Monday, 24 June 2013

AN ELEGY TO ALL OF US


It was a day smelling of blood, dreary with the pain of the father.
He had been rescued from the jungle up the hill, scooped up
And brought back home to the consternation of the people who
Could not fail to recognize the ferocity of a tiger inflicting wounds
All over, flesh torn off his face and the other parts of the body.
It took him months to recover from the assault but he did not complain
Or whine saying that there were too many of them on the prowl.
Yet his fortitude was a caution for the other men who took care and never
Went alone to gather wood like my father, an intrepid man, had done.

Then I was a child and could not understand the pain of the father.
I snuggled up to him and coaxed him to tell me the tale of the tiger
As it came and pounced on him tearing his flesh with his paws big.
When he recovered he could never walk without a limp or speak
Like others did and the children called him a Tiger Man borrowing a
Phrase from the elders of the mountainous village alight with the wood
From the hills up near the stars erect yet sapient with an ambience of green.
That was the time when I was one barely in my teens and I loved my father
A man who had returned victorious from the hunger of a tiger, the terror of the hills.   
Years have passed since the hero, my father, died leaving me with my mother
And my sister, Pakhi, in the same village with the same hills with the same people
Going up there in the hills but no one was mauled by a tiger because there was none.

Some men immaculately dressed came and met us with something they said was a project
To study the surroundings or the environment, as they called it, in their impeccable accent 
falling heavy on our  ears as we did not find anything unusual about the place we lived in.
The headman of the village said that no one returned from the hills scathed or bleeding
As the men with finical perfection nodded with conviction and noted the details down
 with a sense of loathing I retreated to the bank of the Ganges and sat on its edge
With the serenity of love my father had instilled in me for the Nature around us.
But I could feel like being choked with the smoke of the cigarettes of the men and their   
Words of wisdom, smarting under the weight of the project SAVE THE WORLD NOW.
As days went by I could see few of the birds we scattered on the bank of the Ganges
Feeling morose by the taunting echoes of the names of the birds we shouted.
And we did not feel that cold for the last few years as the old men said that the snow
On the mountains was hidden in the lust of men and the perfection of projects grandiose.
I began to shiver with a strange feeling of alienation from the hills and the river until I
Finally landed on the top of a tree to stand guard on my flock, my mother and my sister,
Some of the bloated corpses inundated by the fury of the river wild with humiliation.                      
The next time you come with a project do not expect to get the warmth of a welcome as
There is none alive nor is there much of what you want to use as an excuse for your lie.

               
         Courtesy: Google Images