Family

My father hailed a cab yesterday, and made
the driver go in circles, unable to find home,
his memories are just blurred reflections
of recollections, and strength of will eludes him,
they talk of karma in this age,
using aphorisms, both spoken and written, and
maybe they should write a Postmodern Indian
Proverbs with verses that I’ll deconstruct:

1. You get what you give to others
Psst. You can shout, but the mirror only reflects,
it doesn’t reverberate

2. If you cast a bad vote, you’ll receive punishment
Psst. Say that to yourself the next time you wear saffron,
and stand next to the cowherd, casting your vote

3. Morals and ethics make a person
Psst. Which is why people murder in the name of
communal legalism

4. Discipline is a must, just like Yoga
Psst. Each pang of lust you feel, disapproves of your
discipline, and I feel that bowing
to the sun is like bowing to time, and I’m entitled
to my opinion.

My father’s thoughts often escape him, like
specters leaving a possessed man, streams and
streams gone, and unlike Legion,
he’s not restored, he searches
for them, gropes in the light, and it takes time
and they return. I will not abandon my father,
though my blood screams, “He was never there!”
My mind realizes that he was,
he put the meals on the table, despite us never
connecting emotionally, he made his peace with
tears, and I forgave, and he did too, and when I fell
apart five years ago,
my identity a broken mirror of what it once was,
he supported me from a distance.

My mother is frail, knock-kneed,
with an arthritic limb and soul,
praying to a silent sovereign for spring,
for the wintry crimson to become
an effervescent green, having borne the
burdens of two men,
a brother an egotistical self-promoted
writer, a father callous, and a mother Prozac ridden,
but never acknowledging her guilt. She tried and tried
patching things, but her self-blame became their heroin,
and once she stopped, they burn, their anguish perhaps
the ‘karma’ people preach about. But my mother stood
and wept with me, when I lay with skin fractured, fragmented,
lips swollen, unable to chew or swallow, muscles knotted,
and edema collecting – big grotesque grayish blue balloons,
she stayed when I rebelled, and welcomed the prodigal home,
and despite the ups and downs, I will not abandon
my mother. She supported me, standing right by.

She kissed me unexpectedly in the café today, I guess
some friendships mean more even after years of separation,
I didn’t kiss back, because I know the throes of my mind,
the writhing of despair, and it’s a sickness
unto death: first emotionally, a sense of beauty jaded,
then cognitively, a cudgel hammering the consciousness,
a dissonant time-signature, and finally physically,
an ashen slow fade, but I fight my battles alone, and
I fight for my mother and father, and she understands.
She supports me.

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)

Protected by Copyscape

10 responses

    • Yeah that’s how it starts. And then there is a gradual decline. It’s very tough for both the person and the family. Thank you so much. That means a lot.

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