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My Ma

My mother died today
I was with her till she gave the last gasp
And broke all changes in a single swipe that struggled to keep her
It was a masterful stroke, yet there was so much sadness in her face
Loosing to her only son after all these years

I whispered in her ears
Words that couldn’t cross
The barrage of tears
Don’t you worry about anything, Ma
Baba is waiting for you there and so is Didi
Your loving Dada who use to tell tales of East Bengal is also there
You had called him many times thinking that it was me
Shantiniketan, Bolpur was a beautiful memoryscape that you shared with him
Dancing in the rainy season and pulling Guruji’s beard while sitting on his lap
And so much more
And so much fun

And who knows I might come soon
I will hitchhike trains like I use to do in childhood
Like the time we use to go to Howrah with coal in our eyes
And the strange dank smell of Shibpur and Didmas home that we always welcomed
Her house is falling apart now and all my Mamas have passed away
I am a lone player now, it really doesn’t matter
I must play on each day
Till then you all must wait for me.

‘Badita kacchey holey bhalo hoto’
You uttered a number of times in your semi comatose condition
‘I wish my home in India could have been nearer so that I could go back’
My father long time back had wept and said
That we don’t care for the elderly
As much as we love your children

My ma suffered with me
Dying was never so utterly unwelcome
As much as the hurts that had bound us
Home she finally left without me
After that bout of raspy whistling cough
Mr. Chawla the Guardmaster sitting in the last carriage
Waving his green flag to all of us kids
And I running after the train
Ma. Ma, Ma, Don’t go now
On the 4 October 2007.

 
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