overdue,
To say final goodbye
To my ma and dad,
For I was not with them
When they breathed their last
For reasons beyond my control
Of which they had no clue.

I felt sad,
And missed them bad.
One day feeling desolate
I shared my grief,
Loss and longing
With a dear friend.
Ever compassionate,
She held my hand
And said, let go
As the soul feels in earthly bondage,
Let them rest in peace.

On that day in the last week of December,
I sat at river bank
Watching the turbulenceā€¦
Sun light scattered on
The bouncing waves
Sorthward bound,
As if the river knew
Where it was going.
Somehow I felt calm
To see it in motion
As I took some water
In my cupped palms
And washed my face and arms.

Ever since, I know
They live in me
At all times
As sure as I know
I am alive as I breathe.
Now I wonder
Why did I grieve
For so long?
We built memories
To last a life time.

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  • A sublimely profound existential narrative that speaks of an understanding that transcends the boundaries of language.31 Aug 2011 by

  • Rituals were made to bring peace more to us who grieve than to those who left before.... It was also a channel to bring consolation to us by reconciliation and realization... life is but a journey and we follow not far behind and those who went before have left their imprint on our heart and mind! Peace and love to you!31 Aug 2011 by

  • this is beautiful.31 Aug 2011 by

  • Mamta this is a very touching write...you describle the ritual to perfection...I can almost feel I am there with you at the River Ganges....I love the last stanza - "Why did I grieve For so long? We built memories To last a life time." A beautiful reminder for all of us... 1 Sep 2011 by

  • Your thoughtful poem made me to recall the "pind" offered by me on the banks of the Ganga at Hridwar , praying for the peace of my parent's soul ! But sorry to say , Haridwar is a very dirty place ! Thanks for sharing , -Raj 1 Sep 2011 by

  • O what a bittersweet memorable events and your sentimental song flows with the river ,I sat on that smooth sand of the river bank and watch the ripples...........how sad the life flows in her usual rhythm! Mom & Dad are the great pillars of our miserable life? 1 Sep 2011 by

  • anytime you want to join with your parents just look upon the lines (rivers) in the palm of your hand. They remain there, ric 7 Oct 2011 by

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